Ksenija Lukich was a university student until she beat thousands of applicants to land the role as host of E! News Australia last September. She has joined the likes of E! great Giuliana Rancic and travels the world reporting on red-carpet events and interviewing some of the biggest names in showbiz. The model-turned-entertainment reporter was recently engaged to her longtime beau, Daniel Bragg, who popped the question on her 25th birthday. I caught up with the bride-to-be to chat about her coming wedding, the advice Rancic gave her, and how life has changed since landing her dream job.
What are you up to at the moment?
We [E!] made sure we were on the TV Week Logies red carpet, talking to all the Aussie TV stars, and I covered my first ever Fashion Week. And [we] have been shooting more and more local content all over Australia. I took a press trip to New Zealand and I am heading back over to LA shortly, to catch up with the team over there.
Was it always a dream to work for E! News?
Absolutely. I always really loved entertainment, lifestyle, fashion and beauty. I was modelling for quite a long time and did uni and I started working in events production and that sort of thing, and an audition for this job popped up. I auditioned and got to the top eight and then won and I was just like, “Wow.” I didn’t think it would happen so I feel really privileged … Being able to interview Angelina Jolie within two months of getting the job was a complete out-of-body experience for me.
What was the audition process?
I sent in a video of me talking about my most memorable red-carpet moment, which was just like a quick little two-minute video that I shot in a dark room. It wasn’t anything fancy. And then there was, like, the final eight – we all went to a screen test. We had to do a piece to camera, voice-over work, autocue read and we had to interview each other. This happened over the course of a 10-hour day. It was a lot of pressure.
How has life changed for you since you became the E! host?
Everything has changed. My life has done a complete 180-degree spin. I went from working in production and organising red-carpet events that I’m now going to. I did not think this time last year that I would be at the Golden Globes. It never crossed my mind. So life has changed a lot. But, honestly, it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Did Giuliana Rancic give you any advice when you first started?
She did. She said, “You just be yourself and really know who you are and it will project really beautifully on the screen.” So it’s easy to forget that sort of thing, even though it seems like such a simple piece of advice. When I saw her again in January, she reiterated it and said, “You’re doing a good job. You’re really settling into it really beautiful.” So to have that kind of support from someone who is so well respected and probably the biggest entertainment reporter globally, it’s really reassuring.
Who is the most exciting person you’ve interviewed?
The most surreal person to interview is certainly Angelina Jolie. I never met a woman who just stares into your soul like Angelina Jolie does. It is one of the most discerning things I’ve ever experienced. She’s an incredible woman. Lovely and humble and so passionate about what she does, and you can really see that. She really looks at you and she really wants to know what you have to say.
Is there anyone in particular you hope to interview down the track?
I’d love to interview someone like Jennifer Lawrence, and Meryl Streep would be amazing. In terms of guys, I don’t mind interviewing Ryan Reynolds [laughs]. Dan knows I like him!
Do you plan to ever move to the States with E! News?
I think that at this stage it’s about Australia and it’s about expanding the sort of market here. So many stars come out to Australia these days. They didn’t used to but there are so many premieres happening out there. But never say never!
Who is someone that you look up to and you admire?
In terms of my role, definitely Giuliana. And also someone like Tina Fey. I really look up to her. I think she has done incredible things for women and incredible things for comedy.
Congratulations on your recent engagement. How did Daniel pop the question?
Thank you so much. Well, it was my birthday so we had special dinner that night. The following day he wanted to do something to surprise me so we took the ferry to Manly and did the Fairlight coastal walk. It is really beautiful. We found a wall to sit on. And we were just sitting there and talking and he turned to me. I was like, “What is he doing?” He said, “I’ve got to ask you something.” He said that he loved me very much and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me if I marry him. I burst into tears and in between blabbering I managed to say “Yes.” It was perfect.
Were you expecting it?
No. I didn’t really know. I had inklings that night, but I wasn’t 100 per cent sure. I knew … something going on because he was acting funny. But we have been together seven years in July. So it was something that we had both spoken about for a while and it kind of came to fruition, I suppose.
Do you have any wedding plans yet?
Not yet. I think we will wait until we have been engaged for 18 months. I think it’s nice just to relax into it. We’ve both just got new jobs. He just got a new job at a new law firm. I just got this job. So we are just enjoying this time.
What do you both do during your time off?
We have this really cute little balcony at our place and I love sitting up there with Dan and playing some music, having a cheese board and a glass of wine, and I love entertaining. I love having friends over and cooking.
WE WENT TO About Life cafe, Surry Hills.
WE ATE Mixed organic salads and fresh fruit.
WE DRANK Freshly squeezed raw juice and coffee.
KSENIJA WORE Toni Maticevski and Kurt Geiger shoes.
I WORE a LOVER dress