A chilly morning in Los Angeles turned quite warm and welcoming when myself and the six other journalism students from Columbia College Chicago showed up to the bright and glamorous set of “Access Hollywood Live.” No, we were not special guests (I wish!) just there for a tour of the studio and to meet the great wonderful ‘Oz’ behind the curtain.
Ian Somerhalder was a featured celebrity guest, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: he wasn’t actually there on set. Sadly, they taped his segment on Friday. But, let’s pretend he was there when I was so I can live the dream a little longer.
Being a serious “Vampire Diaries” fan (I wear a Damon Salvatore t-shirt every Thursday), it was extremely cool to get his viewpoint on his six seasons with the show so far. Ian started off by saying he and Bonnie, aka Kat Graham, have the same acting coach, crazy right? No wonder they work so well together.
Ian explained how in season six, episode two, Damon and Bonnie were stuck in May 10, 1994 the actor recalled that in real life on that day he was making out with his high school girlfriends, playing football and getting stuck with the nickname “Maybelline.” Oh, and shout out to programming for placing Maybelline’s in the following commercial break,
(The things you notice when you’re a broadcast student, I swear!) Watching television will never be the same.
However, my favorite part of the interview was where Ian said he likes to refer to the “Vampire Diaries” young viewers as family, not fans.
“It is a really interesting world that were living in now; entertainment is now fusing people together both in a philanthropic state, an entertainment state, an educational state, it’s really cool,” he said.
“Access Hollywood Live” not only entertains the audiences at home, but the show’s crew also appear quite charmed by the show, saying how wonderful it is to work with hosts Billy Bush and Kit Hoover, especially since the energy between the two apears infectious.
This one hour episode covered numerous topics, including Amanda Bynes’ mental state, breast cancer awareness and Billy’s birthday. They covered hard news in a conversational manner alongside the soft news.
As journalists coming in to do one of the things we do best, observe, there were more things several things to be learned from the way they handled things aside from the chatty banter about Kim Kardashians breasts being seen through her shirt; it was interesting to see how nonchalant Billy and Kit were about stating their opinions and so comfortable with doing so.
For example, Billy spent the first couple minutes of the show reporting ‘THE’ story of Amanda Bynes’ trekng from New York City to LA. He said he knows one hundred percent what happened and that other news outlets covering the same topic did not. I mean, if you know for certain, then you know, but let’s hope his source really is as credible as Billy was making him out to be.
Now, if this was the 5 o’clock news on Fox, that discussion would have been handled differently. And when I say different, the hosts (or anchor), would not be able to be as biased, but at the end of the day, that is what makes Billy so unique and such a strong host. Confidence is key.
All in all it was a great experience, especially for up and coming journalists who have our hearts set on covering the entertainment industry.