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'Faking It' stars address polarizing hookup: 'We totally understand why you're angry'

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Faking It
Scott Everett White/MTV

Here’s what you may have missed last season on Faking It: In order to gain popularity, best friends Amy and Karma pretended to be a lesbian couple, but Karma was secretly hooking up with cool guy Liam, while Amy slowly started to realize that she has feelings for Karma. It all imploded when Liam discovered they weren’t actually lesbians, and Karma rebuffed Amy’s true feelings. Drunk and angry, Liam and Amy hopped in the sack in what is best described as one of the most polarizing scenes this year.

Now that you’re all caught up, EW hit the set of the MTV comedy to find out if the dynamic duo’s relationship will ever be the same. Stars Katie Stevens and Rita Volk address the scene that made everyone scream at their televisions, tease what’s in store for season 2, and share how they took a crash course in becoming best friends:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: A lot of viewers had a very strong reaction to Amy sleeping with Liam in the finale. What’s your take on what happened?

Katie Stevens: The way that I see it is people need to remember that these characters are 15 years old. Yes, we do some risqué, crazy things, but it’s the nature of the show. Looking at it as a viewer, I would look at it as Amy is questioning. [Executive producer Carter Covington] was very good in the first season as not labeling her as a lesbian because it was her being confused. Her having sex with Liam was coming out of her being drunk, angry and upset. I think in no way shape or form were the writers doing it to make Amy straight because Amy is not straight. It’s good when people get angry at something because it means they’re invested in the characters. Now we have a second season to pick up the pieces and put it back together.

Rita Volk: When that happened, people were quick to judge it as that typical male’s misunderstanding of what a lesbian is and what a lesbian relationship is, which I understand and I agree with if we came out and said she’s a lesbian, but she’s figuring it out. She doesn’t know. This is all new for her. She’s only attracted to Karma, which people lost sight of. Amy didn’t wake up and say, “I like girls.” She likes Karma. She has feelings for this one girl. It doesn’t mean that everything is off the table. But I definitely understand people wanting to label her because it’s such a special character and there’s a deficit of characters like that out there. She’s not straight. She’s not going to be straight. What happens on the road to that is very organic for her to go back and forth to try to figure it out before she labels herself as something.

What would you say to the fans who screamed at their TVs after the finale?

Stevens: We totally understand why you’re angry. We get it.

Volk: [Laughs] Katie’s like, “Back off!”

Stevens: No! Not at all. We get it. I love it because it means that they’re passionate about our show and invested in our characters. I want them to know that “Karmy” lives. The series is based around Amy and Karma’s friendship, so that was one of the goals of the writers is that they’re not going to let that die. No matter what happens in the course of the show, Karma and Amy’s friendship is always going to be there. I don’t want them to fear.

Volk: In order to really emphasize how close these girls are and how special their friendship is, something bad had to happen. It just sets up this whole new relationship for them in a good way. If they can overcome this betrayal on both ends—everybody messed up, everybody made a mistake—that’s going to show how strong they are. We’re going to redeem ourselves.

Stevens: I’m glad we have a season 2 though, because I would’ve been angry if we only had season 1 and that was the end of it.

Volk: I would’ve been pissed. Oh my God. I would’ve killed the writers for it.

Stevens: Well, not that. We don’t want you to go to jail.

Karma now knows how Amy feels about her, how does that change their relationship?

Stevens: It’s never happened to me, so I can’t speak to real life, but I know the bond between Karma and Amy, they’ve been friends forever, that friendship can’t end over something like that. What I like about this season is that Karma is determined to keep that friendship and that’s a big theme of episode 1 of this season. Karma tries to keep their friendship alive and say, “I know how uncomfortable this can be, but we need to stay friends. I can’t not have you in my life.” They’re going to go through ups and downs. Karma is going to be sensitive to the fact that Amy has those feelings, but she just wants to keep that friendship and be able to work through her feelings for her.

Volk: For Amy, she’s going to go between, “Should I have told her? Should I not have told her?” She’s always going to question that because as soon as things start getting better, that comes back to her mind. “Oh my God, this isn’t just my best friend, this is a girl that I have feelings for. How do I act? What do I say?” Now things that were harmless before just amplify into something else. In her heart of hearts, she’s definitely glad that that’s out there because no matter how hard it would be to have it out there and have to deal with this new relationship that they have, it’s better than having her bottle it up and have that fester. That would be the worst thing.

Amy is now keeping a very large secret. Does she regret sleeping with Liam?

Volk: Definitely. She regrets it because she knows she’s made a big mistake. She knows she’s bonded with Liam because of their mutual hurt over Karma, who they’re both in love with. And that’s an interesting relationship that’s going to develop, too, between Amy and Liam. It’s going to be ironic because they were on totally opposite ends of the poll, and now they’re brought together by this secret that’s killing them. She’s not happy about it. She knows it’s a mistake. It’s not like she wakes up and thinks, “I think I might like this guy.”

