How popular has Francesca Farago become since her appearance on Too Hot To Handle? There’s an Instagram handle that misspells her last name with three As, and it still has more than 46,000 followers. As for Francesca, she’s up to a cool 3.5 mil, which is just a tad above the 1.2 million mark that she had hit when we had this conversation.
The follower count on Francesca’s Instagram handle is about the only thing moving fast these days. As Francesca plans her post-quarantine future, she reflects on how Too Hot To Handle exceeded her wildest expectations. She didn’t come looking for love, but that’s exactly what she found. And despite a less-than-stellar first impression, viewers came around to adore her as well.
Screen Rant: How surprised were you to see that Too Hot To Handle was number one on Netflix?
Francesca Farago: I was surprised by the positive feedback that we’ve all been getting. I didn’t know everyone was gonna sound so heartwarming about it, and the response has been so positive. So, that just struck me the most, honestly. I also thought that I was going to be villain, so the fact that I’m getting this much love and everything like that has just been amazing. I’m overwhelmed with all the positive feedback.
Has the positive feedback outweighed any negative feedback?
Of course, I check my comments every now and then to see if there are people saying anything negative, and I am getting like zero negativity. Which I’m shocked by, because I did make some risky decisions, and I lost a lot of money, and I kind of was a little shit at the beginning. I was expecting people to not like me for that, but it’s been overwhelmingly positive. Honestly, I’m still shocked.
When Lana told you guys about the rules of the retreat, what was the first thing that went through your mind?
At that point, I was in shock. And I was extremely sad because we weren’t able to get physical, and I honestly wanted to go home. But then after I had a good cry, I realized that, “Hey, this isn’t the end of the world. If a situation comes up, and I feel like it’s appropriate to kiss someone, I’m still going to do it.” We didn’t know how the money was going to be split; we didn’t know if we were going to be able to win money back. We didn’t have the money, so in my perspective, it didn’t really stop me from doing what I wanted to do. I mean, of course, everyone’s mad at me for my actions, so that was kind of hard. But after the initial shock wore off and me being upset wore off, I was like, “Let’s go!”
You kissed two people on the show. Who’s the better kisser, Harry or Haley?
Francesca: It’s funny, because the kisses with Harry were long. The kiss with Haley was just a little mischievous kiss. They were both pretty good, honestly. I really enjoyed Haley on the show; I think she was hilarious.
Why do you think she didn’t like anyone besides you?
It’s hard to say. She actually isn’t a negative person. I think when you’re so alienated from the group, and people just aren’t your number one fan, it’s easy to be negative towards them. So, we weren’t forming bonds with any of the other cast members. And they were not being the nicest who at that point, so it was easy for her to fall back on putting up her guard and just coming at it with aggression. But to me, she was always extremely nice from day one. You can see it, right when I walked down, Chloe just didn’t really seem like she was a fan of me. Right off the bat; she didn’t even know me. And Haley was like, “Bring her over,” you know what I mean? I think they didn’t show Haley’s nice side, because she is honestly an amazing person. They just kind of showed her being a little bit savage – but she was; she was very savage. She did not want to be there, she wasn’t a fan of anyone in the cast, and I feel like it was just entertaining for everyone there.
I think that endeared her to fans too, because a lot of people enjoyed what they saw out of Haley. I would welcome her back on another show.
You also had a brief connection with Kelz. Was that just to make Harry jealous or did you have a genuine connection with him?
The fact that I knew that Harry wasn’t interested in anyone else, and the fact that I knew it might have made him jealous, was in the back of my head. I didn’t do it to make him jealous, but it worked out benefiting me because he did realize that maybe he can f**k it up. So, I wasn’t romantically interested in Kelz. After that date, I realized quickly that I couldn’t get Harry of my mind. I’m glad it did happen, though, because it did end up making Harry and I stronger. It did test our relationship and it brought us back together.
You had a short date with Kori. Did you feel that you might have developed a connection with him if you had met him earlier, or do you think he just never had a chance?
