"I Don't Want New Yorkers to Hate Me, I Love New York!" - An Interview with America's Next Top Model's Cassieby Phil Kural -- 11/08/2004
I'd be lying if I said I was expecting my interview with Cassie to be exciting. In fact, I expected Cassie to be the way she came across on the show - very tired. That was not the case at all. Cassie came off very intelligent and set the record straight about many things that we saw on the show. I do believe that Cassie wanted to be there and was just a little homesick from being out of her element for the first time in her life. Find out what Cassie had to say about being on the show, how she was edited, and who she wouldn't mind being a spokeswoman for!
RNO: Are you happy with the way you were edited on the show or do you feel you came across too much of a loner?
Cassie: I can't really complain about the editing because we all went into this knowing that we would be edited and I give credit to whoever had to edit the whole show. The last episode was the only time I really wasn't happy with the way I was edited, but like I said, I'm not going to complain because I was able to have an amazing time that only 13 other girls besides myself got to have this experience. It had its ups and downs, but I don't blame the editors.
RNO: We know now that you didn't enjoy the whole process of the show, but what would you say was the hardest aspect of the entire experience?
Cassie: The hardest thing was the fact that I was portrayed as the girl that was unhappy, and that wasn't the case. The times they showed me on camera I was frustrated when certain things were going on, but everyone had those times. I gained so much from this experience and learned many things in such a short time period. The business is so cut throat, and I knew I would be looked at as either hated or loved. Tyra was so helpful, but the hardest aspect of the experience was the reality TV part. I wasn't happy about it, but it still helped me.
RNO: What did you family and boyfriend think about your time on the show and the way you were portrayed?
Cassie: My mom was a little upset about the whole thing because she knows I'm not an unhappy person and that I'm sweet and like to talk. I felt the same way, but didn't want to offend anyone, especially the editors. My boyfriend knew it wasn't me either, but I think we're past that.
RNO: When it came to your eating habits, do you feel the editing made it look like a bigger deal, or did they portray it pretty accurately?
Cassie: Once again, I don't blame the editing, I blame myself. I should have never brought the whole thing up, and it was never an issue. I don't have an eating disorder. The other girls turned one little statement into a big thing, and then it turned into gossip and when I got wind of it I got upset, and that's what they showed. I've thrown up maybe three or four times in the very distant past and that was only because my stomach hurt and throwing up made me feel better. That turned into a big thing with me having bulimia. I didn't get it.
RNO: Do you feel it was the other girls' place to talk about your eating habits or should they have simply just minded their business?
Cassie: Well, girls talk and that's what they do. I talked about things the other girls did and they did the same about me. I wasn't mad at any of them because like I said - it's what girls do. I just didn't blow up their issues the way they did with mine.
RNO: Do you feel any differently about living in New York now than you did while you were doing the show?
Cassie: I was mad about that because I don't want New Yorkers to hate me! I was frustrated at the time and I wasn't that way the whole time, and they only showed me when I was getting upset about being in New York and not at home. They didn't show me saying that I'd do anything to be a model and I'd move out to New York City in a heartbeat - and that's the truth!
RNO: It seemed like you were always an outsider when it came to bonding with the other girls. Did you ever have a true friendship with any of them?
Cassie: Yes, I did become really good friends with some of the girls and I still keep in contact with Norelle and Jennipher. Jennipher was the one girl that stuck by me when the other girls were talking about me. Also, I'm sure it's hard to believe, but Ann and I email back and forth as well. When you are on the show you learn fast that it's hard to become close with people you are in a competition with. I should have just kept my mouth shut and didn't let things slip out. You do bond, but many shallow friendships formed.
RNO: In your opinion, is there room for a girl like Toccara to make it big in high fashion?
Cassie: In my opinion, Toccara is great and there is room for anyone that has the determination to MAKE high fashion make room for her. Toccara knows she wants to be successful and will do anything for that. With her personality, she can go anywhere.
RNO: Which of your shoots would you say was the most difficult? Which one did you most enjoy?
Cassie: I had so much fun during the Lee jeans shoot because I was being told how sexy I looked and simply for the fact that I love mainstream shoots like that. I'd love to do Sports Illustrated or something like that. The latest picture too, the devil composite I liked as well. The only shot I wasn't happy with was the roller skate shot. It came out so bad and I really hated the shoot. You know what though, everyone has a bad shot at one time or another, and you still have to prove yourself.
RNO: Did everything calm down between Ann and yourself from the time she wrote in your brownies?
Cassie: That whole thing was all over one night and it simmered down after that dinner that we all had. We didn't start talking on a regular basis though until after the show was over, and I always told Ann that I thought she was a great person, but changed when she was around Eva, and even she figured that out. We are pretty good friends now.
RNO: You said before the elimination that you felt it would be Toccara probably going home, but when it came down to you and her at the elimination ceremony did you know it was going to be you going home?
Cassie: Yeah, I pretty much knew the whole day that it was going to be me. You just start to get the feeling, and it's pretty clear who it might be. I had a feeling the judges saw how unhappy I was becoming and how it was starting to have an effect on my shots, so yeah, I knew I was going home.
RNO: Which of the girls would you say is making the most progress? Who doesn't seem to be grasping the whole thing?
Cassie: It's hard to answer that one because everyone makes some kind of progress but it's on their own time. I can't really pick just one girl because like I said, everyone is successful at one point, but it takes some a little longer than others.
RNO: Do you think you have a good chance of being called to be a spokeswoman for Diet Coke?
Cassie: Haha, after watching the show I definitely think I could be a good spokeswoman for Diet Coke, and would love to do so!
RNO: Is your dream of being a top model finished now, or do you still plan on trying to make it in the industry?
Cassie: I never actually said on the show that I didn't want to be a model anymore, and that's the frustrating thing. It's my dream to be a model and I won't allow my elimination on a TV show to conquer that. I'd drop out of school and risk my future to move to New York City and become a successful model. I'm not going to give up even when I'm 50 - then I'll just be an old model!
RNO: Is there anything you would like to say to fans of the show or maybe add something that we didn't get to see?
Cassie: Just let everyone know that I haven't given up, I'm not going to give up and I love New York City!
RNO: Thanks, Cassie!
Phil Kural is a recent graduate from Temple University, with a degree in journalism. You can reach him at email@example.com with any feedback that you may have.
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