Hannah Tries: Interviewing Spencer Matthews and Jamie Laing (with Susanna Wood)
*this interview is from a little while ago, but I thought I’d pop it on here anyway!
Are the friendships we see on camera true friendships?
Jamie: Spencer’s my boy, he’s my brother so obviously to be with your best friend on camera, there’s nothing better in the world, you know what I mean?
Spencer: 100% real. Relationships… she has some nice shorts (Spencer’s attention wanders towards a leggy blonde)… sorry…no, all the relationships and friendships are 100% real.
How much of Made in Chelsea is made up for the cameras? Are there any people that you’ve been made to talk to?
Spencer: No, not really. In certain situations you’d perhaps have to speak to someone who you might not have otherwise, for continuity in the storylines. We have a little bit of guidance on how the shoe should run, but on the whole it’s pretty real.
Do you mind being referred to as a reality TV star or do you see yourself as something different?
Spencer: Kind of, I mean, lots of us have real jobs. I’m a foreign exchange trader in the city and the show is very much an aside. For other people, its acting as a vessel for their aspirations and ideas. For instance, Jamie wants to launch a sweet milkshake shop. He’s the heir to Mcvities isn’t he…so it runs in the family.
Out of interest, what is your favourite type of biscuit?
Spencer: Let’s give you kinds of biscuit…
Jamie: (to Hannah) Okay, so I reckon that you’re like a dark chocolate hobnob.
Jamie: You’re really sweet but at the same time you have a dark side.
(Suze) That’s very spot on Hannah!
Jamie: …And with you (to Suze), you’re a hobnob caramel, unbelievably tasty on the outside but on the inside you’re a bit, like, dark…
Spencer: HA! So basically…they’re the same?
(Hannah) How fucking dare you.
Spencer: And Jamie’s a jammy dodger!
Jamie: You know it girl!
So, Spencer, what are you?
Jamie: Spencer’s a jaffa cake. He was once a little bit dodgy…a little bit chubby…but now he’s trim as fuck!
Which leads us nicely onto something else we wanted to talk about – your new look. What happened? Why did you change? Was it because you saw yourself on TV and thought “Oh Lord…”?
You look so different.
Spencer: I didn’t really change… I’ll tell you what happened. I always try to keep athletic and stuff usually but given the fact that the first season came at the same time I accepted the job in the city as a foreign exchange trader it turned out that I didn’t really have much time to look after my health. So I come across as looking slightly…different…to how I usually look, like I look now.
So this is your normal look? You look good!
Spencer: I’m glad to hear that.
Jamie: Don’t tell him that!
Is there much rivalry? You have a lot of love interests…
Spencer: Well, no, my main love interest has always and will always be Caggie.
Jamie: (jumps off his seat) HE’S IN LOVE!
Spencer:…I’ve pretty much been in love with Caggie my whole life. We got together very young and its quite daunting for two people to try be together from such a young age.
Are you uncomfortable with your relationship being portrayed, played out in front of the cameras?
Spencer: Yes. This season I think will show me in a new light, having less games, less plans.
Jamie: Less schemes.
Spencer: Plan backfire.
Spencer: Jamie actually met Caggie long before I did and actually had a thing with her.
How old were you when you met Caggie?
Jamie: And I was about 15.
How did you two guys meet?
Jamie: We hated each other!
Spencer: Hated, hated!
Spencer: I think it was just a clash of competition, of egos.
Jamie: A good friend of his, who went to school with him, went out with my ex girlfriend. On a night out, we met each other, you know how it goes, young kids being idiots get aggressive… Anyway, since then we’ve been like brothers dude!
Spencer: It’s all changed since then.
Have you ever gone for the same girl again?
Spencer: You’ll find out, you have to watch the programme.
Dammit. Okay… So at the moment, you’re sleeping with Louise?
Spencer: Louise is my ex girlfriend.
Ex ex ex?
Spencer: She’s obviously more than one ex…
You love going back.
