Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Amish & Mennonite

'Breaking Amish': Anderson Cooper talks to cast

September 12, 2012
By: Jessica Carlson

Cast members from the new TLC breakout hit Breaking Amish joined Anderson Cooper on his talk show, Anderson Live, Wednesday to dish about what made them decide to leave their Amish and Mennonite communities and how they like New York City.

Breaking Amish is about five young adults who leave their simple and isolated lives for six weeks in New York City to experience the outside world.

The choice to leave was not part of rumspringa, where the Amish may leave their community temporarily to experience the outside world and determine if they want to fully commit to their religious traditions.

Anderson Cooper asked two of the cast mates, Sabrina, 25, and Kate, 21, what made them decide to leave the safety of their communities, which to some would be considered a simple and honest life.

Kate said, "Even when I was a child I always wondered what it was like to dress in different clothes and drive a car."

Sabrina responded, "I always wanted to leave, too. There was always this bigger question of 'what if.' What if I'm stuck in this rut my whole life and never have the opportunities that I want to have."

Sabrina also said the decision wasn't easy. Both women face fierce backlash for their decisions and the likely possibility of being shunned from their communities for the rest of their lives.

Sabrina said she continuously receives hate mail from the community condemning her, comparing her leaving to practicing witchcraft and saying she will be damned.

Kate also said it wasn't easy.

"It was hard but I had to put myself first and discover who I am, not who they think I am," Kate said.

Cooper also asked Sabrina and Kate what their biggest shock about New York was. Sabrina said it was the inability to see the horizon.

"Back home you can see for miles," Sabrina added.

The ladies had vastly different reactions when Cooper asked them if they like New York City.

Sabrina shruged and said, "It's all right."

Kate had a different take, and said, "I actually love New York. It was hard to get used to because of all the noise and stuff, but actually I started to get used to it after a few weeks here."

Cooper also spoke with executive producers of the show, Eric and Shannon Evangelista. He asked them how they went about casting for the show and getting permission to film it. Shannon explained that her and Eric had spent about 18 months just getting to know the communities and meeting people with connections in the communities before they recruited and started filming. She said they had to learn all the proper etiquette and rules before they pulled the trigger.

The final question was one on many fans minds -- has the cast ultimately decided to stay in New York City or go back home.

Kate wouldn't answer directly and said, "Well, that's part of the show so you'll kinda have to watch the show."

Cooper teased Kate, and said that for someone living in an Amish community, she sure learned quickly how to promote a show with a teaser.

Breaking Amish airs on Sunday nights at 10/9c on TLC.

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