I think you can kind of tell the difference between Harry and Kori. Deep down, Harry is just a big ball of mush, and he’s such a sweet guy. He’s just so cute and lovable. I think Kori is kind of missing that aspect of him. I don’t think he’s, like, more of a sensitive guy. I think he’s more of a f**kboy. Yeah, Harry did make some stupid decisions and he was a little bit of an arrogant prick at the beginning running around, but you can tell deep down they’re just different. So, I think if Kori came on off the bat, maybe him and I would have lost the money together. But I don’t think it would have been anything further than that, as to the extent that Harry and I had.
Why did you decide to forgive Harry after that first kiss that he told the guys you initiated?
That happened very early on, and though we were so interested in one another, we didn’t know each other a crazy, crazy amount. He was just watching his own back, and I understand that. When you’re in a pressure cooker of 10 people, you don’t want to be the one who’s hated. He made some stupid moves to get himself out of the situation, and I get why he did it. He just wasn’t thinking about long term, but he is very young. He was 21 when we were filming. I don’t have anything against him, obviously. If he had a few more years, he maybe would have been thinking a little bit more wisely. But I just think I know him so well after we’ve been do close over the past year. Watching that back, I don’t even have any animosity because he was just trying to get himself out of the situation. He didn’t do it properly, but it was easy for me to forgive him because I was so infatuated. And I also didn’t know about the voice chat in the bedroom. I didn’t know about the pillow talk with Rhonda. I didn’t know what was being said. So, maybe if I knew those things when I was taking him back, I would have expected a deeper apology. But living it, I was just seeing what I was seeing. I guess he was being a little bit more malicious than I thought he was.
That last night in the chastity suite, how close were you to actually hooking up? Was there any talk about potentially breaking the rules?
As a joke, we were like, “Should we do it?” But at that point, I had already realized that we were being selfish. We were looking at the bigger picture, and the fact that it wasn’t just in this house. We were originally going, “Okay, it’s just us against the world.” We kind of had other people’s emotions and other people’s feelings in the back of our mind, and we wanted to prove to the group that our connection was strong. So, it was easy to hold out. As hard as it is being in a room with him and not touching him, the greater good was in the back of our minds, so we just kept it lighthearted and played some games. We played hide and seek; he tied himself to a chair. It ended up working out. It was difficult, but it was easy because we both knew that we’ve already broken enough rules. Like, if we can’t do this, then we’re obviously… Yeah.
Aside from Harry tying himself to a chair, is there any other moment that you wish would have made the edit and that would have been fun for fans to see?
When we were playing hide and seek, I would squeeze myself into a drawer. Any game we could think of, we were playing. I think we were swinging from the bed at one point. Like, we played games for three hours to keep ourselves distracted from not hooking up.
What did you think of that Yoni workshop? That was an interesting segment.
It was actually a lot more emotional than I think was portrayed. Listening to how the other girls were referring to themselves honestly made you have – you felt so connected to the girls after that. Because I realized, “I’m not in this alone. I need to consider respecting myself more and also consider respecting others.” The way I was making decisions up to that point was very selfish, and it kind of made me realize that I need to be more considerate of the other girls. It is important to have strong female relationships as well as strong male relationships, and that workshop specifically was the turning point for me, in regards to the way of thinking.
Are you still friends with any of the girls in the cast?
Yeah, Haley and I are still really close. We talk everyday now. Chloe and I, and Nicole and I, have remained friends as well. Obviously, watching something back has been not really hard for me because when I was living it, I knew that everyone didn’t like me. But it might have been hard for them to kind of see my train of thought. I think some scenes maybe they were a little bit more understanding, watching back. Then some might have been harder to watch back. But overall we’re generally strong as a group, and we went through the craziest experience together. So, we’re connected forever, basically. Whether we like it or not.
Do you still talk to the guys as well?
David and I are friends. Bryce and I are very close. I love Bryce so much; he’s such a character. But other than that, no. Out of respect for Harry, I think, it wouldn’t be cool for me to stay close with Kelz or Kori or anything like that. I don’t think it would be cool for him to get close with the girls either. We’ve remained platonic friends, but nothing too serious.
How’s the relationship with Harry going?
I think, since we met, our entire relationship has just been a massive test. The past year that we’ve been together has been a roller coaster. Obviously, we started off off distance, we hung out as much as we could. We broke up for a bit in between to regroup and process our thoughts, and then when we got back together, we’ve been stronger than ever. Unfortunately, due to everything that’s happening right now, I have to be quarantined in Canada. And he can’t enter the country because he’s not a Canadian citizen, so it’s been really hard in that regard. We’re just trying to find a loophole to figure out how we can hang out, but we’re excited for this to all be over so we can move in together and start living a normal life together. We’re very excited for that.
