Have you ever wanted to interview Ben Higgins and his fiancée Lauren Bushnell from season 20 of “The Bachelor”? What questions would you want to ask them? Have you ever wanted to have an unscripted conversation with this lovely couple? I had this opportunity along with 24 other bloggers and it was a fascinating, eye opening expereince. Keep reading to see if you think there will be a Happily Ever After for Ben & Lauren.
“Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?,” airs Tuesdays (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on Freeform.
Not Everything Is Scripted
Ben talks to the group about the second episode of Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? and touches on the theory that the whole series is run off a script. We had just screened Episode 2 so we had the episode fresh in our mind. It was fun to ask them questions and get their natural reactions.
Ben:I think, even after our first episode, social media was saying, ‘Oh, it’s so scripted. It’s so this. And I’m thinking just wait until you see next week, because nothing about that was fake.
When she, when I got the phone call — and it was funny, because I’m sitting there, and I get this phone call, and I answer it. ‘Hey! will you sing the National Anthem? Will you do the first pitch? My immediate reaction was, NO. I’m a terrible singer. But because we were doing a reality television show, do I even have the option to say no? I hang up and look at Lauren.
Are you serious?
She said yeah. sing the National Anthem.
Lauren: Why’d you say yes?
Ben: Um, I was so nervous I really was. I was sick to my stomach.
We wanted to know if Ben had pranked Lauren back yet. Lauren is a practical jokester so we thought for SURE he had gotten his revenge on her.
Ben:I try to, when we do press. Because then it’s live. I try to drop little bombs on her where she has to try to fix herself. For example I say that she loves Cher. She doesn’t love Cher but then she will get asked to sing a Cher song. I try to get her back. She is good.
How long did you have your renaissance fair obsession for, since you’ve been a little boy?
Ben: Since I was a little boy. We had the best day. It really was. I think one of the coolest parts is showing Lauren that people can just be completely, for lack of a better term, weird. Just be somebody else for a day and everybody acts in character, nobody’s judging you for anything. I think that’s the coolest part. You can go there, be something completely different. Then you go back home, take off you costume and you’re mowing the lawn.
Lauren: We were talking if we have kids one day, it will be so fun to take then to the fair because all the little girls are taking pictures of the other princesses.
You guys live in Denver. What are you guys doing in LA right now?
Lauren: Press. We’re doing press. We just did Mario Lopez Today, and The Reel yesterday, Access Hollywood, all that good stuff. So we did press last week, in New York, and then this week is LA.
Ben: It’s one of the most tiring parts of this stuff is like, when it’s all done because we just ended filming last week. Yeah. We just ended last week. And like, the follow-up. So in New York we did, we were up in New York at like, five a.m., and you go to usually, like, seven at night. And it’s just all day, nonstop media outlets, press, interviews, question and answers. Um, but it’s, it’s fun, too, ‘cause we get to meet a lot of cool people, and even doing this, like, being able to, like, go on The Reel, and sit in front of all these people, and have, like, talk to ‘em, it was hilarious. It was great.
Do you have holiday plans, or is that too much overwhelming to think about?
Lauren: I think we finally figured it out a little bit. Both of our families live in different places, and it’s just something that probably a lot of couples go through. His family’s in Indiana, mine’s in Portland. So I think we’re going to alternate Thanksgivings. And then hopefully every Christmas, we’ll try to go both places. That is the one great thing about this show. It has allowed us to have a little bit more flexibility when we’re not filming, so we can take two weeks around the holidays, and go to each separate household. That’s kind of the plan, as of now.
Any plans for Halloween? Dressing up?
Ben:We have big plans. So we are leaving LA and we have a couple stops. We go to Chicago, then Tampa for my job, and then we’re going on a little vacation to a getaway. We are going to the islands for a full week. For the first time. It’s our first vacation.There’s going to be nobody with us, other than ourselves. We’re just going to stay through Halloween.
Our conversation turned to Lauren and her love of a good prank.
Lauren: My go-to prank isn’t really a prank, but I like to hide behind the corner of the sofa and jump out. And every time, he jumps!
Ben took this opportunity to share with us an example of how Lauren is intent on making him jump, no matter the time involved.
Ben:So we’re in Indiana with my family, a couple months ago. I see her crawl across the living room floor. I can just see her feet scurrying behind her. She gets behind my parents’ liquor cabinet. And there’s a big window on the other side of the liquor cabinet, and I’m on the other side of the window, and she doesn’t think I can see her, but I can see her feet sticking out. So I just sit down. If she’s going to hide, let’s see how long she can hide for. I think she was there for a good 10 minutes.Waiting for me to open the door.
Lauren: I’m very patient.
Ben: Yeah, she’s resilient. Yeah, she’s very patient. As long as she can get the scare in.
Lauren: But then he ended up scaring me because he saw me. He banged on the window, I was caught in the act.
Our conversation turned to how produced the show was. How much was scripted and how much was set up? Did they have a loose outline of what to do or was it fully scripted, from conversations to activities.
How much of the show is produced?
Ben: Yes, the show has producers. That’s how a television show is made.There is a ton of footage. If you only knew how much they had. And it’s cut down. And a lot of it is produced in post because it. So the story is displayed, and the story is shared.I would even say this with The Bachelor, where we’re getting ready to enter into a situation, and what are we going to talk about? We just can’t sit there the whole time. So some of scenes fill the gap definitely are. But our big life moments, that’s just us doing that. We basically forget the cameras are there.
The interview turned to Former Bachelor contestants Chris Soules and why he went camping with them.
