CT Tamburello on How The Challenge Prepared Him for Horror Film


A still from Habitual, a new horror movie from Johnny Hickey


A still from Habitual, a new horror movie from Johnny Hickey

Chris “CT” Tamburello is an MTV veteran. He first starred on The Real World: Paris back in 2003 and then became a fan-favorite on The Challenge, appearing on 18 seasons of the main franchise and two seasons of the spinoff Champs vs. Stars. He has five wins to his credit, for “Rivals II,” “Dirty 30,” “War of the Worlds 2,” and both spinoff seasons.

And while he told People that the show will “always” be his “first love,” he was very excited to stretch his acting muscles recently for new horror film Habitual. Here’s how his time on The Challenge helped him prepare for shooting a movie.

Tamburello Did All His Own Stunts

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Habitual is described by filmmaker and Tamburello’s childhood friend Johnny Hickey as “a crime drama, psychological thriller and horror mashup that explores the darkness of drugs during a rave at an abandoned North Shore asylum,” according to its official website.

For filming, they used real abandoned hospitals in the New England area.

“This place was as real as it gets, from the broken-down roof to the fingernail claw marks on the doors of the cell,” Tamburello told People. “They were state hospitals built in the 1800s, early 1900s, and they were all pretty much shut down and condemned back in the ‘80s.”

Hickey said that Tamburello was going after his stunts “like a maniac,” and Tamburello said his time on The Challenge is what readied him for that kind of physical intensity.

The Challenge definitely helped me prepare for this. We didn’t have any safety harnesses or safety nets or anything. There were times you had to watch where you step; There were huge holes in the floor caving in, missing walls. Tetanus is probably rapid, asbestos, ghosts,” said Tamburello.

But Tamburello Isn’t Ditching The Challenge To Make Movies

While he had a great time filming Habitual, Tamburello said that he’s not going to run off to Hollywood anytime soon.

“I loved doing this with Johnny and I think we have more. I would really like to go in forward and assume more of these projects that Johnny’s been getting his hands on,” said Tamburello, adding, “The Challenge, that’s always going to be my first love.”

He also said getting more of a sneak peek behind the scenes gave him a new respect for the MTV production team.

“It was really like almost an internship because I learned so much on the backend on what really goes into actually producing something like this content. It gave me a newfound respect for all the people that I work with on The Challenge,” he said.

Finally, he admitted that the upcoming 36th season of The Challenge is the “most intense” one yet for the 40-year-old reality TV veteran.

“The challenges themselves, they take it to a whole other level,” said Tamburello. “It’s to the point where I didn’t even know if some of the stuff we were doing was legal. The Challenge should be the fifth major sport.”

Habitual is available online now. The Challenge season 36 premieres Wednesday, December 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.

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