How will Karma feel if she finds out?

Stevens: I’m excited because my Twitter mentions last season were: “Screw you Karma.” “What are you doing, Karma?” Open your eyes, Karma.” “You’re an idiot.”

Volk: You mean you didn’t like that? [Laughs]

Stevens: I got a lot of that last season and feel like this season, oh how the tables have turned. Karma is not going to be with Liam at the beginning, obviously. It’s going to be her coming to Amy and trying to be the best friend possible that she can be because she realized where she went wrong last season in her actions and not thinking about the consequences. Now, it’s going to be her putting aside her feelings and putting aside the fact that she really does want to be with Liam, and making it about her and Amy’s friendship. All the while, she’s being a great friend to Amy and doesn’t realize what has happened. I think it’s Karma’s turn to be felt bad for, which I’m excited about. [Laughs]

How will Amy be exploring her sexuality further this season?

Volk: She’s going to be doing it—

Stevens: Not doing it, doing it. [Laughs]

Volk: Yeah, she’s going to be exploring herself. She’s going to really try to move on from Karma and really try and figure it out. She does realize that she likes girls. There are going to be other females that come into the show that she could potentially be with. That’s the side that she’s going to go for. I hope that she finds someone who can love her back in a way that Karma can’t love her, and who can give her that outlet in a healthy way. She’s going to have her moment where things will get a lot better and more clear for her.

Is there a chance Karma may explore her sexuality outside of men?

Stevens: I don’t know, but I can’t say that you should rule it out. She’s still in love with Liam. If it was five years from now, she’d look at Liam as being the first person she fell for. This season, it’s her struggle with, “How do I be a friend to Amy and try to bury my feelings for Liam because I can’t be with him and keep my friendship with Amy?” I don’t know the course of the show in seasons to come. I don’t think that Karma is a lesbian, but I think she can be curious about what that entails. If her love for Amy is just love as a friendship or could she possibly love her more?

Because the show has become so important to the LGBT community, have you had a lot of people coming up to you and sharing their stories?

Volk: Yeah. We’ve had fans raise their hands [at panels] and say they’re glad that something like this is on TV because growing up they didn’t have a resource like this. I’ve gotten fan letters from girls who are like 12 or 13 who have already realized that they are lesbians and were basically like, “I went through this whole process of self harm or these very, very dark times of bullying,” and they’re happy that they could see something on television that represents them. To hear that from such a young demographic and to know that you’re a part of something that’s helping them to not feel alone is so surreal. It’s not something we expected. We went into it knowing it’s a great concept. When you get all those responses, it opens up your eyes to what you’re actually doing and it’s awesome.

Stevens: One of the most heartfelt and memorable moments of a fan interaction that we had was we did a screening at the LGBT center in Hollywood. This was before the show even premiered. We had the Trevor Project there and we did a panel at the end. There was a girl in the front row who raised her hand and said, “I don’t have a question, but I just wanted to say thank you for making this show because I realized I was a lesbian when I feel in love with my best friend in high school.” Before the show even aired, we knew we were making something special, but it’s a really awesome and rewarding feeling to know that we are actually portraying people’s experiences. Rita is able to be that person that’s a beacon of hope for these kids growing up and struggling with who they are and figuring out what they like and don’t like, and being able to watch our show and see that it’s OK to be exactly who you are.

Volk: I feel like I’m in a community now. I feel like I’ve been accepted into something that’s way bigger than myself.

Did you guys know each other before the show or did you have to do a crash course in being best friends?

Volk: We went out for the same part.

Stevens: We went out for Karma and then at the final audition, they were like, “Clearly, Rita is Amy.”

Volk: Clearly. [Laughs]

Stevens: Her and I had spoke when we were going out for the auditions. We were like, “Let’s not be bitches.” Whoever gets Karma, we look different, it won’t be a reflection of our acting ability. When we found out that we both got both roles, we immediately went to dinner together and started hanging out.

Volk: We really wanted to get to know each other and realize that the casting was so perfect. There are so many elements of Karma that is Katie and there are so many elements of Amy that is me. It worked out perfectly.

Stevens: We’re super cheesy, and we’ll just look at each other and be like, “Thank you for being wonderful.” No offense, but I could’ve wound up with someone who was a total bitch playing Amy.

Volk: True. I can’t even imagine because I literally see her all the time. I have to be with her a lot, so if she wasn’t tolerable, I would not be happy.

Stevens: If I hated you, that would suck.

Since you didn’t know each other, was the first kiss awkward?

Volk: I think it was more awkward not because I had to kiss her, but because it was so technical because it was such a moment. That kiss was going to be in the commercials and on the posters.

Stevens: We had to practice before we actually shot it because we started laughing.

Volk: On camera kissing is very different.

Stevens: It’s not as real.

Volk: We did it the first time and they were like, “OK, that looks too real. Tone it down. This isn’t Girls Gone Wild.”

Faking It returns Sept. 23 at 10:30 p.m. on MTV

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