Each member of the Fab Five brings something different to the table. Tan France is a style icon, Jonathan Van Ness is an expert on all things self-care, Karamo Brown could get a British guard to open up, Antoni Porowski is known for his almost-too-sweet-to-handle charm in the kitchen, and Bobby Berk is an interior design wizard. The show wouldn’t be what it is without all five members, but it’s safe to say that Berk’s duties definitely involve the most heavy lifting (literally).
Who has the hardest job on ‘Queer Eye’?
If you ask someone who works in design, they’ll say it’s Berk.
“All of my friends in design have been texting me saying, ‘Oh my God. You have the hardest job.’ I’m like, ‘Don’t you know it.’ While my Fab brothers often had three to four days off a week, some weeks, depending on what we were building, I worked seven days a week,” Berk said in an interview with Architectural Digest. “I do have to do some pre-design work on these. There’s no way, especially in Atlanta, that I can just make all that happen in that week. I have to pick the direction we’re going for and order the main pieces of furniture.”
How does Bobby come up with the designs for the show’s homeowners?
He doesn’t have much to go off of. At the beginning of a new segment, he’s given a one-sheet about the person the Fab Five are making over and their families. Sometimes, the information is incredibly brief.
“The only thing I had to go on for Remi in Episode 6 [season 1] is that he wanted to be in advertising, he loved Mad Men, and he wanted to go to Cuba one day,” said Berk. “So I think, ‘All right, let’s do a ’50s Cuban feel in this house.’ It was funny because when he walked in, he said, ‘How did you know my style?’”
Berk says he looks for clues in the one-sheet he’s given as to what the person’s design style could be and goes from there.
He doesn’t do it alone
As talented as Berk is, he has a lot of help when it comes to redesigning entire homes on the show. His art director, for example, used to work on Extreme Home Makeover, so he has someone on the team who’s used to unusually tight deadlines.
“We would have sometimes 20, 30 people in a little bitty house, getting that together. We ripped out some walls and built things, so it was construction as well. There was one episode where we ended up finding a massive amount of termites in the house. Before we could go further, we actually had to rip out multiple walls because their house was about to collapse in and they didn’t even know it,” said Berk.
How design has changed from the original ‘Queer Eye’ to the reboot
Original Queer Eye For The Straight Guy fans will remember that the show used to take place in New York City. Much of the reboot, however, takes place in the South.
Not only were the spaces themselves different, but the people being made over are different, too.
“When Thom Filicia was designing, for the most part, he only needed to think about the straight guy. But in the new Queer Eye, there were very few single guys on our show. Most of them had families,” said Berk. “So I really had to take into consideration everyone that was living in that home.”
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