My Life in TV is a weekly feature interview with a member of the television industry. This week, Alex talked to Geordie Shore star Charlotte Crosby. //
For those of you who might not have been exposed to to the Shore franchises (Jersey or Geordie) before, the premise is simple: take a bunch of 20–somethings who love to drink and bone, and throw them in a house together for an extended period of time and let chaos reign.
There’s a loose plotline involving them having quite pathetic ‘jobs’ throughout the day (something to both punctuate and encourage the binge drinking), but other than that, it’s a pretty rough ride through mortality (both the literal meaning and Geordie meaning). After marathoning Geordie Shore the weekend before, I was half expecting Charlotte – one of the real characters of the show – to arrive on an inflatable raft carried by shirtless men, doing flaming shots and talking about ‘parsnips’ (Geordie for penis).
Instead Charlotte slunk in late, wearing a giant pair of sunglasses, with a plain grey dress and zero makeup. She had made an appearance at Bar 101 in downtown Auckland the night before, and needed to take it easy.
“I honestly don’t even know where I am right now” she said, pushing her chair into a sunbeam directly behind me. We were now sitting in a weird single file line, so I twisted my chair around to face her. She slumped in the seat and took off her glasses. “I need a boiled egg, do you guys have those warm boiled eggs in a box here?” We don’t. Her publicist Chris went off to find her a similar egg-based meal.
I watched her awkwardly bend her arm back over her head, desperately trying to take a picture of her clearly fresh tattoo. It was two arrows intersecting with a tiny ‘M’ above them, presumably for her current boyfriend Mitch, a painter and decorator from Newcastle and on-again-off-again throughout the show.
Charlotte was having tattoo remorse, “I’m just so stupid, I do anything all the time.” She was annoyed they hadn’t done it a little lower toward her elbow, because apparently that’s where Miley Cyrus got her latest tattoo. “Maybe I’ll get it removed,” she mused.
She had only had it for four days. We chatted for 25 entertaining minutes while she ate her eggs and played with her phone.
First of all, I must admit I’ve only just started watching your show. I did a bit of a marathon on the weekend. It’s weird for me now because I feel like I know you. Your life seems really crazy, is it crazy?
It is pretty crazy at the minute you know, like it’s recently gotten a bit crazier in Australia. We had paparazzi follow us like everywhere. It was getting really bad. We haven’t been bothered here though, are there any paparazzi here?
We’ve just got one little Scottish guy that does most of the heavy lifting.
Do you feel like you have a real life, or is it all Geordie Shore all the time?
It kind of mixes, it can get a bit confusing when you feel like should have two separate lives. But we never sleep around – apart from this one girl who cheated on her boyfriend. They were finished straight after. It’s not acceptable.
To be honest, I don’t feel like I have a separate life when I’m single. When I’m in a relationship, I feel like I’ve got the two lives. I’m trying to have my life with Mitch, but then I have the Geordie Shore life with Gary. It’s hard to juggle the two of them.
So you are just constantly on the go? I understand you’ve been doing a lot of bar appearances in New Zealand?
Yeah, the last week I’ve been going to bed at about 12 and waking up at 5am every single morning. Today is the first time I’ve been able to sleep past 5am, but that’s probably because I didn’t get to bed till 4…
How did Bar 101 go last night? I was tempted to come but it was way too late for me.
Oh my god you should have come, it was really good. What we do is, we got on the microphones and get everyone riled up like. I did a booty-off competition where you get four girls on stage dancing with their bums to win drink vouchers. Then you get a load of photos with people, meet and greet the VIPs and then just mingle with them for the night. I didn’t actually take a lot of photos with people, to be honest with you. You know what, I bet if I went on the wifi I would be tagged in a whole load of photos.
Do you feel a lot of pressure to drink and go crazy every time you go out to these bar things?
You know what? I actually didn’t even want to drink last night but everyone was having such a good time so I had a few.
How did you find New Zealand drinkers?
