How ‘The Come Up’ Stars Painted a Vulnerable Picture of Life in Their Early 20s


How do you prioritize your mental health in a culture that values ​​hustle and bustle above all else? The six young creatives at the heart of Freeform’s documentary series The Come Up try to find an answer to just that.

“It takes a lot of energy,” 24-year-old model Fernando Casablancas told TheWrap about living and working in New York City, where they are filmed for the show, which looks at her life as she “devotes herself to love, art and the… chasing friendship”. their own terms”, per Freeform.

“It weighs on you and you just have to protect yourself. If you want to give energy, you have to have some that you can actually give. So the most important thing sometimes is to take a second to center yourself,” Cassablancas added.

The cast — Cassablancas, Taofeek Abijako, Ben Hard, Claude Shwartz, Ebon Gore, and Sophia Wilson — are all rising stars in their creative fields, but they’re also still in their 20s navigating relationships, professionalism, and their own spiritual well-being. In “The Come Up” they paint a vulnerable picture of what it’s like to navigate through this life.

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While speaking to TheWrap, everyone agreed that protecting their peace of mind is a big part of how they stay connected, especially when they live in one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world.

“The most important thing is to do things on your own terms and not feel like you have to accommodate this fast-paced lifestyle,” said Abijako, fashion designer and founder of clothing brand Head of State.

This is of course easier said than done. Throughout the series, all six stars struggle with impostor syndrome. One minute they’re riding the pinnacle of their recent professional success, and then doubts creep in. They wonder how they got there, where to go next, and if they even deserve to be there.

“I think impostor syndrome is like a very natural part of following your dreams, because that’s what they are. It’s your dreams,” Casablancas said. “So they’re built to feel like it’s that thing that’s so far away that you want to reach it. When you actually get there, your mind and soul is just like, ‘Wow, am I really here?’ You just have to freak out and say, ‘No, I’m here because I’m meant to be.'”

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And when they couldn’t find her confidence, Schwartz had some circumspect advice on how to handle her insecurities: “I’m just trying to fake it until I make it.”

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Each of the cast members gets surprisingly candid in front of the camera, speaking out about their doubts and fears, as well as many of their wildest hopes and dreams. It took some getting used to, but ultimately a team of producers they could relate to helped them through the more difficult confessions.

“Sometimes you have to process faster than usual,” Hard explained. “It’s going to kind of force you to slow down and think about what happened. So sometimes my mind isn’t even together and then I’m putting things together in front of the camera and trying to figure out how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking. I think we’re all naturally vulnerable people, so it was authentic for us.”

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While it wasn’t exactly difficult to spill her heart out on camera, now that her vulnerability is on display, Wilson and some of her cast admit that the thought of how she might be taken is a little intimidating.

“They don’t want to be seen as fake,” Gore said. “People really read that into it when they’re filming.”

Wilson added: “It’s difficult now that everyone is going to see it. Now I’m getting my first goosebumps and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I’m a little nervous.'”

The first four episodes of The Come Up are available to watch on Hulu. New episodes debut every Tuesday on Freeform.

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