With his high-pitch voice, infectious giggle and encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture and entertainment, TV personality Ross Mathews has broken into the in crowd of Hollywood.
After starting out as “Ross the Intern” on The Tonight Show, he now counts Gwyneth Paltrow and comedian Chelsea Handler as friends.
Handler is also his boss. She frequently uses him on her round table of commentators on E!’s Chelsea Lately. She’s executive producing Mathews’ new talk show, Hello Ross, airing Fridays on E!
“This really is the show that I always wish existed as a superfan myself,” Matthews, 33, said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.
Stars can be tough interviews because they’re so rehearsed. And here you are so happy and excited.
Celebrities know I’m not looking for a ‘gotcha’ moment. I don’t want to be Barbara Walters who you come to when you first check out of rehab. I want to be the person who brings a superfan from Iowa to meet you because we love you.
What’s it like being a celebrity in your own right?
I get to go into the parties and I pretend like I’m not freaking out and then I get into my car and I scream and I call my mom and say, ‘O-M-G, guess who was at the party and guess what they ate and how many chicken fingers they had?’ Because I was counting [laughs].
You grew up in a small town — Mount Vernon, Wash. — loving showbiz from afar. Did anyone know you were destined for fame?
Growing up, wanting to do this and being what I am, which is like this cartoon version of like a gay person with a big voice and a high pitch, there were a lot of people who told me, ‘It’s probably not gonna happen for you.’ I’m lucky. My parents and my family were like, ‘Whatever you want to do, go do it.’ To be honest, I’m not really good at anything else so there was kind of no other option.