Matt James is a true Bachelor newbie—on screen, at least.
The 29-year-old is the new star of The Bachelor without ever having been in the franchise before, but he’s certainly adjacent to it. His best friend Tyler Cameron was Hannah Brown‘s runner-up in 2019, which led to a friendship with Hannah, which led to being cast as a contestant in season 16 of The Bachelorette. Matt then just got to skip being a contestant entirely when his casting as the next Bachelor was announced in June. Who needs a test run when you’re practically already Bachelor family?
So while he had no experience actually filming the show, he had plenty of people to turn to to get some advice beforehand, including Tyler, Hannah and of course, Rachel Lindsay. It was Rachel who gave Matt the advice he found most useful.
“She’s just like, ‘Be yourself and don’t try to please everybody,’ and that was hard because I’m a people pleaser,” he tells E! News. “So it’s like how do you divert from trying to make everybody happy? You can’t at the end of the day, and the more comfortable I got with that, the easier everything became.”