Talk about walking into the lion’s den.
Vanderpump Rules season 8 is adding fresh meat to the cast for the first time since season 6: SURvers Brett Caprioni, Charli Burnett and Dayna Kathan, SUR assistant manager Danica Dow, and TomTom general manager Max Boyen.
PEOPLE caught up with Brett, Dayna and Max on Wednesday at SUR in West Hollywood, where the newcomers opened up about what joining the hit reality show has been like — and whether they have any regrets.
“It was wild,” Dayna admitted, adding that her role was “slow” at first but gained steam.
“I think not all of us knew how big or small we’d play into everything,” she said. “It happened very quickly. It was kind of surreal.”
Brett — who also called the experience “just surreal” — confirmed that none of them “really realized how involved or not involved” they were going to be when they were cast. And according to Max, it was “an interesting dynamic,” to say the least.
“Figuring out what’s your storyline going to be, or how are you going to be interesting to people that don’t know you — you don’t think about that, it just happens,” Max said. “You just keep filming and filming, and over the course of time, you see it’s all on camera, and you’re like, “Wow, I don’t even remember when we were in this situation thinking about that.'”
“I don’t think there are shoes to fill or step into, I think it was more about keeping up,” Max explained. “These guys are in this established situation, and we have to really just be us. And if people don’t like us, or our situation is not interesting, we’re not filling that shoe. It’s as simple as that.”
“I feel like there are some moments where we all hate each other and moments where we all really love each other and between us and the OGs, the mixture of adding us into that is interesting,” Dayna said. “It blends well … and I just think it’s probably a fresh take.”
Added Brett, “Some of my first scenes, I didn’t know the guys, and I just met everybody on the fly. But I guess we’re a part of it now!”
Needless to say, they were a little out of their depth at first.
“I don’t know the dynamic of filming, I don’t know how this works, or what they’re going to keep,” Brett said. “You hear all these little whispers from everyone else like, ‘They’ll cut all this,’ or ‘They won’t.’ Learning that and understanding that while filming was helpful, but at the same time, it’s a lot of unknown.”
“They’re just such a tight-knit group,” Dayna added. “So it was us all getting to know each other and them — and it just happened on-camera. It was a weird dynamic from that perspective.”
Still, they hope viewers will get an understanding of who they really are.
“We’re genuine in how we react and act and we’re all hardworking, at the end of the day,” Max said. “We’re all doing this because we have bills to pay and we have to come to work. This is really what we do. We work for Lisa Vanderpump, we work in her establishment and we work hard. And then outside of that, we have our issues and we have our problems or we don’t, and we have fun. And you guys get to see that.”
The upcoming season will see Scheana Shay as SUR’s queen bee, in charge of training the new staff. But when Dayna hooks up Max — who happens to be Shay’s ex-love interest — drama inevitably ensues. And the only other cast member still working at the restaurant is Jax, who Brett said was “awesome from the get-go.”
“I was very fortunate that he was cool with me, because I think he was the one person I was probably intimidated [to meet],” he said. “Because you know, he’s had a lot happen to him in the past. But what I realized when I was introduced to him was, this guy’s awesome.”
“It’s just nice — I feel like we know these people for who they really are and they’re great people,” he continued. “And then to see how the audience thinks — sometimes it’s just like, you can’t really take what they say to heart.”
When it comes to regrets, the newbies all agreed that they stayed true to themselves.
“Are there things where hindsight is always 20/20 that I would probably do differently? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t say I’m living with regret day-to-day,” said Dayna. “I did my best and was who I am. So I stayed true to that, and I just feel like we all make mistakes and you just have to learn from that and grow.”
Said Max, “I mean no one else has a filter, so why should we? If I said something, I probably meant it. So it is what it is. I think it’s our truth, in the moment, it’s how we’re really feeling.”
“That’s the beauty of the show, right?” Brett said. “They get us into these situations where we emotionally react. And at the end of the day that was your organic, real reaction to it at the moment.”
“Obviously there are some things I’ll look back on in the show when it airs and I’ll be like, ‘Well, I wish you handled that a little differently,'” he continued. “But, it’s just been so fun.”
Vanderpump Rules season 8 premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.