Ben and Lauren head to the woods for a camping trip with some former Bachelor contestants, but all hell breaks loose when villain Chad shows up and threatens to ruin everything, in an all-new episode of Freeform’s original series “Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?,” airing TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on Freeform.
Lauren: When we first met him at JoJo’s, after the final rose, we talked to him, and I just felt so bad for him. I don’t know why. He was sitting there by himself, and no one was talking to him. I just felt bad. I’m not saying that his actions were acceptable. But I just felt bad. Because you don’t know how much of it is what he’s going through at home, or behind the closed door, so I just wanted to talk to him.I thought he was very likeable, in my conversation with him. So, we invited him to go camping, and obviously he’s done things that are so out of line, very clearly out of line –And acted a certain way, especially on social media. That’s a whole ‘nother thing that he’s really taken on, himself. It was interesting. I think I saw, maybe a different side of him, but I also, for sure, saw why so many people have had run-ins with him.
We also asked Ben & Lauren if they hung out with other members of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I have often wondered this. It is wort of like a fraternity or a sorority. They have a shared experience that few other people have. Common ground is the start of a friendship.
Ben: We do. I think for a couple reasons. There are people from my season of The Bachelorette that I just don’t talk to, but there’s people I talk to quite often. Same with Lauren and our season of The Bachelor. We have a shared experience, that not a lot of people can relate with. And it does change you. The Bachelor isn’t easy to do. It isn’t easy to go through. Some of the people that have been the most supportive of our relationship are people, like the twins. They would just, wrapped us up in their arms. They are so happy for us. They’ve seen us progress, and they’ve seen us in tears and the emotions of it all. They are some awesome people. And the cool part is, with the show, for at least this short season of life, we get to do some really fun things. We get to go to events together, we get to go on a trip together. It helps if you like the people. So I’d say yes, we do hang out, and the twins are a part of our episodes, because they’re a part of our life, a lot.
What’s been the hardest thing about falling in love, and now moving towards this wedding on camera?
Ben:I think that was the hardest part for me, is because you come out of this and you’re so happy. I remember that feeling of getting down on one knee with Lauren and knowing that I didn’t have to break up with anybody anymore. This worked! How did this work? I ended up with this woman that I’m so in love with and I know is going to be the person I spend my life with. How is she on this show? Then the next day, you wake up, and you start to realize how much all of the stuff that happened on the show is actually going to affect our relationship. The fact that I didn’t tell Lauren that I told somebody else I loved her. The fact that I did date a bunch of other people at the same time I dated Lauren. The fact that I’m still a bachelor in everybody’s eyes, for the next five months.
So, as we’re engaged, and we’re falling in love, and we’re actually starting to actually date for the first time, and we’re sharing these moments together, some of my hardest moments as a bachelor is when I was stressed out or when criticism would occur. But I couldn’t necessarily bring it home to Lauren. Because, we had our own stuff going on, when it came to the show. And so it, it is a difficult time. That was the hardest on me, because there’s not an easy way. I never wanted to tell her, ‘Hey, I didn’t do that, or Hey, the show produced that, or Hey, that was edited that way because it wasn’t.
My strategy was to tell her everything, right away. As truthful as I could. Let it sit, let it settle, and we’ll work through it as we went. I think, I would tell any bachelor that ends up with somebody he really cares about, or any bachelorette, to do that. Because it wasn’t easy, but it works.
I wondered if you guys ever talk about what you talked about to the cameras, so you’re not surprised when you watch the show?
Lauren: We don’t really keep a lot from each other. Most of the things I think we’ve said to camera on interviews, are things that we’ve actually already discussed, but not because we didn’t have the discussion before we do press. This is a big part of our life, and so we talk about it a lot. We’re both pretty up front about each other, with each other and honest. I think maybe we sometimes even over communicate. There’s never anything that I was like, ‘oh gosh, you said that?’ And even with The Bachelor, when he was the bachelor, I was never shocked by anything that happened. Which was good, because I didn’t feel like I was, betrayed any way or lied to. But it was also hard to relive those things.
Watch #BenandLauren and know we have a really good relationship. I think we're trying to do things the right way.… Click To Tweet
Ben: One thing to remember, as you watch Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After, is we have a really good relationship. I think we’re trying to do things the right way. Trying to take time.
But there was MORE!
We learned about ‘The Letter’ after we had our interview with Ben and Lauren.
“The Letter” is a bold, new relationship show that asks the simple question: “If you could anonymously tell your best friend in a letter the things that he or she really needed to hear, would you do it?” In each stand-alone episode, four friends draw names and anonymously write to the selected person a thoughtful, yet totally honest letter outlining their opinion of what needs to be changed in order to improve and transform their friend’s life for the better. For one week, each “reader” must follow all the rules and instructions outlined in the letter – culminating in a dramatic and emotionally charged meeting where the authors of each letter reveal themselves to their best friends. The series is narrated by actress Zelda Williams (“Dead of Summer”).
Do you think you could do it?
Do you think you could write a letter like these friends have written?
Could you READ a letter like this that your friend had written.
What do you think it will do to your relationship?
Could you handle it Would you WANT to handle it?
These are all questions that were running through my head when I watched the clip above.
Don’t miss an ALL NEW episode of The Letter Tuesday at 9/8c on Freeform!
Part of the Disney|ABC Television Group, Freeform connects to audiences and goes beyond entertainment with bold original programming and immersive social engagement. The network delivers a unique mix of quality original and acquired series, plus fan favorite movies and the holiday events “13 Nights of Halloween” and “25 Days of Christmas.” The Freeform app is a service that allows viewers with participating TV subscription services access to 24/7 live viewing of the network, as well as continued on-demand access via a wide array of devices.