Every week, Erin and Sara Foster, the creators and stars of VH1’s Barely Famous (Wednesdays at 10 p.m.), will reveal the best from behind the scenes of their faux-reality show in a conversation with EW. This week, the sisters dish on the fourth episode of the season, “Death of a Relationship,” in which Erin falls for her older boyfriends son, and Sara battles with the nanny that slept with her husband.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In the opening of the episode you run into Brooke Burke. How open was she to slamming Dancing With the Stars?
SARA FOSTER: We were very clear that the only way that we were gonna do a bit was if we acknowledged what actually happened and she was like, “Sounds good, great.” Obviously it wouldn’t have been funny to have a run-in where we were blowing smoke. She doesn’t seem to have a bitter attitude toward it though; she just thought it was hilarious. The whole Dancing with the Stars aspiration just plays into my character’s willingness to do anything to stay barely relevant.
ERIN FOSTER: She was hilarious. I think it seemed to me that it was something that was hard at the time, but she’s grateful now for what she’s gone on to do, so she’s able to laugh about it. Plus, she’s a grown woman with five kids and has more important things to focus on. She’s just really cool.
The cheating scandal storyline was fantastic. How did you come up with the idea for the cheating nanny to get famous?
SARA: That was actually a storyline that we had last year on the table that never really made the cut. Erin and I both knew that we wanted to play into the nanny cheating with Sara’s husband, getting the five seconds of press and milking it for all it was worth. We really wanted to make fun of the nanny overall.
ERIN: Well, also how America embraces those people, which is strange. Once people get in the public eye, other people are just insatiable and eat it up.
SARA: Once we got into the editing room, the storyline just wasn’t flowing the way it should have. Unfortunately, we had to cut several scenes like one where I held a press conference to address the scandal and then the nanny shows up, having the camera’s all turn to her.
ERIN: Right! The other part of that storyline that had to be cut was that Sara kept saying that she was so upset about the affair, but she couldn’t really produce tears over it. She’s doing these press conferences and just can’t produce tears to seem genuine, but then the nanny comes by and starts crying and gets all of the genuine sympathy. Basically, Sara just can’t win.
Bringing in Dr. Phil McGraw to be a part of the skit seemed fitting. How easily does he tap into comedy?
ERIN: He has a really great sense of humor. One day, I met up with my dad for dinner and he happened to be eating with Dr. Phil — they’re friends. I sat with them for an hour and he was just so charming. After we hung out, he and his wife watched the show and emailed us to say they thought it was so funny. At that poin,t it seemed like a natural fit because we needed a character to bring out Sara’s “Ah ha!” moment. Now, the problem with pulling in another show like Dr. Phil is that we can’t film in that studio space, so we had to bring him to us as a home visit.
NEXT: Working with ‘the most interesting man in the world,’ and how to spot fame mongers