It’s been 12 years since Casey Cooper competed on The Challenge, but the hiatus has come to an end with her casting on season 2 of The Challenge: All Stars. “I don’t think I was initially planning on ever going back,” Casey admitted to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “I was an alternate on All Stars season 1 and I think coming out of that experience, I realized how much I wanted to reconnect and get back into things. But then, watching it on TV, I realized how unprepared I actually would’ve been. It made me kind of want to come back and see, like, if I really did try or went about things differently…what can I do now that I’m almost 15 years older than the last time I was on The Challenge?”
One thing that Casey always struggled with during her four past seasons of the show was challenges that involved heights. So, instead of letting her fears get the best of her this time around, she specifically trained to work on the situation. “I took rock climbing lessons,” Casey revealed. “I started painting our ceilings. We have really high ceilings, so I would try and paint those all by myself. It was just little things like that to really kind of get to know myself in these elements again and see if I could pinpoint when I got scared and what I could to do bring myself out of it and push forward.”
Casey made the final during her first ever season of The Challenge: Fresh Meat, but has yet to win. However, winning wasn’t necessarily her biggest goal on All Stars. “For me, winning has always felt so unattainable, so I actually came into it with a system of goals,” Casey explained. “There were a lot of things I wanted to accomplish, so even if I didn’t end up winning, I still wanted to leave and take away good, positive experiences from this and feel like I did accomplish something. Winning was the last thing on my mind. It was like the last box to check. There were still a ton of other things I wanted to accomplish there.”
Check out more of our interview with Casey below! The Challenge: All Stars 2 is currently streaming on Paramount+ with new episodes dropping every Thursday.
When you were asked to be an alternate last season, was there any hesitation about returning? No hesitation at all. I think that ended up being a wonderful experience for me. In the middle of a pandemic, we got to go to Argentina. I got to reconnect with Ryan Kehoe, who was on my original season of Fresh Meat. I got to meet Sophia [Pasquis], I got to met Heather [Cooke] and reconnect with Cohutta [Grindstaff]. There were a lot of cast members who I also got to meet like Nehemiah [Clark] and Kendal [Shepard]. I think, if anything, it made me more excited to come back. Like, if there’s a season 2, and if they call me, I want to be ready.
Have you kept up with ‘The Challenge’ at all since you left? Not the main Challenge as much. Nowadays, I am really a Big Brother fan. I feel like The Challenge has become a lot more physical, and I always really enjoyed the social and political aspect of the game. I find that more engaging to watch on Big Brother. But I think on All Stars, it’s a little bit different because we’re much older now and it feels like we’re taking this so much more seriously than we did back then. There’s so much more on the line now, too. We have families, we have lives and dreams and goals. So the money, to me, means much more. Yeah, athletics is great, but I think the political and social gameplay in All Stars is going to be above and beyond.