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Jon Brennan and Irene Berrera-Kearns discuss their return to the ‘real world’ – CBS Chicago


Seven cast members return almost 30 years later to the iconic Venice Beach home in hopes of settling their differences Real-World Homecoming: Los Angeles. Jon Brennan and Irene Berrera-Kearns discuss how the issues discussed on the 1993 show still exist today, but their views have evolved.

CBS’s Katie Johnston spoke to Jon and Irene before the show began.

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K J- Tell me a bit about why you decided to come back.

IBK- For me, it was about fixing unresolved issues that arose 20 years ago. And to get to know each other, my roommates on another level, because after 20 years, we have matured a lot. And some of us didn’t. And get to know yourself again.

JB- Yeah, for me it was just a great experience. I look back 30 years ago and I’m like, hey, that was very stressful, and there were some good times, and there were some times that weren’t very good. Overall it was a really great experience. Now that I’m 47, I look back and say it was the experience of a lifetime. It was a really cool thing to do that people don’t have to do. I mean, I’m part of a very small group of people who were able to do something a little bit crazy and wacky, but really awesome. Now that I’m 30 years older, I would love to do it again. I would do a couple of things differently. Then that phone rang. Yes, let’s do it.

K J- I love the enthusiasm! As for the changes, the Venice Beach house, the centerpiece of your season, still sits in the same block as so many years ago. However, the neighborhood around it is radically different. At this point I want to ask, what has changed between you and your castmates since 1993?

JB- Well, that the house it looks alike. All the decor, of course, has been updated and different. But the neighborhood, Venice Beach, has really made a comeback. It is a great place to go and visit again. They really cleaned it up. There are a lot of good companies out there. Then you put us back in the same environment. Boom, you still have fireworks, because here we are in the same house having the same discussions. You know, they run into seven different personalities again, all of type A and all very sure that they are the ones correcting everyone else’s mistakes. It made a great TV show.

K J- What about you, Irene?

IBK- Definitely, the neighborhood has changed. What was really interesting was that some neighbors are still there. They’re like, “are you back guys?” So it shocked me a bit because they remembered us. They were very warm and welcoming and made us feel right at home again.

K J- It’s crazy. What an interesting fact! It’s cool that they remember you. I mean, it would be hard not to remember your characters on the show and all the action that’s going on around the house all the time. The real world is presented as the starting point for reality TV. Now, seeing the vast spectacle like this, do you kind of feel like pioneers in this space?

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JB- Funny you use the word show, because I honestly feel like a show. When we were on the show in the 90s, it made quite a scene. Then our return home is going to be spectacular. I’m telling you, it felt like we were back in the 90s. For me, Irene, I just felt, wow, here we are (inaudible). As some events and conversations unfold and some conflict even unfold on the way home, you can tell at that point that this will be great TV.

K J- Absoutely. Irene, do you have any idea on this?

IBK- It’s very interesting to go back and talk about the things that happened in 1993, because they are so relevant now. To be able to fix it, I think people will really identify with us even more.

K J- At this point, there were so many serious real-world issues that you tackled during your season. What are some of those conversations viewers can expect during Homecoming?

JB- I mean, obviously Tami, 20 years ago on TV, got pregnant and had an abortion. You have conservative people like me who have opinions on these things and you live with these people who have become your family. Now we have 30 years of hindsight and, honestly, love for each other. We are a family, a dysfunctional family. Now we are talking about a sensitive topic like this. Then all of these things that have happened over the last couple of years. We have all been through the coronavirus and are still going through it, but we are experiencing this in different parts of the country. We look at our television screens and we watch the George Floyd incident. We look at all the tensions and conflicts that are happening in our country. We are real people. So when we get together again and talk about the news, awkward things that happened in our country, we talk about it and we talk about it from all perspectives and opinions. You find the real world. That’s really why I love the show because you get real, raw opinions from real, passionate people. They come from all angles and all walks of life on this. There are a lot of topics that are discussed. We talk about Black Lives Matter, we talk about abortion, we talk about some of our roommates who have kids going through issues, and it’s all an integral part of coming home.

K J- Irene, do you have anything to add?

IBK- Like Jon said, we can also fix some of these issues like the #MeToo issue. We have shed a lot of light on what is happening now. I think people will want to tune in to that because it’s completely different from, say, The Bachelor or The Bachelorette and that type of reality show. I think you’re really going to gain a lot from connecting with all of us.

K J- Very raw and very authentic. Guys I want to thank you very much for spending time with me today and also for returning home from Venice Beach. We’re all so excited to see what this season brings.

JB- Thank you so much.

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Flux Real-World Homecoming: Los Angeles exclusively on Paramount + from Wednesday, November 24. Download the Paramount + app to take the show with you wherever you go.

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