Spencer: I go back as long as it’s very clear, the laws laid down. I wouldn’t go back out with an ex girlfriend but if we’re close friends and we’re both single, and we obviously enjoy each others…company…then who says it can’t happen again? But if it didn’t work the first time, there’s probably no point in trying again, in my opinion. I wouldn’t lock anything down.
There’s a reason they’re exes.
Spencer: Thanks dark chocolate hobnob.
You’re welcome jaffa cake. And hey, jammy dodger, how does it feel to be compared to the new Joey Essex?
Spencer: You must love that shit!
Jamie: I’m Jamie. He’s Joey Essex. There is no comparison at all!
Is there a rivalry between your shows?
Spencer: Between the two shows there isn’t rivalry as they’re pretty different. I personally, given my timetable, haven’t watched any of The Only Way Is Essex. Mark used to do a bit of work with us before any of us were going to be on TV so it’s quite funny that we get compared to each other now.
Spencer: I like Mark. I don’t mind the Essex lot at all. I haven’t watched it. but its very difficult to compare the two, I think…
What made you get into reality TV?
Spencer: I’ve always wanted to be an actor, I went to USC film school. Finance came about kind of by default and I figured that a bit of experience in front of a camera could be interesting and might rekindle the old flame in my love for acting. So, we’ll see where it goes…
So, next stop movies?
Spencer: In the dream yes, it would be movies.
Jamie: We could move to LA and party!
Are you a celebrity?
Jamie: We’re not, you know, celebrities. We’re reality TV stars.
Spencer: I think the word celebrity is a bit strong. I personally consider myself to be a working guy in finance so to be considered a celebrity is weird. I think we all enjoy the recognition though, especially Jamie. Jamie and I perhaps more than the others, Jamie especially.
Spencer: But personally, I see people knowing your name, saying “Hi” when you walk past a club, is a sign of them loving the show. It just means people have appreciated the work we’ve put into it.
Has there been any negative responses?
Jamie: I think always with good press you’re going to get bad press. I think if you’re strong skinned, you roll with it. if you’re not, if you’re arrogant and a dickhead…
Spencer: How do you fare then?
Jamie: OI! Haha!
Oh jammy dodger…
Jamie: Everyone loves a jammy dodger!
Spencer: You’ll get the occasional bad comment, there’s a lot of people out there, especially given the economic climate, that watch a show like Chelsea and might feela bit hard done by, a bit jealous…
It is very accepting of wealth.
Spencer: You have to just take that with a pinch of salt, realise that we’re all just doing our job and our friendships/relationships are real and that is what people really care about. That’s what is important to viewers, I feel, more so that how thick our wallets are. People care more about why Hugo’s with Milly, why I’m with Caggie…
How is it juggling a private and public life?
Spencer: I’m not a particularly private person. I don’t really like being alone.
Jamie: He hates being alone.
Spencer: People reading about me isn’t the type of thing which bothers me at all. Some people get really freaked out. Some people say stuff that isn’t even real about me, but what are you going to do? Call the paper up? No. It’s already gone out. You have to just understand that’s what happens and it’s something that just flows off my back.
Like water off a duck?
Spencer: Like water of a duck.
I think some celebrities feel quite resentful of the media, do you feel it’s a tool?
Spencer: If you get hit with something particularly untrue, it can be a bit cutting, but the majority of it is quite light hearted. Like will they, won’t they? Caggie, Spencer… He said this, she said that. As long as your relationship is close enough so you can call her and say “it’s not true” and for her to believe you, then it’s fine.
You know you’ve made it when you’ve earnt the nickname Scraggie…
Jamie: My boy’s hit the big time!
Spencer: It’s Spaggie.
Oh yeah. That would make more sense…
Spencer: Scraggie is actually Caggie’s fake Twitter account. I have one as well. We all have fake accounts, that’s why we have to get verified.
People posing as you? That must be a bit bizarre…
Spencer: Yes! If you go to @SpencerMIC that’s not me! It’s some guy with a picture of me in sunglasses!
Jamie: And he tweets fucking hilarious things.
Spencer: He’s like, “I’m at Chelsea football club with Hugo” and I’m like really, I’m at work.
