“New Girl” fans who are used to seeing Hannah Simone appear glamorous as model Cece Parekh on Fox’s hit sitcom are in for a surprise when they see her as host on Fox’s “Kicking and Screaming,” a gritty new competition series that she billed as “‘Survivor’ meets ‘Fear Factor'” to TheWrap.
The eight-episode series, premiering March 9, teams 10 expert survivalists with pampered partners to face extreme challenges in the Fiji forest. The first season sees contestants cope with hunger pains, battle extreme weather and eat slimy bugs à la “Fear Factor.”
Simone confessed to reading her contract very carefully before signing on to ensure she’d have “a bed and shower” to return to every night during the month-long shoot in Fiji. Still, she insisted to TheWrap that the show wasn’t a walk in the park.
“I was still out there,” she said. “We’d have to drive two hours deep into the jungle, and then you’re there every day, all day, for over a month. So I was covered in bites, and still had my own experience that you had to go through.”
Simone, who said she likes to relax by watching reality TV, shared she was fascinated by the making of “Kicking and Screaming” (produced by Lionsgate) as a “fan of the genre.”
“The conditions were real,” she said. “Getting to Fiji and being, ‘How much do they really have to rough it. Oh … they have to rough it. They’re really out there.'”
“As the show goes on, I think it got harder for them to watch me at the end of the day get into a van and be like, ‘I’m leaving now,'” Simone added. “And they had to keep going back into this dirty, intense, crazy jungle.”
This doesn’t mark Simone’s first hosting gig: before she became popular for “New Girl,” the British-Canadian talent worked as VJ for Much Music (Canada’s equivalent for MTV) from 2006 to 2008.
“I’ve had such an odd life, there’s no other way to put it,” she said of her career path.
“Kicking and Screaming” airs on Fox Thursdays at 9/8c.