‘Catfish’: Inspired By A True Story Of Internet Deceit

Left: singer and dancer “Megan Faccio”; Right: Angela Wesselman-Pierce, who made Faccio up.

In 2010, New York-bred filmmaker Nev Schulman met Megan Faccio, an attractive singer and dancer, through mutual friends on Facebook. The two quickly cultivated a connection through flirty messages and lengthy phone calls and eventually decided to give it a real shot, even though they hadn’t yet seen each other in person. As their relationship proceeded, things just didn’t seem to add up in Nev’s eyes, though, and as his suspicions about Megan escalated, he decided to pay his Internet love a visit in rural Michigan, bringing along his brother and a friend to capture it all on film. Ultimately, Nev didn’t find the girl of his dreams. Instead, he came face-to-face with a “Catfish.”

In the film, Angela Wesselman-Pierce, an artist who Nev believed was Megan’s mom, confessed to completely making Megan up and, further, generating a number of complementary Facebook profiles to make her virtual puppet appear more plausible. Angela said each fake alter-ego represented a part of her life she wished she had. Understandably, Nev felt the need to get to the bottom of Angela’s motives to understand why she did what she did, and when he spoke to her husband, Vince, the man compared her to a catfish, which he said fishers once used to keep marketable cod active while in transit so they’d stay alive and keep from devolving into unsellable goo. Angela, he said, kept people active.

New MTV show “Catfish” will follow Nev as he advises other people wading through stories similar to his own. Take a look at the movie’s and show’s trailers paired together below, and be sure to tune in to the series’ premiere on Monday, November 12 at 11/10c.

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Images from “Catfish” and “20/20