"UnREAL" viewers were hit with a bombshell on last week's episode of the Lifetime drama when contestant Faith (Breeda Wool) revealed she is not interested in "Everlasting" suitor Adam Cromwell (Freddie Stroma), but her female friend back home. The big reveal came the way of an infamous hometown date -- a la ABC's "The Bachelor" -- on the show's dating competition program. Following the episode's shocking reveal, actress Breeda Wool is talking all about her character and what viewers can expect for the rest of Season 1.
While "UnREAL" fans may have been blindsided by Faith's reveal in episode 5, titled "Truth," Wool says her character's sexuality was never a secret. After signing onto "UnREAL" -- she was attracted to the show's "beautifully crafted, dynamic female roles" -- she used many avenues to help inspire her southern character, including listening to country music.
"I started reading the bible and, well, believing in God. [Executive producer] Sarah Shapiro also gave me 'The L Word: Mississippi' to watch ... The documentary series shows how lesbian couples in the American bible belt face extraordinary emotional, financial, and spiritual detriment when they are open about their sexuality. It was a good reminder to me that Sarah gave me a very important story. I felt very connected to that community while I was making 'UnREAL.' It was a true gift," Wool said.
One thing Wool did not do to prepare for her role: watch reality TV. While "UnREAL" has many parallels to "The Bachelor/Bachelorette" franchises (Shapiro is a former producer for the show) Wool says she refrained from tuning in to similar "Everlasting" programs for the sake of her character.
"I actually didn’t watch any reality dating shows beforehand," Wool addmited. "A lot of the cast watched in order to gain insights and then became completely addicted to them! Because of my role as Faith, I didn’t want to be too savvy to the reality TV game. In my case, I thought the less I knew about it, the better off I would be."
And while Wool did not use reality television as a research tool, she does think it accurately portrays how some unscripted TV shows operate.
"I have some friends in reality TV who have come up to me and told me that it is quite accurate," Wool said. "When I watch reality shows I can certainly see the editing process and how they have pieced together things to make a storyline ... I do feel like reality TV does prey upon people who are willing to do anything for fame. Sometimes it feels like the contestants seem wiling to do anything for that extra little dose of attention."
Despite her character being seemingly genuine, Wool reveals Faith isn't all that sweet and innocent. When asked why she felt her character would throw herself into the world of reality television, Wool hinted she may have been given a bit of incentive from one of the show's producer -- a storyline viewers never saw on "UnREAL."
"Well given that my church, with a little help from 'Everlasting' producer Shia [Aline Elasmar], raised money for me to get breast implants, I would say that I had a lot of pressure from my community to go on this show," she said. "I believe that I was one of the contestants who was scouted more for the show. Some contestants go through a long audition process and some are scouted, or 'closed' by the producers. I think the show saw me as being someone who they could make fun of and laugh at. Rural, small town Americana is a reality TV favorite."
After all of her preparations to play Faith, Wool said her favorite scene to shoot was the sequence shown in episode 5, which premiered June 29. Viewers will remember Faith confessed to Adam that she loves him, only to soon after recount her statement, revealing her true feelings for her friend, Amy.
"In that moment I’m waiting to see if God strikes me down. I had such a fun time trying to understand that relationship with God and my community and what it means, in that moment, to have that release," Wool said. She added that some onset hijinks only added to her overall love for the scene. "We were out on location in this barn, it was a beautiful day, and everyone seemed to be in a happy mood. Well, Shiri Appleby [Rachel] had terrible hay allergies but besides that she was still having fun. That day felt really rewarding."
While Wool may have enjoyed shooting her character's big moment, it has made some fans question if Faith's journey on "Everlasting" will soon come to an end. Well, fear not fans! Wool says that Faith -- whom she claims is one of the few contestants who has benefited from being on the show -- will likely be staying, at least, for now. After all, the producers did have her film a scene in which it appears loses her virginity to Adam.
"I think for a man like Adam, keeping me on after I admitted my feelings for Amy is a great move. I think in the strange world of what is real and 'UnREAL,' Adam and I could have a really good thing going. I don’t think he’s exactly looking for a wife, a real wife anyhow."
As for if her character would star in Season 2, Wool had this response: "Ye haw, an all women lesbian 'Everlasting'! That’s what I’m talking about. Just kidding, I love Amy."
"UnREAL" fans can catch Wool next in the romantic feature "AWOL." In the film Wool stars as a married woman with two children who falls in love with a high school graduate, played by Lola Kirke ("Gone Girl"). The movie is directed by Deb Shoval.
"Its a truly beautiful film and I think even though it is very different from 'UnREAL,' I think fans will love it," Wool said of the project.
"AWOL" premieres in 2016. "UnREAL" airs Mondays at 10 p.m. EDT on Lifetime.