The Cast Of Forever Summer: Hamptons On Their 'Memorable Summer' - Exclusive Interview

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How many times have you been enjoying the summer breeze and quality time with your friends when one of you has said, "We should really have our own TV show"? While the chances of that happening are a bit slim, and not every friend group would make for dramatic and captivating television, that was the case for the cast of the coming-of-age docusoap, "Forever Summer: Hamptons." 

Dropping this week on Prime Video, the engaging and entertaining series follows both the wealthy city kids of New York and the Hamptons' own locals as their worlds collide for the summer. Friendships form, love is tested, and the gang goes from waiting tables during the day to ripping through the town at night — if it sounds like the summer plans you always wanted to have when you were younger, this show is definitely worth tuning in to.

Life doesn't take form of the endless summer that so many of us hope to have, and as the season dwindles away, reality starts to set back in for the cast. How will they navigate all the challenges that life presents when the beach and carefree days are behind them? Like any good reality TV fan, we needed answers, so we sat down with cast members Emelye Ender, Avery Solomon, Ilan Luttway, and Habtamu 'Habs' Coulter to get the low down on all things "Forever Summer: Hamptons." How did this opportunity present itself to the cast? Are they ready for their public worlds to change once the show drops? We got the answers you're looking for during our exclusive interview with the stars of "Forever Summer: Hamptons."

How did the cast of Forever Summer: Hamptons find themselves on-camera?

Before we dive into me asking you about your personal lives that you share on camera, I'd love to know how this opportunity presented itself to you all. Take me back to those early days into the casting process.

Ilan: I can start. I was working a data analytics job unpaid, not really enjoying it and spending nine hours a day doing something that I didn't really think that I loved. I'm a computer science major at [The University of] Michigan, so I felt like it was the right thing for me to do. Basically, I had a friend from Michigan that knew someone that could get me an interview. It was one of those things where it was so out of my ballpark and not something that anyone [or I] ever thought that I would ever do, but when I thought about it, it brought me a little bit of joy and excitement and nervousness. It was something that I felt like I had to do or else I would never forgive myself. I'm so happy that I did because I literally had the best summer of my life and I wouldn't exchange it for anything.

Emelye: One of the crazy characters on the show, [Reid Rubio],  got me into it and put me in contact with the producer. I'm really grateful for that, and you'll see how he acts on the show. He's one of the best characters, but yeah, it was cool. I feel like I couldn't not take this opportunity and I'm really glad I did.

Why the experience still feels 'surreal' to the cast

Avery: It still honestly feels pretty surreal. Once it comes out, I'm still going to be like, "Wait, this isn't real. No." I took a chance and the same thing [as the others], I would never have pictured myself ever doing something like this, but thank god that I did because I fell in love with it. I had the best time ever, and it was truly one of the most memorable summers of my life.

Habs: I was just coming out of high school. I just graduated and they DMed me on Instagram. They literally slid into my DMs and they gave me a phone number. I talked for a little bit and I didn't even tell my parents about it. I went, tried it, and I was like, "This could be cool. Why not try it?" I spoke to my friends about it and I was like, "Guys, I think I'm going to do it," and they're like, "Be careful. It's reality TV. Be careful." They were wrong.

This show is different. The way that they were able to put together situations or scenarios, it wasn't like it was too forced. It was guided, but it was not forced. There was no [scenario like] you have to do anything. I didn't have to say anything I didn't want. There wasn't too much drama. We weren't forced to stay under one house at the end of the night. The show would've gone haywire if we did, because ... I don't think I could have stayed in that house. I'm not going to lie, I probably would've gone home, but it is real and raw, baby.

The cast reflects on life in front of the cameras and vulnerability on-screen

As you said, it's reality TV, but this has the docu-soap feel to it. What was it like for you all to find yourselves on camera, and what about the filming process came as a surprise or a challenge to you all?

Avery: The most shocking thing for me is that you don't believe it until you're actually in this situation, but you really forget that the cameras are there. They're these giant two-foot things that you can't even imagine forgetting them, but you do. You get so involved in these conversations and hanging out with people that it is real and authentic, and by the end of it when they call cut, it's like, "Oh, it's over. I completely forgot you guys were there."

