Tammy Faye Messner and Ron Jeremy are among the once and future stars sharing a Hollywood Hills mansion during the second season of the WB’s “The Surreal Life.”
The former televangelist’s wife and the porn king will live in the house and act as hosts for 11 days. They’ll have four other roommates: rapper Vanilla Ice, “CHiPs” actor Erik Estrada, former “Baywatch” actress Traci Bingham and “Real World: Las Vegas” cast member Trishelle. They’ll also have a celebrity guest move in each week on the reality show, which began shooting Monday.
“We wanted to get worlds colliding, and I think that’s what we’ve achieved,” WB alternative chief Keith Cox said, noting that assembling the cast was quite an effort. “It’s one of those tricky puzzles.
“You have to start with certain cornerstones, and then build inward. Tammy Faye was actually one of the first people we cast.”
Messner divorced disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker in 1992 while he was serving a fraud sentence involving his Heritage USA theme park in South Carolina. Jeremy has starred in more than 1,600 pornographic movies and directed more than 100 himself.
One of the show’s executive producers, Cris Abrego, said the casting process took a long time, in part because so many people wanted to join the cast.
“Having a revolving, big celebrity guest star every week — that person becomes our seventh cast member,” he said, noting that the guest celebrity will live in the house with the six regulars.
The second “Surreal Life” installment takes place in the same house used earlier this year for the first season, although Abrego said it’s been injected with a heavy dose of “bling-bling.”
“It’s very pimp, very Austin Powers love shack,” he said.
The new season of “Surreal Life” is expected to air early next year. The WB has ordered six half-hour episodes.
Last season, the show included MC Hammer, Corey Feldman, former Playboy playmate Brande Roderick and former “Webster” star Emmanuel Lewis.