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11 Questions About The Show (& Some Answers)


11 Questions About The Show (& Some Answers)


Summary

  • The Circle apartments are soundproofed and spaced to prevent players from hearing each other, keeping catfishes’ identities hidden.
  • Players have access to mental health therapists on site to combat isolation and boredom while filming the show.
  • Chat times are regulated to allow players proper rest, and social media platform is real but the app isn’t voice-activated as shown.



When it comes to Netflix’s reality series The Circle, there are several questions about the filming process of The Circle behind the scenes. Even though the players reside in apartments in the same building, they never meet in person or hear each other’s voices, only communicating through a voice-activated instant messaging system called Circle and sharing status updates and photos via a profile — which doesn’t have to be accurate to the real them.

It’s tough to believe The Circle has already completed six seasons in just over four short years, with one more already filmed for later in 2024. The episodes remain continuously addictive as players strategize and chat with others, not knowing if they really are who they say they are. Every season has its own twists, including season four, which has Scary Spice and Baby Spice catfish as a young male children’s author. Each season is spicier than the last and poses new questions about how the show really works.


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11 How Do They Not Hear One Another?

The Apartments Are Soundproofed & Properly Spaced

The exterior of The Circle apartment complex

In the series, each player stays in a separate apartment in the same building. Based on the exterior shot that shows a circle of lights on the building, the individual apartments are located next to one another. If this is the case, how do the players not hear one another? When it comes to The Circle behind the scenes, the apartments are all soundproofed (via TheThings.com).


There is also one vacant apartment between each of the contestants to prevent them from hearing each other’s screams, shrieks, gasps, and voices. This is essential for male players who play as female catfishes and vice versa, as the best catfishes on The Circle make the game exciting. A great example is Deaburn, who was playing as Rebecca, and if anyone had heard the male voice in his room, it would have ruined his game.

10 How Do They Handle Being Completely Isolated?

They Have On-Site Mental Health Therapists

Joey screaming in The Circle

The Circle behind the scenes shows the players have plenty of things to keep them busy, including a full kitchen, gym, outdoor hot tub, books, paper, playing cards, and more. Of course, they can chat online with other players, but there’s still a fair bit of boredom. This loneliness can cause players to start to get a little restless and, in some cases, create some mental health issues for them as they sit alone in the apartment day after day.


Luckily, the Circle players reportedly have some interaction with producers to avoid feeling isolated (via RadioTimes). The players also have access to an on-site therapist whenever they feel stressed or need someone to talk to. They are also escorted by someone whenever they leave the apartment, typically only to smoke or head to the hot tub.

9 Why Do They Get All Dolled Up For “Dates?”

They Still Want To Look Good For The Audience

James from season 3 of The Circle.

The answer to why the Circle players get made up so well before dates is obvious: because the cameras are on these people 24/7, getting all dressed up makes them feel good. Even if a date won’t ever see the player in person, millions of people watching the show will. Plus, if the person is blocked, they can visit another player in person, which means everyone always wants to look their best in case they fall into such a scenario.


While the players are also seen in pajamas right after waking up without make-up on, it’s amusing to watch them pick their favorite outfits, do their hair, and put on make-up for a virtual date or party that no one will see them at other than the viewers at home. Producers may also encourage this behavior to help add some visual variety and set the scene.

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8 Do They Get Any Sun?

Production Staff Ensures Only One Player Is At The Hot Tub At A Time

Sean in the hot tub in The Circle


Several scenes show players enjoying a rooftop hot tub where they can visit for some sun and avoid cabin fever. However, staff members ensure that only one player is ever there in any place, including the hot tub or the gym, at a time (via Decider). Any time a player leaves the apartment, a production staff member accompanies them.

Even players who didn’t use the hot tub still went up the rooftop for fresh air now and then since players are not permitted to go onto the balconies of the apartments (via Buzzfeed). It is hard for players to remain cooped up in the apartments alone, with only production team members keeping them company. At least the show allows them to occasionally get out into the sun, even if the time is limited to allow everyone a chance for outdoor time.

7 Can They Chat Whenever They Want To?

The Chat Times Are Regulated On The Circle

Ruksana from The Circle season 3, sitting on the couch looking shocked.


Players can chat as they please in direct messages and groups. However, production turns the chat off at certain times. It is unavailable overnight, for example, so that players can get a good night’s sleep without interruption. Unlike reality shows like Big Brother, where people can physically wake a person up at any time to talk about the game, chatting is more regulated here to allow proper rest and sleep routines.

Players can say whatever they want when chatting, which remains entertaining with the funniest cast members on The Circle. However, there is no need to have private chats in the middle of the night since those could happen during waking hours via DMs without worrying about another player listening. They can’t listen to a private chat unless invited, so the one-on-one discussions remain regulated.


