Being the sole male cast member of The CW’s reality show “High Society” never stops Paul Johnson Calderon from getting into the girl fights. Billed as the show’s “Page Six scandal boy,” Calderon has certainly made an impression during the show’s first season.
He’s thrown a drink — glass and all — at an unsuspecting friend, dodged police officers, squandered his mother’s loaned money on designer clothes and booze, and allegedly was caught on camera stealing a purse.
Still, Calderon has no regrets about doing the how. “I’m very happy with the way I was portrayed,” he tells Zap2it. “I don’t think it was negative; I think it was fun. It’s a lighthearted version of what real life is like.”
One person whose portrayal can’t be described as fun or lighthearted is Jules Kirby, Calderon’s xenophobic ex-BFF who was seen abusing hotel service staff, falsely accusing Calderon of being an AIDS victim, and using the N-word casually. “My friends do not tend to be homosexuals, fat, or Jewish people,” she tells the camera in one episode.
Later, she responded to criticism on her Facebook, which has since been made private, saying, “I am sorry if you were offended. The show is scripted, and we are given
lines and characters. My grandmother is married to a Jew.”
The CW denied the claim, telling the New York Post, “With a show like this, it pretty much goes without saying that you can’t write this stuff.”
Calderon says that the network has never handed him a script. “It’s reality TV, and it’s as real as it gets. I mean, nobody really knows somebody’s private life by watching a show, but the people I’m close with on the show are portrayed the way that I know them,” he says. “We’ve never been told to say something. I wouldn’t say something just because someone told me to.”
As for Kirby’s on-camera claim that Calderon is destined to end up committing suicide or in jail, Calderon brushes it off. “Whatever,” he says, laughing. “She’s like a case study in projection. I worry about her. She’s on medication and — you know, I wouldn’t want even my enemy to commit suicide, I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone, but she’s projecting here.”
Calderon doesn’t have any regrets about doing “High Society.” He loves the additional attention and tells us that he’ll “definitely, definitely, definitely” be up for Season 2.
His family and friends have mostly been supportive of his endeavors. “Look, I was raised in New England, and my family’s very, like, quiet up there. I don’t think a lot of my family understands [the show], but my mom and my friends totally love it,” he says. “I’ve gotten a lot of response from Facebook fans and Twitter fans. They’re amazing, and those are the only people I’m trying to impress.”
Calderon is used to people knowing his name from Page Six items, but now that people know his face, it’s made certain parts of his life more difficult. “I mean, I love being recognized when I’m out at night, but then sometimes…” He trails off and pauses before continuing. “I’m usually really strict about what I eat, and the other day I tried to do my sneaky-sneaky run to McDonald’s and it was just weird because like, a couple people knew who I was. I can’t go to McDonald’s or take the subway anymore!”
The subway? “I get called out!” Calderon says. “This girl asked me what I was doing on the subway if I’m so ‘High Society.’ I didn’t even have a good one-liner for her, either. I was just like, well, no more subway!”
Photo Credit: The CW