Karen Coffee, a Chapel Hill resident, was recently a contestant on the Discovery channel show “Naked and Afraid.” Coffee spent 21 days on a small island in the Philippines with contestant Matt Alexander from Jennings, La. The episode she appears in airs on April 17.
Staff writer Brooke Fisher spoke with Coffee about her experience on the show and what she learned from being a contestant.
The Daily Tar Heel: Why did you go on “Naked and Afraid”?
Karen Coffee: I grew to appreciate being outdoors and learning how to hunt and fish and be self-sustaining. Fast-forward to November of 2014, my friend texted me, and she was like, “Hey badass friend, do you wanna go on a survival show? I’ve got a friend who’s in the casting department, and she’s got openings.” I’m like, “Hell, yeah!” So I texted her right back.
That’s how it exactly started for the “Naked and Afraid” adventure. I had never seen the show before. But it didn’t really matter to me whether I had seen the show or not. I just knew that it was my type of thing because it was a teamwork-based thing. This is just one man, one woman, and you have to work as a team to make it work, to survive, and that’s totally my gig.
DTH: What’s the craziest thing you had to do on the show?
KC: One of the craziest things we had to do, which was completely unexpected: We killed a monitor lizard. There was a humongous monitor lizard that ran through camp. My partner jumped up and thwacked it with a stick, and I had to come in behind with our machete and sort of get the front end of it and contain it so that we could enjoy it for dinner that evening.
DTH: What were some of the more challenging aspects of filming this kind of show?
KC: To me, on two levels, being naked and being naked. There are two ways to look at that. You’re physically naked, but you’re also naked in the way that you’re peeling the layers off of yourself. You’re becoming raw; you’re opening yourself up to the world, really.