6 Where Is The Circle Building?

It Has Moved After The Circle Season 5

Apartment building with neon pink and blue circle, set of Netflix's The Circle.

The iconic The Circle building exists, and it is a hotel in Salford, England, where the show originates. International versions of The Circle, including the American one, use the same building but use establishing shots of cities from the country where the show originates to make it more familiar. This specific location changed with season 6, as the American version of the show switched things up and filmed its season in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ass for the eponymous “Circle,” it is made of aluminum with LED lights running through and around it and measures 25 meters in diameter. It remains lit up while the game is going on. The hotel sits across from a “control room” on a former college campus, which helps run the game, with 20 to 30 producers at hand for The Circle behind the scenes.


5 What Do They Do All Day?

The Players Find Ways To Avoid Boredom

Khat Bell sits on couch in The Circle Season 2

The Circle sees the contestants play endless games of Solitaire, dance around, work out, cook, draw, put together puzzles, write in journals, and, of course, chat with one another. But there are many waking hours in a day. How do players fill these in essentially solitary confinement with no one to spend time with and no one to talk to (other than random production workers)?

A quiet day of reflection alone works wonders, and producers have said that players enjoyed the solitude since it was a break from real life, which itself is overwhelming. As noted, players do occasionally talk with producers behind the scenes on The Circle, and there are therapists available if needed. Players can also go to the gym or hot tub if they get bored and need a change of scenery or just want to go outside and get some sun.


4 How Long Does Filming Typically Take Place?

The Show Is Taped On A Very Short Timeline

James at the finale of The Circle season 3, chatting with his girlfriend from a tablet.

For the first five seasons, filming took place each season in Salford over a three-week period, with the finale being filmed a day after the last episode. For example, filming took place in August 2019 for season 1 in the same building where filming took place for the UK version for its second season. Season 4 began casting in fall 2021, as soon as the third season began. Furthermore, season 5 started filming immediately after season 4 wrapped its principal photography.


Season 6 changed things up. The building used for the first five seasons was dismantled and converted back into regular housing. As a result, a new apartment block was set up in Atlanta, Georgia, and filming began in September 2023. By November, the sixth and seventh seasons were both officially finished filming. It is assumed that the three-week shooting schedules still took place based on that timeframe.

3 Who Are the People In The Fake Profiles?

Most Play As People They Know In Real Life

Alex from The Circle smiling, wearing blue overalls.

Several catfishers have used images of unknown individuals in their profiles to pretend to be those people, like Alex, who used the photo of a handsome blonde man he called Adam. Producers sourced the profile pictures Karyn used of Mercedeze with permission from the person in the images. However, others have played as people they know, particularly in recent seasons. For example, the winner of season 2, DeLeesa, played as her husband, Trevor. Parker from season 4 played as her father, Paul.


Most often, players choose to take on the persona of someone else they know because they believe they will be more approachable and liked as that person who might be younger, more conventionally attractive, or simply of a different gender. Courtney and Lee, for example, might not have become one of the best bromances on The Circle had Courtney known that Lee was an older man and not the 20-something-year-old River he was playing.

2 Why Was Ed Able To Enter With His Mom?

The Show Likes To Twist Things Around With Catfishing

Ed and his mom in The Circle

Since season 1, several players have come into the house playing as a team or were put together as a team after being blocked. Most recently, Melanie Brown (Scary Spice) and Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) from The Spice Girls came in to play together, catfishing as a young man named Jared, who writes children’s books. It was a great fan-favorite celebrity catfishing surprise.


Nonetheless, when Ed played with his 50-something-year-old mom, it was the first time The Circle showcased a pair instead of a single person. There was no stated reason for the change, but it was likely designed to add a new wrinkle to the concept of catfishing, showing that contestants couldn’t even be sure how many people they were talking to. The two were able to pull it off well, considering there were two of them playing one character.

1 Is The Circle An Actual App?

The App Is Real, But With One Caveat

The players profiles in The Circle season 2

The Circle promotes itself as taking place entirely over a custom social media platform, which raises the question of whether, behind the scenes, The Circle’s app actually exists. The answer is yes, with a big asterisk. In an interview with Vulture, producer Tim Harcourt explains that the show did actually build a chat platform similar to WhatsApp, but it isn’t voice-activated as presented on TV.


With voice recognition technology still being unreliable, the show has producers manually transcribe the player’s messages and send them to each other. The result makes for better television than having the players typing on keyboards all the time. However, at the same time, it makes the app that the show touts to be a fictional part of the reality TV show. Also, the loud Alert sound viewers hear doesn’t exist in the real world of the contestants.

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