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EXCLUSIVE: Talk Show Host, Personality Ross Mathews Talks Pop Culture


EXCLUSIVE: Talk Show Host, Personality Ross Mathews Talks Pop Culture


The self-proclaimed pop culture super fan Ross Mathews is set to return to television next week, bringing together those who love, crazily, entertainment as much he. Rising through the ranks of Hollywood, working hard as an intern and field reporter, Mathew’s passion and personality have prevailed, and last fall he premiered his talk show ‘Hello Ross' on E!

The first season was a success, seeing Gwyneth Paltrow, among others, grace the stage of the fledging program. The second season returns on Feb. 21, and proves to be bigger and more exciting than the first.

Mathews chatted on the phone from hot and sunny Los Angeles ahead of the Season 2 premiere, and while he couldn’t reveal any of the guests making their way to the show just yet, we were able to discuss pop culture and all the interesting stories going on right now that, alas, will be old news come showtime next week.

TVRage: You have declared yourself a pop culture super fan. How do you take everything in? How do you stay up on everything going on? Shouldn’t you be watching TV instead of doing an interview?

Ross Mathews: (laughs) It’s not a chore to take it all in. I do have to be picky, though, I want to watch and soak up as much as I can, especially with our show in our second season. I feel a responsibility to the audience. I’m the super fan, the elected delegate of all super fans, and I need to be on top of it.

What really helps now is the Internet. You can’t watch everything, but if something becomes buzz worthy and you’re hearing about it, you can pull it up and watch and catch up. That keeps me up to date on everything.

Plus I am a super fan, so none of this is put on. I would be watching and reading and listening to this stuff anyway.

EXLCLUSIVE: Talk Show Host, Personality Ross Mathews Talk Pop CultureTVRage: So this persona, this person that we see on TV, has that been you since you were young, or it is something, someone that you’ve grown into?

Mathews: I’ve always just been a super fan. You talk about being a personality and being a fan, the best part about making a living is being yourself. It’s not as hard work as you imagine, because I would be doing it if I was making a living or not. I have always been this person who has unabashedly loved pop culture. Now I just can do it on a stage in front of people.

TVRage: What is the most interesting, important, or fascinating pop culture story at the moment in your opinion?

Mathews: Oh my gosh, there are a few things. Right now it’s all about bad boys; good guys gone bad. You’ve got Justin Bieber, which is ongoing. I wish I could ground him and give him a time out. There is Shia LeBeouf, who is bordering on the next Amanda Bynes. And I don’ say that in a mean way, I say it in a story way. I try not to be mean.

There is so much going on; we don’t come back till Feb. 21 and it’s killing me that I can’t talk about this stuff. Killing me that I don’t have this show right now, so much to talk about, would love to talk it out without everybody.

TVRage: You mention you don’t like to be mean. How do you stay balanced and positive and still be critical and honest?

Mathews: Well, I never wanted to do a show that throws down pop culture. The line is this, and it’s really simple: I’ll never say, “Britney, you’re dumb; that was a stupid decision; that was bad.” I’ll say, “Britney, I love you, I expect so much more of you.” I run everything though that filter.

TVRage: Let’s knock off a couple more pop culture items: What’s your favorite TV show at the moment, and favorite Oscar-nominated movie?

Mathews:  On TV right now… ‘Scandal’ is amazing. I’m watching ‘Girls,’ ‘Looking,’ ‘Downton Abbey.’ I’m watching way too much.

My favorite movie was ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’ It was the last of the nominated movies I had watched, and I was blown away at how much I loved it. It’s not really aimed towards me, I think it’s aimed towards straight machismo sort of guys, but I loved it!

I also loved ‘Philomena,’ which is my inner senior citizen shining through. Very different, but I loved them both so much.

TVRage: Let’s talk about your show. What have you learned from doing it in the fall, and what will be different this time?

Mathews: We call that the first season, that’s all we were picked up for, and then we got picked up for the second season and now beyond. So the second season starts next week.

I’ll tell you, it’s a different world than the first season. First year, no one knows what you’re show is, we’re still trying to find our legs. The second season, you’ve got this format, got this dedicated audience, so now booking celebrities isn’t as hard. It’s great, it’s wonderful. We’re also getting a brand new set, tore down the old one, E! is spending some money, we’re getting some glossy things. It’s really something else.

EXCLUSIVE: Talk Show Host, Personality Ross Mathews Talks Pop Culture

TVRage: Can you talk about the interactive element to the show?

Mathews: This show is a show for super fans. I know I say that a lot, and it’s almost like lip service or a line, but if you watched the show, anything on it, any part of it, everything is run through the filter of, how to do we bring the audience and pop culture together?  

The easiest way to illustrate that is whenever I have a celebrity there, the very last thing I do is go out into the audience so they can ask them questions, almost like they used to do it back in the day on talk shows. Oprah used to do it but she got tired and sat down and never did it again. But I’m out there with my microphone in the audience.

TVRage: How are you preparing for the first show? What’s a normal week like?

Mathews: We’re shooting all those field pieces now, where I go out with a celebrity and fan; while we’re in production it’s nice to have them in the bank. The stuff we’re shooting, it’s so great, it’s some of the best stuff I’ve ever done. And you know that’s how I got my start, in the field on Leno. So the stuff we're editing now and that’s being prepared, it’s some of the best stuff I’ve ever done.

TVRage: So lastly, on that note, what are your thoughts on the departure of Leno?

Mathews: I thougth he did it so well. I just thought it was perfect and I’m so happy this time that it's so amicable. There is so much respect, and Jimmy Fallon has shown so much respect for Jay.

‘The Tonight Show’ is my family, everyone that works there is my family. We’re still in touch, and some of the people who I did my segments with are coming over to ‘Hello Ross,’ so the family lives on, and it’s all because of Jay.

It’s what he started: the ripples are still happening even now he’s off the air. He’s such a mentor and a friend and he’s been really great to me.


‘Hello Ross!’ returns Friday, Feb. 21 at 10/9c on E!

- Ross Mathews
- E!
- Hello Ross

Written by: AnthonyWrites
Feb 11th, 2014, 4:44 am

Images courtesy of Ricky Middlesworth; E! Entertainment


Message Posted On Feb 12th, 2014, 1:49 pm
No one knows what "your" not "you're" show is... Just a proofreader and mother of Ross...
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