Have you decided who’s gonna move where?
Honestly, I’m just gonna move wherever he wants me to move at this point. I did want him to live in Vancouver, because ideally, I would love to settle down here and start a family here. But if he wants to live in Australia for a bit, or if he wants to live in LA for a bit, I’m totally cool with that. I just want to live with him and be with him every day. I don’t even care where it is at this point. He could be like, “Let’s move to Thailand.” And I’d be like, “You know what? Sure. I’ll do whatever.”
I know you went to Australia before the quarantine started, so I’m assuming you guys spent some time together there.
Yeah, so I took it off my social media, because I didn’t want to give too much away. But I did go to visit him in Australia, and I met his mom and a bunch of his friends. He came to visit me in Vancouver, and then we flew to my hometown in Ontario. He met all my friends and met my grandparents, my family. We’ve just been really strong.
I saw you kept the kangaroo picture on there.
I realize now that we kind of got busted, because we both had pictures of kangaroos and both had pictures of those green Lamborghini, so it was easy for people to realize that we did hang out. People know that, but no one knows yet that we’re still together.
If you could be in any other show besides Too Hot To Handle, what would be the next show you would go on?
I don’t know if I would do another show similar to that, because I feel like I learned so much and it wouldn’t be as raw and genuine to do it a second time. You kind of can’t really experience something like that twice. If Harry wanted to do anything in regards to reality TV, I would 100% do it with him. But anything alone? Probably not. My main focus right now is working on my career and building something really strong with him.
How surprised are you to have gotten over a million followers in such a short time? (Update: She’s now above three million.)
It was so sick. On Friday, I had, like, 350. And now I have 1.3. It’s been crazy. I knew that the show was gonna have a little bit of traction, because of quarantine and everyone’s bored. But the response has been very overwhelming in a very positive sense, because I was expecting to be the villain. So, the fact that everyone has been on Team Frankie and showing me so much love has been so amazing. I spent the past year before this aired having the worst anxiety about certain scenes, and I was like, “I’m going to be hated.” I told my closest friends that I was a villain and that I’m not sure how it’s gonna come off. So, the fact that it was portrayed positively and I’m getting such a positive response back has been amazing.
I know that you probably have some people who didn’t love you. What would you say to people didn’t get the best impression of you?
I would say that it is, at the end of the day, a reality TV show. There are things that are left out. You get to the extreme side of everyone’s character – when they’re happy, you get the most extreme parts of their happiness; when they’re upset or when they’re sad, you get the most extreme parts of that. You don’t see how we are normally. We’re portrayed in very extreme circumstances, so the way that you see me on the show is just a very high-end version of my personality. You just gotta remember that, at the end of the day, it is a TV show. Production portrayed it a certain way, and I think if you don’t like me, then… You suck. I’m great.
You’ve talked to Harry a lot since the show ended. What’s something that you’ve learned about him that you want people to know?
He is very emotional, and he’s so sensitive. He’s just so loving, and I did see it on the show. It wasn’t shown, but every morning, he would put little snacks in my locker. He would put a dry towel for the shower. He would leave the toothpaste out [for me]. The little things that he would do were so sweet, and the fact that that’s been carried out in regular life – he goes out of his way to make me feel loved. All of those like negative things that he was in the beginning have not fallen him out, and he just been such an amazing part of my life. I’m just very, very proud of him.
Did you expect to fall in love in the show when you went out there?
No. I definitely did not expect to fall in love, especially to this extent. I was in love once before, and I never thought that I would have those feelings again. And the fact that I have them, and they’re so much more extreme, is just overwhelming. I honestly could not be happier with how everything turned out. I’m insanely lucky. If people watch it back, I think you can see how genuine my feelings are. For people who are skeptical, this is real and we did fall in love. We’re still together and we’re planning the most crazy future together. So, it is possible. You just have to be open to it.
I look forward to hearing more about your relationship. Hopefully, you don’t have to stay separated for too long, and I hope to see some more kangaroo pictures in the near future.
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