On the 12th of January, I flew out to Los Angeles, California as the only African representative to meet some of the stars from E!’s hottest shows. E! has cemented it’s place as the capital of celebrity news and reality television and I was stoked to have been chosen to meet stars such as Kris Jenner, Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne, Joan Rivers, Joel McHale, George Kotsiopolous and Jacqueline M Wood to name a few.
Actress and host Jacqueline M. Wood is best known for playing Steffy Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful but now, she is taking viewers to the world’s most glamorous destinations and huge A-list vacation hotspots – all in 48 hours an episode! Everywhere from the Croatian island of Hvar, St Tropez and even the beautiful country of Turkey, Jacqui leaves no party spot unturned.
What a job!
It was a dream to travel, to experience the culture all within 48-hours! That’s the kind of personality I have. I wanted to see everything! So it’s great and nowadays we can use social media. Back then, it was like, you’d have to go online or try to find some sort of info, but it’s really about meeting people and also using social media, tweeting out and saying “hey I’m in this location, where are the best places to go?” Needless to say I slept for like a month once I got back.
So who selects the location where you go to?
I think myself and the people at E! and obviously the celebrities that they work with, know a lot of the hot spots and where a lot of the elite and the A-lists go to. I remember my first meeting with some of the people at E! and they asked me, where would you go? I automatically said Mykonos and Croatia. These are hot spots and people like Leonardo DiCaprio are always there.
And where has been your favorite location?
Hmmm…it’s really tough, because now watching the episodes, I’m remembering each spot and I’m like “oh God I loved that!” but Mykonos was my favourite. There’s just something about that town. Great food, great designers and then you can go snorkeling in crystal clear waters before going out that night where people are constantly partying on tables.
How hard did you have to fight to get the audition when you got wind of the gig?
Well, I punched a girl in the face…no, I was working on The Bold and the Beautiful and my contract was up. My main thing was to work on other things, but I really wanted to see the world too. So I left and about two weeks later I got a phone call from my agent and said, “hey the people at E! want to have a meeting with you”. What was supposed to be a 10-minute meeting ended up being an hour and it just felt right, and there was something good in that moment.
Did you have any hosting experiences before?
No, I did not.
So how did you take on this new challenge?
You know, I worked on a soap for a long time and we were doing like 80 pages of dialogue a day and one take. So that definitely was challenging but it groomed me and I think it’s just preparation.
Is there anything you wouldn’t do?
I feel like if I say I am not scared of anything, the producers are going to find something and I will be terrified. Uh, you know eating some of the food there freaked me out a little. When I was in Sardinia, they had this certain cheese and there are worms in it but I am usually up for trying a local delicacy. You know from cow appendix to sheep brain. But definitely one of the things that did terrify me was the extreme bridge jump. It is a rope not a bungee so you just fall and then you swing. But you are dropping far and it was so silent. I was terrified but I did it, I let go and you know I am so happy I did. I really got out of my comfort zone even though it was absolutely terrifying.
Can you share some of your traveling tips with us?
Travel light. And for women if you are going to Italy or a place with cobblestone, just screw the high heels! Don’t even go for wedges! Also, for me, I lost my luggage at one point and luckily I put one or two outfits in my carry on luggage. That’s something I always do.
You look amazing! How do you stay in shape?
I like to switch it up. You know, I do things from plyometrics to heavy weights but then I get bored of that and I do hot yoga which is a shorter version of Bikram. Oh, and I go hiking a lot. I work out hard but I indulge, that’s the thing. There is a balance which is really important. My dad was a body builder as well so he taught me a lot of tricks when I was younger!
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Pics Taken by E!’s Brandon Hickman at the interview in LA.