As the host of E! News and co-host of Fashion Police, Giuliana Rancic is among the world’s most recognisable celebrity and fashion commentators. She was in Sydney this month fulfilling her duties as Westfield’s autumn/winter 2014 ”style ambassador”. I caught up with the 39-year-old to chat about working with comedian Joan Rivers, juggling motherhood and her plans after E! News.
When you were young did you imagine your life to be the way it is today?
Not really. When I was young all I ever wanted to do is be a reporter and an anchorwoman. I kind of visualised this life but I didn’t realise I could do entertainment and pop culture. I always thought I would work on Capitol Hill – that’s where I started my career. I thought I would do politics and hard news in Washington DC, where I grew up.
How did you get into it?
I studied journalism in college and I started hearing of E! Entertainment, and I was very intrigued by that and I moved out to LA. I worked random jobs for many years and then through a lot of effort ended up with E!, and I’ve been there now for 12 years.
You’ve become more famous than half the people you talk about on E! News. Is that surreal?
It’s funny: the other day I was co-hosting E! News with Cody Simpson. Cody is 17, so I don’t know any of his songs. I know nothing about him and people were telling me ”Oh my God! Cody Simpson keeps tweeting about you that he is co-hosting with you”. It was funny. I meet a lot of people that are new on the [celebrity] scene and they’ll say to me, ”Oh my God I watched you on E! for 12 years and I feel like I know you”. They’ll know more about my life than I know about theirs.
What’s it like working with Joan Rivers on Fashion Police?
Joan is hilarious. Every time I leave the set, my cheeks hurt from laughing. She is great. I think people don’t realise – as sharp-tongued and witty as Joan is on camera, once we go to commercial break, if any of us are going through anything personal, she’ll immediately get into that zone. And she’s like: ”Giuliana, are you OK?” She is just so nurturing and loving.
Has she ever said something you just wished she could take back?
Honestly, no. I mean, at the time I hear stuff and I’m like, ”Oh my God, we’re going to get into so much trouble for this”. But no, the thing about Joan and Fashion Police is that a lot of people think it is fashion commentary but it’s a comedy show. Joan Rivers is a living legend when it comes to comedy and she is really one of the greatest comedians of our time. So I’m always prepared. Every show, I know that it’s going to get crazy.
As part of your job on Fashion Police, you have to criticise what celebrities are wearing. Are there some awkward moments when you have to interview that person on the red carpet for E! News?
Yeah. I have to see everyone on the red carpet and that makes my job really tough on Fashion Police. Sometimes if it’s recent, like I named someone worst dressed the week before [on Fashion Police], I’ll actually try to run in the other direction [laughs]. I’m not kidding.
What do you love most about your job?
I feel like so many people say, ”Do what you love in life”. And I think that’s true. But I also think do what comes naturally to you and what you’re good at … I love movies, I love actors and talking about fashion and trends. So the fact that I’m able to take what I love and what I’m good at, and make a job out of it, makes my job exciting everyday.
What’s the worst part about your job?
The worst part about my job is probably the travel. It’s just hard to leave my baby at home. That’s the biggest struggle, trying to be a working mum and trying to be a good mum at the same time.
As a working mum, how do you juggle it all?
I used to try to balance it all everyday but I felt a failure at the end of the day. You’re not going to get the balance everyday. So what I do instead is, for instance, I’m here in Australia so 100 per cent of my day and my priority and my balance is on work. Now, when I get back [to the US] I have the day off, so 100 per cent of my day will be family. I turn my phone off, no emails, no computer, no work and that’s it. That’s very important. I find that is the best way to get the balance for me, and then at the end of the day I don’t feel like a failure.
What do you do for fun when you have time off?
Honestly, I’m obsessed with my husband. He is just amazing and I just want to be with him all day, that’s my idea of good time. I like to walk with my husband, drive, hiking, go look at open houses.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Right now it just feels like I’m doing a lot. My husband [Bill Rancic] and I have seven shows on the air, between the two of us. And in addition I have a clothing line that has become really successful in the US. Plus I’m writing a book, a memoir. So it feels like a lot right now and I’m excited in a few years [to] be able to relax and cut down on a lot of the work stuff and be able to focus more on my home life, and maybe have one show with my husband.
What type of show?
Like a relationship show, where couples come on and we talk about their problems and work them out.
Would it still be entertainment based?
No. I don’t think entertainment is the be-all, end-all. I feel like it has been incredible and I love talking about it, but at the same time, I think – because I’ve been through so much with breast cancer and infertility – that I feel like we’ve been able to help so many women and that’s really where I feel the most complete. That’s really what nourishes my soul. When I hear a woman come up to me and tell me, ”I got a mammogram because of you”, that’s empowering. So we would love to do a show about relationships and have people come out with a problem, and actually leave with a solution that could change their life. That would be incredible.
WE WENT TO Westfield Sydney Styling Suite, Sydney CBD.
WE ATE Laduree Macarons and fruit salad.
WE DRANK Laduree herbal tea.
GIULIANA WORE a Cue dress and Gucci shoes.
Photography: Rachel Murdolo