Jesse Brune: Interview

It seems like it would be a weird dynamic to have a friendship with Jackie and having her be your boss, and there's this reality show...

Yeah, it's so weird. It's really, really, really, really weird. As the episodes progress, we have to deal with that more. There's kind of a romance blooming between Jackie and a staff member, sort of. And with me and Jackie, it's hard not to take things personally. And, when we're filming, you have to understand, when we're filming, we're forced to be around each other so much more than what we normally would be, especially professionally. So, Jackie and I are buddies, you know? We hang out socially and we're just friends. So when there's so much time together professionally, the line gets a little hazy.

Yeah, I always had problems when I had a corporate job and was working on my novel, and your boss would be your friend, but as soon as there was any conflict with work, they'd switch over to, 'Well, I know you'd rather be working on your novel, but this is your job.' And it would be like, Whoa...

It's weird because Jackie owns the gym that I train at. But all the clients, except training a lesbian couple for SkyLab, which is Jackie's weight loss concept thing, all the people I train at the gym are my own clients. So, really, I'm just paying rent. In a way, she's my boss, but in a way she's not because they're my clients.

So, she's more like your landlord.

Yeah, she's like a landlord. And, clearly, for the show, we're creating a story of a woman who owns a gym and what happens in the gym, but that's where the line gets skewed a bit, because it's weird, and when the cameras start rolling, you just care more. It almost becomes an elimination show and you're afraid that you can lose your job at any time. You sort of become super-conscious of that and, it's strange because Jackie doesn't give a shit. She's just like, 'Do your job. Train your clients. That's fine.' She's not out to fire you, but as soon as the cameras get on you, you're like, 'Is she going to fire me? Is she going to fire me because we're friends and friends can't really work with one another? What's going to happen?' And you just feel like the producers are back there going, 'Ooh, I hope she fires someone. That'd be really good drama.' You know?

And what is the range? How many months of filming equals a season?

We started filming in November, and it was really funny because we got the word that we got picked up and, usually, when you get the word that you got picked up, that's when you go on your diets and start getting in shape, but they said, 'OK, we're going to start in three weeks.' So, we're like, 'Holy shit!' We had no time whatsoever to really prepare ourselves physically or emotionally or mentally. And I think that's why the show is brilliant, because they caught us all off guard.

This season can really be the emotional decline of the Sky Sport and Spa. And we just stopped filming last week. Considering we had a tragedy in the cast, which was very unfortunate. So, in honor of him and in honor of everybody's feelings, we shut down production for a couple of weeks. Just so everyone can take a moment to sift through it. I have to say I was really pleased with the way that the production handled Doug's death. There was not a moment where they tried to capitalize on his passing or anything like that for the sake of television.

Really, the producers are like family. And Lauren Alvarez, who is pretty much the producer who is putting the stories together, is such a wonderful, sensitive person, and very sensitive to people's feelings, just full of respect. I have to imagine that it's not like most reality shows. I don't feel completely manipulated. I was surprised at the first couple episodes, because I was like, 'I hope I look better as the season progresses. I hope I get redeemed.' But I do remember there was one day where we spent the entire day filming apology scenes I was doing for people in the cast.