Alumna to star in newest MTV’s ”The Real World”

Alumna to star in newest MTV’s ”The Real World”
News Staff Photo/Nathan Vaughn

by Bill Shaner, News Staff

Like almost every university, Northeastern has produced many a scholar, businessman, lawyer and public official. But now Husky Nation has a more rare product to tout: a soon-to-be reality TV star.

Ashlee Feldman, a 2009 graduate with a degree in communication studies and former captain of the women’s basketball team, will star on “The Real World: New Orleans” with seven other young adults from around the country.

The season is set to premier June 30 and will be the 24th season of a program known for its drama, hook-ups and drunken revelry.

Feldman and her roommates shared a house from February to April. The crew arrived two weeks before the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl on their home field, leading into a nearly week-long Mardi Gras celebration. In an interview with The News, Feldman said that timing helped make the show memorable.

“New Orleans is all about the rebuilding and hope,” she said. “I had seen when the Red Sox won. And when [the Saints] won, I was kind of scared for my life a little bit. I thought I was going to get stomped on by a horse. But in New Orleans it was a love fest, everyone was hugging and kissing and passing their drinks. It was literally the experience of a lifetime.”

She said that in the three-month span of recording, she was rarely the center of drama but was notorious for instigating it, eventually winning the nickname “Johnny Drama.”

“You’re in there for three months. You have no TV, no cell phone, no music, no access to any outside news,” she said. “Your roommates become your entertainment, your roommates become your TV.”

She said her experience on the Northeastern basketball team equipped her well for dealing with her “Real World” housemates. The daily ins and outs of the house weren’t too far from the daily activities of her team she said, which in her bio she likened to “babysitting.”

“I think having a situation like that and then being put in ‘The Real World’ helped because you’re so used to being around all different types of people with different attitudes and background and your just forced to come together,” she said.

Feldman gushed about Northeastern, saying she wouldn’t have gone anywhere else. What she was particularly drawn to was “the caliber of people at Northeastern,” including fellow students and professors.

One such professor – Feldman’s favorite – is Ed Klotzbier, the current vice president of student affairs. Klotzbier teaches several communications classes.

He said Feldman being on “The Real World” is a good thing for Northeastern.

“Having a recent graduate on television or on radio creates a nice buzz around the university, around the campus,” he said. “It’s good to see our students doing things, especially graduates.”

Feldman said the most trying aspect was the negative attention the housemates would occasionally receive from New Orleans residents. Some in the blogosphere were particularly hard on Feldman’s physical appearance, saying her cheek bones are too high and lips too big to be natural. But she said that didn’t get her down and the majority of New Orleans welcomed the “Real World” crew for “showing New Orleans off for how it is.”

The fun Feldman had in New Orleans was preceded by what she called a lengthy and exhausting audition process. It started with her submitting two pictures and a few sentences to MTV’s casting crew, then an audition in Fanuiel Hall, then submitting several video auditions and phone calls.

“They knew every single little detail of my life,” she said. “They called my friends, they called my ex-boyfriend. They really got down to the nitty gritty.”

Feldman said she originally decided to audition because it was something she had wanted to do and her roommate moving out gave her the chance to do it.

She described her current situation as a sort of middle period. The only thing left for the show is several appearances and reunions. After that, she hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting and will try to use her fame garnered from “The Real World” as leverage.

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