“I’m really excited about this season because the tables have turned,” Katie Stevens says of Karma. “For my character, this season is all about is maintaining her friendship with Amy and making sure that friendship doesn’t go away.”
Stevens’ character is certainly at the center of a lot of issues as she faces the reality of her lies but it’s not all drama for Karma. Thanks to the addition of Laverne Cox as the new drama teacher, Stevens — alongside Bailey De Young and Michael J. Willett — will get to sing and dance more this season.
“It’s awesome they want to incorporate skills we have outside of acting into the show,” Stevens says. Not only does she debut a new song in the premiere but she also co-wrote the record.
And all the singing on the show is in part to all the singing Stevens does is the makeup chair and off camera, a vibe that seemed to infect everyone: “My favorite part about having [Cox] on set was that every time the camera stopped rolling she’d broke out into song and dance. It was amazing."
Rita Volk on Amy and the Fans
As one-half of a pretend lesbian couple, Rita Volk was at the center of controversy ahead of season 1. Was her character Amy (or the show itself) going to upset LGBT fans? “The reception has been incredible,” Volk says of the reaction to the show.
“The fandom never ceases to amaze us. They’re so loyal. They’re so amazing. I got very lucky to play this character that is someone a lot of these people look up to.”
Now that the cast is back on set filming season 2, the vibe is a lot more relaxed. “Everyone just feels so much more comfortable. We’re all a family."
That family vibe will be seen in the premiere when the entire cast finds itself in one room — a rarity in the first season. “That was one of the most fun days on set,” Rita says. “It was an absolute blast.”
“We’re definitely going to have more scenes like that,” she promises.
Bailey De Young on Lauren and Dancing
Bailey De Young's character Lauren will go through the biggest change in season 2 when it's revealed that she is intersex. The secret comes out at the end of the first episode and sets up the human side of her character — though De Young has been holding on to the secret for much longer. “Carter told me Lauren was intersex back during the first season — I already knew, which was great when I started developing her character to know this secret that no one knew about — but it made a lot of sense to me," she says.
“It was more impactful to have her human side come out a little bit later as opposed to right away.”
Bunhead fans should also get excited because there will be more singing and dancing. “I’m actually sore right now because we did a dancing scene a few days ago," De Young says. "There are definitely lots of singing and dancing from Katie and Michael and I.”
As for who De Young is looking forward to sharing more screen time with, she reveals she loves the ensemble scenes but its the ones with Michael J. Willett that really click:
"One of my favorite character interactions are Shane and Lauren because I think they are really, really similar but that’s why they don’t get along — there’s not enough room for both of them."
Michael J. Willett on Shane and Brotherly Bonds
One of the show’s core relationships is between Michael J. Willett’s character Shane and his straight friend, Liam — an unconventional dynamic not often seen on TV. “Not addressing why they’re friends is pretty groundbreaking because it’s not really a main plot point,” Willett says. “You just accept that they’re friends and they’ve probably friends since they were young.”
Yet, not everything is perfect for the two this season. “In the first couple of episodes it’s about the tension between Liam and Shane because there have been a lot of secrets and a lot of mistrust and they are trying to find their footing again as best friends — they’re sort of like brothers,” Willett says.
One special guest Willett gets to work is Laverne Cox, who won over the entire cast and even left them with some special advice: “You’re there to be a channel for the creativity that’s about to happen on camera.”
Gregg Sulkin on Liam and Hook Ups
As Hestor High’s resident straight hunk, Liam has lusted after Karma and even bedded Amy when the two got drunk at the end of season 1. However, Gregg Sulkin assures fans the show is not just about the sex. “Hooking up with Amy wasn’t just for shock value,” Sulkin says. “It was because both people were angry at Karma and it was kind of like ‘F— you, Karma sex.’ I know Carter is very careful and respectful regarding putting storylines in for the sake of it.”
No matter the reason, the storylines work thanks to the bonds on set. “The chemistry is even better this season,” Sulkin says of the cast. “I think even in the first season it was great — obviously you spend more time with people and you really get to know them. We’ve created this really strong, family, close bond.”
One person he shares a bond with both on and off screen is Liam’s best friend Shane played Michael J. Willett. “I’m thrilled I get to work with Michael — he’s a great guy and a great role model for the LGBT community.”
But don’t think that happy family vibe is all fans will see on TV: “Obviously a show needs drama — otherwise you have no show,” he adds.
Faking It returns Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 10:30/9:30c on MTV. Watch the trailer here and check out even more LGBT-themed shows returning to TV this fall.