Emelye: I was surprised about how close we became with the crew and all of us in general. All of them are amazing and it didn't feel weird because we were friends with them, basically. It didn't feel weird having them behind the cameras. It was very natural.

Habs: It was very comfortable. [Whether it was] the production crew or the cast, we felt very comfortable with the people filming us. I wouldn't say some of the things I would say, even in front of my friends or family, but I did it in front of the camera because I put it aside and I was like, "I'm going to do what I do." It worked out well and I really enjoyed the whole experience last summer.

Ilan: Trust was built in a really special way on the show — especially the production and everyone, we all became friends. It felt like we were all hanging out. At the beginning, it was definitely a little bit awkward, getting into the whole thing, but by the end of it, you don't even realize that the cameras are there. It's actually the craziest thing ever. They always say that. And I'm sure it's not the case for most shows, but for us, we were there vibing and having fun.

The cast was surprised at the level of comfort they found with production

You spoke a little bit to authenticity. In retrospect, would you say that you brought your authentic selves to the camera? Were you hyper aware of your own behavior because there was a camera following you? Talk to me a little bit about that dynamic.

Ilan: I have a really hard time not being honest and I'm a little bit too honest, sometimes, and you'll see that in the show. I have a hard time not saying how I feel. I definitely think you'll see that authenticity when you watch the show because it's raw, it's real, and you can feel it. My feelings the entire time are real. The things that I was projecting were real, and when that's faked, you see it. What do you guys think?

Emelye: All of our characters were pretty authentic. I felt like I was myself. Everything felt natural.

Habs: I agree with that. The word "natural" is huge because let's say we were to work at Dockers. We would've done the exact same thing in our friendships. We would've started hanging out there naturally, but we were filming there once a week and it was a great experience. We'd go out and party, and then we'd have more experiences and our relationships would get stronger and then they all went off and did their own thing, but it was great to have a summer to show you guys.

The friends are looking to the future beyond the screen

You mentioned a little bit about not being able to believe that this is the life path that you're on. And when the show hits the waves and takes the streaming world by storm, in what ways are you excited, nervous, anxious, et cetera for the world to see this kind of intimate look into your lives?

Avery: We're going to be seeing it for the first time along with everyone else. I don't even know. I am excited, but a little nervous too, obviously. We were all talking about it because we were like, "Well, this is actually a real thing now." We're all thinking, because we had such a great time with this entire experience, of maybe pursuing something similar to this, whether it's entrepreneurship or media or something. It was a cool little look inside.

Ilan: Totally.

Anyone else want to elaborate on those feelings of what it's going to be like to see it stream?

Ilan: I definitely am nervous. I think what I'm most nervous about, I've never really cared a lot about what the general population thinks of me, but I do care what my friends and close friends think. To that extent, I'm super embarrassed for them to see me, and I have a couple kiss scenes and stuff like that. [I'm mostly worried about] my sister and my mom and my dad, but it's exciting. The nervousness of it all is exciting.

Habs: That adds to how raw it was. My mom was in an episode and I had to expose my family and my experiences and everything. One thing I'm going to say is it is real and it is raw.

Emelye: I feel like it is a little nerve-racking that we haven't seen it yet, but I'm excited.

Avery: It's funny too because everyone does something embarrassing at some point. That's part of life, except ours is captured, so then we always get to remember them, for better or for worse.

Forever Summer: Hamptons will show the messiness that is human nature

What are you hoping viewers will take away from this entire docu-soap?

Habs: They should think about the Hamptons a little differently, from the local's perspective.

Avery: Exactly.

Emelye: They will see all our different conflicts. I hope they connect to us in some way.

Avery: And relate to the ups and downs that everyone kind of goes through.

Emelye: Yeah, life.

Ilan: My favorite part of the show is the ability and comfortability to make mistakes and to take accountability for your actions and for people to forgive you, especially in the cancel culture that we're in. It's super hard to feel like you're stepping on your heels and being on a show [where] you're taking this risk, like, "Can I say this? Can I not say this? Can I make this mistake? Can I not?" To see from the outside that we are making mistakes and to make mistakes is okay. It is super special.

"Forever Summer: Hamptons" premieres on Prime Video on July 15.

This interview has been edited for clarity.