Blast from the past! MTV’s The Real World changed pop culture forever when its first season debuted in 1992 and the show immediately broke the mold for reality television. The premise was simple, but completely new at the time: put seven strangers in a house together in New York City and document their lives and relationships.
Viewers everywhere watched as the original cast members Andre Comeau, Becky Blasband, Eric Nies, Heather Gardner, Julie Gentry, Kevin Powell, and Norman Korpi partied it up, tried to live somewhat civilly with each other in tight quarters, and explored what it meant to live in NYC with sometimes explosive effects.
Almost three decades later, a lot has changed for the franchise’s first set of stars. The members of the first season’s cast have changed careers, become activists, and while some went on to become stars, others chose to go back to a normal, private life out of the public eye. In fact, fans of the ’90s reality series might not even recognize some of these OG Real World stars as they are now.
A few members of the cast — Norm, Heather and Julie — reunited at their old loft in 2014 for the first time since filming. “The whole idea that anything would really happen with Real World, that was really not on the radar,” Julie said during the OWN reunion. “I was just thinking that I would have rent paid for while I studied dance, and that would be my springboard.”
“We were all worried, like are they really going to film us in the bathroom?” Norm joked. “And then they filmed me in the bathtub!”
“We quickly figured out that there had to be a plot every week,” said Julie. “We also knew that they had the right to fictionalize.” While the show made it look like Julie and model Eric “hooked up every week,” she revealed that was never the case. “No, Eric and I never had any kind of chemistry like that, but the producers were using stereotypes to cast us” and Julie seemed to be cast as “the virgin,” which made for an interesting plotline of a steamy romance with “the male model.”
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Upon their visit, the trio noticed the loft changed quite a bit while inhabited by Winston Churchill’s granddaughter, artist Edwina Sandys. Walls had been moved around, and the kitchen was completely gutted and remodeled. In June 2019, the loft was put up for sale for a whopping $7.5 million. The 6,500-square-foot, five-bedroom and five-bathroom loft is based in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, so if you’re a huge Real World fan — and have a huge budget — you could own a piece of MTV history!
Scroll through the pictures below to see the cast then and now!
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