It turns out the Real World isn't that rough for reality star Landon Lueck after all. Considering his newfound notoriety and celebrity swag whoring, Landon's strolling down easy street compared with your average twenty-something, who's just starting a career at the bottom of a corporate ladder.
Over a cold beer, in between modeling takes for an MF fashion spread at NYC's East Village staple the Telephone Bar, MFOnline.com waxes philosophical with the Wisconsin native about life after The Real World, sex after fame, and why we think he drinks a little too much.
MFOnline: If you weren't a Real Worlder, how mundane would your life have been?
Landon Lueck: Well, I would have graduated this spring, and I would have gotten my degree in landscape architecture . . . probably would have been moving right now to my job or interning all summer and then would have started a career in Florida or California, so I'd be on my way to the white picket fence a little sooner than I am now.
MF: Everyone knows the MTV landscape is filled with hotties-is there someone on your horizon you haven't hooked up with?
LL: Jamie from San Diego.
MF: That was quick-I guess you've thought about it.
LL: Yeah, I've had a huge crush. She wasn't on very much but she was the sweetest girl and...
MF: Well weren't you two on the last challenge? Why didn't you make a move?
LL: Yeah, sticky situation. At the time she was dating this guy-actually she's still dating him-but at that point he was my manager. So it was not going to happen. I'd be fucking myself if I did that.
MF: Changing gears . . . if they were to make a movie about your life, who'd play you?
LL: Brad Pitt.
MF: I see you don't have self-esteem issues.
LL: [Laughs] That's a really good question. I think honestly Brad Pitt, just because I respect him as an actor. I think he's very versatile and that's kind of like my personality. I'm not a chameleon but I go wherever-I'm kind of a versatile personality. When I was in high school, I wasn't with the popular crowd but I wasn't with the losers-I was just kind of around and about and I was friends with everybody. I think that's my versatility.
MF: OK, is there anything you won't do in front of the camera?
LL: [Laughs] Apparently not! I mean, it's different now that I've been on The Real World. I did everything on the camera, especially with Shavonda. I mean, obviously it's not HBO, so they can't show it all. Now you have to be a little more particular about who you hook up with, because it says a lot about your image, blah blah blah. So, nowadays I don't know. I think I have more respect for my privacy now than I did on The Real World, because the first show you're just kind of like "whatever"-you don't know what's gonna be shown, so you just kind of be free with it. I was very interested in the whole process and I just gave everything to it; I really believed in it. And I think that showed, because they showed a lot of my stuff. A lot of bad stuff, but a lot of good stuff, too. So really, no-there's nothing I won't do in front of the camera. Everybody pretty much knows my darkest side and some of my best qualities. So from that it's kind of like "whatever"-people see what they see.
MF: You said it showed a lot of your bad qualities, like I know I saw you drink a lot. Did your habits change after seeing yourself on television?
LL: Like maybe not drink as much? Yeah, right-what time is it? (He's currently nursing a beer.) They have, just because people come up to me-especially when the show was going, they'd be like, "Dude you're an alcoholic and you need to watch yourself," and I'm like, "Dude, you saw one take of me being drunk. If I put a camera on you it'd be twice as worse." Or twice as bad. I don't think I have a problem, I think I just like to party.
But yeah, it definitely does make me think. Being from Wisconsin, never being able to get out of there, never really doing anything . . . now that I've lived in other places, I come back and I'm like, "Wow, the people in Wisconsin drink a lot." But that's the culture. I don't think there's anything bad about it-it just took me moving away and coming back to realize that, so now I'm kind of like, "I don't really want to drink right now, I'm fine."
MF: Reality-TV participants are known for being attention whores-who's the vilest MTV personality you've run across?
LL: That's a good question. Tanya (Real World: Chicago) is like a chronic liar. I'm not even kidding-it's pretty bad. We would actually talk to the directors and be like, "Please do not put her on the next show because it's tearing her life apart." She just becomes more and more of a monster and it's sad to see her go down. I mean, she lies about everything. And everybody has problems-I have problems-but I think she has some things that she needs to step back and take a look at before they get too bad. But vile, I guess that's a different story.
I think things get really vile when you're talking about $300,000. It's not that much when you split it up 10 ways, but Darrell from the last challenge stabbed me in the back. And then there's Veronica and Rachel. But overall I think everyone on the show has a really good heart; the only problem that comes into play is when there's a lot of money on the table. People will do and say things, and there are some people who will do and say more.
MF: What's the strangest thing a fan has done to get your attention?
LL: I don't know. Screaming from balconies, pulling up their shirts. Going through clubs is the best. You go to a club and there will be five girls around you and every single one of them has a hand in your pants or in your pockets, or wherever. That's one of the coolest things.
MF: So you like it?
LL: Oh, I just fucking eat it up. I love it. I walk through and I'm like "Please, ladies."
MF: Has the level of women who approach you upgraded?
LL: It's insane. We talk about this all the time. Because the guys all experience the same thing, but for the girls it's a total mind fuck because it's a role reversal. Before The Real World I was just chillin' and having a good time at a bar, and if a girl came up to me, I was like every other guy at the bar, there with my buddies just getting drunk. But now, after the show, the girls just run to me and it's like, "Let's do this, let's do that, I'll do this for you," but the girls on the show can't get a guy to talk to them to save their lives. So it's cool, because we go from being guys who're chasing tail to having tail right in our faces.
MF: Damn, not a bad position to be in. . . .
LL: It's cool. So now I just get to sit back and relax.
MF: OK, pretend I'm Jamie, forget I have a penis, and give me your best pick-up line.
LL: Best pick-up line?
MF: Do you even have pick-up lines? I mean you're Landon and the girls just come up to you these days.
LL: But if it was Jamie I'd be like, "Hey, did you know I was on TV? [He makes his voice deeper] I'm kind of a big deal, I don't know if you know . . . people know me." That's straight Anchorman.
But I don't do pick-up lines. I do the stupid funny shit that would get a girl to be like, "This guy doesn't care-he's just here to have fun."
MF: OK, who'd win in a fight-Alton (RW Las Vegas) or David (RW Seattle)?
LL: Win a fight? Alton. I mean, Alton's been a pro surfer, skater, and now he's a pro rock climber. He's insane.