We caught up with Erin and Sara Foster who created and star in VH1’s hit televisions show “Barely Famous.” The second season of “Barely Famous” just aired, featuring six episodes of hilarious parodies of reality TV and Hollywood lifestyles. With its unique and satirical structure, this docu-comedy is definitely one to watch. Erin and Sara spoke to us about their show, and what it’s like collaborating as sisters.
Season 2 of your show “Barely Famous” just aired on VH1 where you hilariously mock reality TV, whose idea was it to create something like this or was it mutual?
Erin: It started as a seed of an idea with me and my management team at 3 Arts. Then after talking to Sara about it we all kind of put our heads together and came up with the structure, the format, and how much would be about the making of the fake show and all of these things and we all came up with it together.
It’s also very creative with the way it’s filmed and the type of comedy that’s shown, I really like that.
Erin: Thank you, it was a long process of figuring out sort of when to use the device of breaking the fourth wall, when to show the crew, and when to cut to an interview and how to use the interviews for storytelling. It took a long time for us to really get that stuff right, but we got there.
When you came up with the idea to do a show like “Barely Famous” did you immediately know how you were going to approach that type of comedy?
Sara: Yeah, we definitely went into it knowing that it was going to be a satire, it was going to be a parody, and we were going to be playing the characters that we ultimately ended up playing. Obviously in the development process things change. You add characters, you take away characters, but for the most part we always knew the essence of our show was going to be what it is now.
You both have some pretty famous relatives who have been involved with reality TV, at what point did you realize that reality TV wasn’t for you?
Erin: We’ve kind of known from the beginning. We’ve known since we were teenagers.
Sara: Yeah, I just think the idea of being on a reality show where people get a glimpse of your private life that it’s not something that Erin and I could ever be on board with. But, our dad is really the only person that has kind of participated in reality TV, no one else from our family has. It was really just our dad that has been kind of on the background of a few different ones.
Was it hard at first to shy away from actually doing a reality show because they’re so common now and you had some producers wanting to do a reality show with both of you?
Sara: There was one particular network that had called our management company asking if that was something that we would ever want to do and it’s just not. I think doing a reality show kind of limits working in the fields that Erin and I both work in. Erin’s a writer and I’m an actress, so I think doing a reality show would hinder being taken seriously in those fields that we have been doing for so many years.
Erin: We never felt conflicted about it. We were always really clear that the show we wanted to make was going to be a satire and was going to make fun of the process. We always wanted to be in on the joke, we never wanted to be actually shooting one.
You play Erin and Sara in the show, but those characters are not exactly who you are in real life. Would you say there are some small similarities or none at all?
Sara: No, we’re very clearly playing characters. I think in some television shows like Louis C.K. and Ricky Gervais’s show they all say “Yeah, they’re sort of versions of ourselves.” I mean yes in the sense that Erin’s a writer and I’m an actress, and we play Sara and Erin Foster. Yes, that is true but my character and Erin’s character are nothing like how we are in real life.
Of course that’s very cool to see because when you watch the show you can easily tell that it’s scripted and you do some improv in it as well, right?
Sara: Yeah, we definitely improv a lot. Erin and I, our characters are pretty brutal, and entitled, and gross. We have a lot of the character traits that we don’t like in people, so that would be really unfortunate if anyone thought that’s who we are. We would have no friends. We would have no friends or a husband if that’s how we actually behaved.
Erin: I don’t have that many friends and I don’t have a husband.
Sara: You can imagine people, not that many people but some have said things like “Oh my gosh, is Erin really dating Zach Braff? Did your husband really sleep with the nanny?” Some people are not the smartest.
Read the entirety of our interview with Erin and Sara Foster by purchasing a copy of our Fall 2016 issue in our online store, here.