The Bachelor host Chris Harrison has revealed Matt James had "a rude awakening" while filming the show's 25th season because of the emotional toll dating multiple women at once took on him.

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The Bachelor's highly-anticipated 25th season is set to premiere Monday, January 4, and viewers caught their first glimpse of Matt starring as the leading man in a trailer released by ABC last week.

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Matt said in the trailer he's never been in love before, but Chris clarified what Matt meant by that during a recent video interview with Us Weekly.

"It's not that he hasn't said 'I love you' before. I think the problem with him is he realized being the Bachelor, he had never fully understood what it means. He didn't understand the weight of it," Chris, 49, explained to the magazine.

"And now I think this has really opened [his] eyes, and one thing about the Bachelor or Bachelorette -- you can ask any of them -- it changes you."

Chris said Matt is "a different man than when he came to us."

"He got really a crash course because he didn't get the few steps of being on the show. He really just ripped the Band-Aid off and sometimes that hurts a little bit," Chris shared.

"So, I think he had a bit of a rude awakening of the man he is, the way he loves [and] what love means to him."

Chris said fans will take a really "amazing journey" with Matt, "not just as the Bachelor but also as this man who realizes, 'Wow, okay, this is love and this is what it means and I'm really here to find this.'"

Chris also admitted that production had a thing or two to learn given their leading man hadn't appeared on a previous The Bachelorette season, which is when cast members learn the ropes of filming.

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Matt will be the first The Bachelor star who did not appear on The Bachelorette before landing the Bachelor role since Matt Grant starred on Season 12 in 2008.
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Beginning with Jason Mesnick in 2009, every The Bachelor star has been someone who had previously competed as a suitor on The Bachelorette, with the exception of the show's 2011 season which featured Brad Womack getting a second chance at love after initially starring as the Bachelor in 2007.

"There are some wonderful things to the naivete and innocence to just coming in. But then there are little things that we had to really stop, you know, [like] Night 1, he doesn't know what to do," Chris revealed to Us.

"Because he never came up to the mansion before, he never went to a Rose Ceremony. He doesn't even know how to get a rose or give a rose. So he doesn't know the vernacular, he doesn't know what I'm going to do."

Chris added, "We really had to walk him through and teach him; it was Bachelor 101. And it was trial by fire. And sometimes there were some mess-ups and some trip-ups, but it was kind of endearing and cute in the same way because this guy was just genuinely going through this."

Chris said Matt would sometimes stop and ask The Bachelor crew, "Wait, what are we doing?"

"There was some fun to it, but there were also some trials and tribulations and a few hurdles we had to overcome," Chris explained.

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When asked to share the advice he had given Matt at the beginning of the process, Chris recalled telling Matt, "Get ready for your life to change... It's never going to be the same."

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Chris elaborated, "You have no idea what it's like being in the Bachelor or the Bachelorette's shoes. It's an extraordinary circumstance and an arrange of emotions. I told him, 'You're going to feel it all and there will be moments when you want to punch me in the face and you're going to be crying and sad.'"

Matt apparently didn't believe Chris at the time, or he at least didn't take the franchise's longtime host very seriously.

"[Matt] was like, 'Whatever man, it's all good,'" Chris said.

"And low and behold, he didn't punch me but there were just these moments. The show strips you down and it takes you on an emotional ride most people don't understand until you're a part of it."

Matt is currently filming his season at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA.

Chris teased in October he expected Matt would be "an amazing" The Bachelor star, adding that Season 25's cast of women are "lucky" to date and potentially fall in love with him.

"There's a reason we named him early and there's a reason he's been on our radar to begin with," Chris told Access at the time, adding, "He's the kind of guy that The Bachelor was built on -- that diamond in the rough."

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Matt was initially selected to compete for Clare Crawley's heart on The Bachelorette's sixteenth season, but ABC chose to promote him and announce him as the Bachelor prematurely instead.

Matt's The Bachelor casting announcement was made in mid-June on Good Morning America.

Matt will be the first black The Bachelor star ever. ABC has cast only one black lead, Season 13 The Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay, in 40 seasons and 18 years of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette prior to Matt.

ABC acknowledged in June that ABC has "a responsibility" to implement more diversity in The Bachelor franchise and the network will "continue to take action" in addressing the problem and making changes.

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