Oh they’re crazy, it was party central. That’s why I felt like I had to get drunk because it was such a good atmosphere. I hope I don’t have to drink tonight though.
So, if we go back before all of this – what was your life like before you made it onto Geordie Shore?
I worked in a bar and I was at college part-time trying to get the points for university – which I didn’t even want to go to. All my friends went to uni and not one of them got a job from it. I think uni is really important, but only when you want to be like a doctor or a scientist or something that you really need to study for. I just needed time to think about what I wanted to do.
Were you watching a lot of reality television before you applied?
I was a big fan of TV, but there was nothing really like our show when I was younger. It was more like Big Brother, that was really big at the time. I really wanted to be on Big Brother. I also really liked animal documentaries, David Attenborough is to die for. Especially the under the water ones.
[Charlotte finally gets on the wi-fi and frantically checks her Instagram: “I haven’t been tagged in ANY pictures from last night. I just don’t understand.”]
What about Jersey Shore, did you ever see that beforehand?
I had never seen it because I didn’t have MTV in my house. We got given the series on DVD before we started filming. When I put it on, I had to switch it off almost straight away because it made me not want to go into the house. I was like “oh my god I am not doing this.”
But you were already signed up for it?
Yep, before I even knew what I was doing.
So how did you get involved if you didn’t know what you were doing?
I applied on Facebook and then had to go through a whole lot of processes. Some people in the house just got scouted while they were out and about in Newcastle. I applied online.
Wait, you just filled in a Facebook thing?!
I filled in a Facebook thing. It was so simple. There were so many application processes to go through after that and it took so long. I think they had to know us inside out by the end of it.
What sort of things did they put you through?
Online questionnaire, telephone interview, on-camera interview, meeting with the producers, a psych test and green screen test to see how you good you look. 6000 people applied, and obviously only a few got it.
What were the initial few days like in the Geordie Shore house?
It was weird, it was really hard getting used to having the cameras everywhere and not being able to acknowledge them or look at them. But when it first started, it was more exciting than anything. I was just like “what the actual hell am I doing?” It was such a buzz, I’d love to get that feeling back.
Does it not feel the same for you anymore?
It’s obviously still exciting and I still love it just as much as I used to, but you just don’t have that excited buzz. It’s like the first time you have sex, I just love that feeling. But I still love it, I’ll be doing it forever. As long as it’s on, unless they decide to kick us out.
[Charlotte finally finds a tagged photo of herself on Instagram, “here’s one, look I’ve got lipstick all over me face. All the girls kissed me. I’m going to snapchat that one.”]
How about sharing the more intimate moments on camera?
Oh, sex? We’re so used to it, it sounds bad but it’s really not a big deal. We’ve been doing it for four years, so it’s just the norm now. And it’s not like a porno or anything where there’s a camera like on your vagina and they’re filming the penis going in and out. There’s no close ups on us moaning or anything, it’s just a whole load of sheets moving around.
If I wanted to I could say it was fake, I could. It would be so easy to fake. Nobody feels that bad about it though because it’s not like doing porn. There are worse scenarios to be in.
Do you have other aspirations for TV and beyond?
I’ve got so many. I did Big Brother, that was good because I always wanted to do that – even when I wasn’t famous. I just love being on telly. It’s my favourite thing to do. I don’t know what I’d do without it now. Anything on telly I’d be happy with.
I still want to be on telly when I’m 70 years old, just doing crazy things and being a crazy telly woman who never had a real life.
Maybe the Geordie Shore Resthome?
Yes, I think the Geordie Shore Old Age Pensioners Home would be perfect.
The interview finished fittingly with a photo opportunity. We tried to take a Geordie selfie, but it quickly devolved into a disastrous 10 minute lesson for me on how to look your best (you have to hold the camera as high as your bones will allow and make your lips 30 times bigger than they actually are).
We settled for a regular photo. I asked Charlotte what her go-to pose is, and tried my hardest to follow suit…
You can watch Charlotte Geordie Shore and Ex on the Beach on MTV, almost constantly.