'UnREAL's' Freddie Stroma: Adam Is "Selling Himself Out Just as Much as the Girls Are"

"He's trying to claw his way back to being something respectable, but I think he’s also in a world where that’s pretty difficult to do," Stroma tells THR.
Photo by James Dittiger/Lifetime

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Monday's episode of UnREAL: "Wife."]

Well, it seems like the contestants aren’t the only ones compromising their morals for Everlasting.

Monday’s episode of Lifetime’s UnREAL saw the fake reality show-within-a-show visit Adam’s (Freddie Stroma) less-than-picturesque vineyard. The episode also showed just what lengths the British bachelor would go to in order to step out of his father’s shadow.

Even though Rachel (Shiri Appleby) and Jeremy (Josh Kelly) helped Adam turn his diamond in the rough into something romantic and lush for the show’s date, the transformation wasn’t enough to woo Adam’s potential investors. Once again unable to break free from his father, Adam made a deal with the devil Chet (Craig Bierko) and his powerful Napa Valley, Calif., buddy who wanted to make the vineyard an Everlasting-branded property. The only catch? Adam had to sleep with the man’s wife while he and Chet looked on.

“What’s nice about this show is that that everyone has these low points and then high points,” Stroma tells The Hollywood Reporter of Adam’s desperate decision. "He’ll have a few more revealing moments, and then he’ll throw it away again, I’m sure. [This is] definitely his low point."

How will this affect Adam, and the show, going forward? THR caught up with U.K. native Stroma to talk about his character's daddy issues, a potential Adam-Jeremy-Rachel love triangle and more.

This episode, we see Adam go to some extreme lengths, essentially prostituting himself, to get financing for his vineyard. How far will Adam go to prove himself and spite his father?

The essence of Adam is that he’s doing this because he wants independence from his father. That’s his thing. [In the episode,] you see what lengths the girls go through to try to win this thing and all the ways they sell themselves out, so it was nice to see that Adam’s also in the same boat. He’s selling himself out just as much as the girls are. One of the themes you can see throughout with all these kids [from exceedingly rich families] is they are trying to find independence and find out who they are, separate from their parents.

He’s pretty nonchalant about the whole thing at first. Will he continue to brush it off and maintain a tunnel vision toward his goal, or will these compromises eventually catch up to him?

He’s not really too remorseful about it. Just the kind of character he is — he was caught with hookers in hotel rooms and the rest of it — to him, it [wasn’t] that big of a deal. Him brushing it off to Rachel in that episode, he’s trying to save face. It definitely does hurt [a bit], but he just doesn’t want anyone to know about it.

Will we see more of his family and past going forward?

You will get a glimpse of some of my family further down the line, which is pretty exciting. You see a little bit more of Adam and where he comes from and his whole lifestyle.

With the show — and Adam — so cynical about love, is there any possibility that a real relationship may develop from Everlasting? Perhaps even with Rachel?

There’s a possibility, for sure. He’s a very misguided guy, and he’s trying to figure out whether that’s real as well. This whole world they’ve been living in, everyone is constantly lying, including Rachel, so he has moments where he thinks the relationship with Rachel could really become something, and then he’s also very worried about that because she’s such a fantastic liar and manipulator. It’s very hard to tell what’s real and what’s not.

So far, they’ve been very flirty with each other, but there’s also her history with Jeremy. Will we continue to see some development on that front?

She’s lied to him, he’s lied to her, they flirt with each other. They’re very similar characters. Jeremy, her ex, is more of a decent guy, much more moral. She has those differences between Adam, who is more like her, who’s this fantastic liar and manipulator, [and Jeremy]. A lot of people have that. They have people who might be like them, and there are others who might be a safer option and are actually more of a stand-up guy. What does she want in life?

Viewers have seen quite a bit of you in these first four episodes. Did they warn you when you got the part how often you wouldn’t be wearing clothes?

(Laughs.) No, they didn’t. There was none of that, no warning. I had a few friends who watched a few reality dating shows, and they said that those guys usually get their tops off and they get all slo-mo and TV shots. They always have hot-tub scenes. (Laughs.)

UnREAL airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.

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