Do you follow him?
Spencer: I do, so I can keep on top of what he’s saying! I’m going to get him deleted as soon as I can!
Jamie: You get so angry about it man.
Spencer: It’s because it’s annoying! One thing I pride myself on is that I work hard and so when someone says I’m just chilling on the Kings Road at 2pm on a Monday it’s just like, I’m not!
Jamie: Spencer’s one of the most driven people I know. Very, very driven. A good thing, I think.
(To Jamie) Are you equally as motivated?
Jamie: I want to open up a sweet shop!
Spencer: Jamie’s aspirations and dreams are more vivid than and that’s great. At the heart, mine is business so it will be bigger when it takes off. On a day to day basis I get more done, but I think Jamie’s dream could get realised quicker.
So what is the dream?
Jamie: Sugar and Shake exclusive! So, I want to open up a sweet shop and a milkshake shop.
Is this because you particularly like this kind of food?
Spencer: He loves sugar…
And obviously it’s in your roots.
Jamie: It is indeed. It’s going to be big!
I hope we’re going to get an invite to the opening…
Jamie: You guys, for sure! 100% it’s going to be a red carpet event. It’s going to be all out.
Can we take some photos of you?
Jamie: If you want my top off, you can have it off…
If you could both take them off, that would be nice.
Spencer: We’ll look like Geordie Shore!
How is the girl attention?
Spencer: (beaming) It feels nice. A part of wanting to be an actor as a kid is the recognition so we get a similar vibe from this as we would if we were acting.
Is it scripted?
Spencer: It’s called scripted reality. We never really have words on a page.
Jamie: When you’re younger, everyone wants to be famous, that’s the dream, and a lot of people never let go of the dream so when you actually become famous, even slightly famous, there’s an adrenaline you get!
Spencer: I find it nicer that when you come to a place like this (Come Play at TAO) in Norwich and find that guys come up and ask for a photo, that’s cool to me. I’d expect every guy to hate me. I’d semi expect girls to be like “omg, you’re that guy from Made In Chelsea”, that’s kind of normal. But if a guy says, “dude I think you’re a legend” it’s really nice!
Jamie: If we were in the opposite position, we’d go and say “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!”
Spencer: For people to appreciate it is really cool. The show is so well made, the production have these Japanese cameras…
It is awesome cinematography.
Spencer: These cameras haven’t been used for any other TV show in England. It’s very well made. The directors, the cameras, it’s so professional. Mic-ing you up takes like ten minutes! They’re really into it. It’s those differences which make a big difference between us and say The Only Way Is Essex or Geordie Shore. Chelsea can be quite beautiful to watch, and that’s nothing to do with us!
There are some beautifyl shots of London.
Spencer: Some of the shots of London are from a camera strapped to my car when I’ve been driving around. Because they need me in the mirror shots. So I’m driving around and I have the monitor next to me and I’m watching and thinking this is going to look beautiful. It feels nice to be a part of that.
Jamie: I think also, they have a really good mixture of drama and reality. It’s a dramality!
Hello Oxford English Dictionary!
Spencer: Copyrighting that! It’s difficult to get it right the first time. The show lacks, in my opinion, a few things. The Hills is incredibly popular but it also lacks some things. It’s about finding the right balance of real lives and emotions and drama. Without being Eastenders.
Jamie: If you watch the first episode of the Hills, the filming is terrible. But you were intrigued by it. The same goes for Made In Chelsea, there’s a big difference between the first and second seasons.
Spencer: It’s the whole fly on the wall scenario, people watch Big Brother because they like seeing people be natural. Our show many not come across as natural or real as we’ve just woken up but the friendships and relationships couldn’t be more real.
That’s why people care.
Spencer: Otherwise it would be shit. I also believe that Hugo cries in the next episode…
Does he?! Brilliant!
Spencer: That’s real for you, I’m not sure he could turn it on like that, especially with a camera in his face.
Do you think you could cry on tap?
Jamie: Do you want me to cry now?
Spencer: Think of your biscuit factory burning down…