- The first Black male lead for The Bachelor, Matt James, admitted to feeling a little pressure over his historical casting.
- In a sneak peek of his season premiere, James confessed that he’s feeling “a load of responsibility” in sharing his experiences and making his race a positive role in his future marriage.
- He has not been a contestant in any previous Bachelorette seasons, so his season may prove to be unpredictable.
Matt James, who made history as the first Black male lead for The Bachelor, admitted to feeling “a little anxious” in a new sneak peek of the show’s season 25 premiere.
In the preview, the 29-year-old real estate broker can be heard telling one of the contestants, “I’m starting to loosen up a little bit. I was definitely nervous when I was inside giving that toast.”
In a confessional scene, James admitted to feeling pressure over his historic role as the franchise’s first Black leading man.
“It’s more excitement, I just want to be everything they’re hoping I am,” he said.
Meanwhile, one contestant gushed over his historical casting. She shared, “I just couldn’t imagine myself doing this journey and this experience if it was any other person. It’s important to me to see diverse love stories because It’s not something I saw so much growing up as a child.”
James shared, “I feel a load of responsibility.”
“But in that, I feel like my experience isn’t everyone’s experience.” he continued. “I can only go and speak on things that I’ve experienced and live out my truths and do the best I can to represent who I am and how I was raised. “
He added that he hopes his race will play a positive role in his future marriage.
He said, “Being a person of color, it’s important to me that someone knows what that’s like and embraces it, because that was part of who I am and it’s going to be a part of our relationship.”
James was supposed to be a contestant in Clare Crawley’s Bachelorette season but in June he was announced as a Bachelor lead instead.
Because of this, ABC Entertainment‘s Rob Mills described James’ season as unpredictable.
Taking male leads from a previous Bachelorette season gives viewers an insight on who The Bachelor might pick. But with James, “we just didn’t know at all, so it was really fun to watch him interact with everyone,” Mills told Variety in October.
This historical season of The Bachelor started filming in September at a Pennsylvania resort and finished before Thanksgiving. It will premiere on Monday, Jan. 4, on ABC.