There's one "The Bachelor" contestant who you can see in clips online, but you may not recognize her if you've been watching the show. That's because she's not actually on the show — though at first glance, you might buy into the world Molly Hawkey is creating.
Hawkey has been editing herself into video clips of "The Bachelor," playing a heightened version of herself as she allegedly tries to win the heart of Ben Higgins — while winning the hearts of those watching her increasingly ridiculous videos.
She got the idea after editing herself into a Hollywood Reporter roundtable with Oscar-nominated actresses, where she took Reese Witherspoon's place and made it look like she'd been nominated.
"I just did it for fun, and it turned out it looked really realistic and everybody thought it was real for a minute," Hawkey said. "And everybody kept telling me after that that I needed to keep editing myself into things."
She was watching the last season of "The Bachelor," and realized she'd found the next piece of media to edit herself into.
"I don't even have cable. I'm terrible at pop culture! But somebody got me interested in 'The Bachelor' two years ago, and I got hooked. Like an addiction. Like drugs!" Hawkey said. "But I didn't think anyone would believe it, and then when I started putting out the promos [with me in them], everybody was just, 'I'm so excited for you!'"
Watch Hawkey introduce herself, noting her incredibly old age — for "The Bachelor" — of 37, the oldest contestant in the show's history:
"The show only has 22- to 25- or 26-year-olds on it, and I think there's been a couple times in my career where you're not considered for this or that because of your age, so that's obviously part of it. But it also bums me out that people feel the need to conceal their age, and I don't want to conceal my age, and I don't want to conceal all these stupid things about myself that we're all going through, and so I just bring them up out there, and hopefully people can just relax for a second, because it's so stupid. Who cares! It's just, it's so arbitrary. I'm 37!"
It's a multiplatform experience — she's not admitting it on social media either, as she retweets the articles about editing herself into the show while allegedly trying to clear her name and prove that she's actually on the show.
All the women on the show seem the same to Hawkey, so she's not modeling herself after any one of them, but is wrapping all of the show's tropes into one character.
"They're all 'falling for' the guy, they are all there 'for the right reasons,' they're all 'genuine people.' It's just so easy to take any of those things that they're saying. 'I didn't realize it was going to be this hard.'"
Hawkey assumes they have to be having more interesting conversations with the Bachelor himself — right? She says she doesn't think she's a Bachelor kind of girl and doubts she'd ever be put on the show.
"None of them seem very bright — no offense, I feel bad saying that actually. I'm sure they are very bright, but they don't appear that way on the show. They have, I don't know what, a month or two to fall in love with one specific guy? And they all come on the show thinking this is the man I want to marry!"
Despite the videos getting some exposure online, she doubts she'll get a call for the next season of "The Bachelorette." She said that she thinks it would be funny to be on the show, but can't imagine how even with 25 guys vying for her, how she could end up choosing one of them.
While she won't be doing "The Bachelorette," she hopes that these videos will help give her career a little more momentum and open up doors.
"Because I have been a struggling actress for 13 years. ... I book some things every now and again — but I want it to be my career, and I've never been able to make that happen, and I don't feel like I get the opportunities that I deserve," Hawkey said. "I would love it if people listened to my feature ideas, and my pilot ideas. I've written screenplays. But no one's ever read them."