The Reader Interview

The Reader Interview: Taylor Swift

November 19, 2012 at 9:00 am , by

Every month an LHJ reader will get the chance to interview one of their favorite celebrities. This month, Gigi Kidary of Winter Park, Florida quizzes the singer-songwriter about her new CD, the most influential person in her life, and more.

Why is your new album called Red?
Most of the songs on this album are about fast-paced, out-of-control love. And the title track, “Red” is about a love that’s so intense, you can’t forget it. To me, intense emotion is red. This album documents my experiences with those types of relationships, from beginning to end.

Do you write better songs when you’re happy or sad?
I write songs about both the good and bad parts of love, so it’s hard to say which is the better inspiration. Sometimes sadness can be so overwhelming, it stifles you. I’d much rather be happy, so I choose that as my preferred inspiration.

You’ve collaborated with a lot of great artists. Is there someone you haven’t worked with yet that you would like to?
All of the artists I wanted to work with more than anything are on this album. ;)

How long does it usually take you to write a song?
It varies. I could get a lightning bolt of inspiration and write a song in 20 minutes, or I could labor over one for four months and put it down, then go back to it. That’s what I love about songwriting. You never know how or when it’s going to happen.

When you find time to read, what kind of books do you read?
I love The Hunger Games series and I was so honored to get to write music for the movie. Those books suck you in and keep you engaged like nothing I’ve read before.

Who is the most influential person in your life?
My mom. I’ve never gone a day without talking to her, and she gives me the wisest advice. But most of all, she’s put her kids first since we were born. Growing up, she was always there for me when I needed a friend. That’s why she’s still one of my closest friends now.


The Reader Interview: Reba McEntire

October 1, 2012 at 9:00 am , by

Every month an LHJ reader will get the chance to interview one of their favorite celebrities. This month, Michelle Broussard of Missouri City, Texas quizzes McEntire about her new show (Malibu Country), what it means to be a southern belle, and more.

I can’t wait for Malibu Country. What’s your character like?
I play an ex-country singer, whose husband, a very famous country singer, cheats on her. She gets a divorce and moves to Nashville from Malibu to restart her career so she can support her kids.

What makes you a true southern belle?
Southern principles, morals and a good sense of humor. Respecting my elders. I don’t take some things as seriously as other folks.

Do you have any hidden talents?
Not that I know of! I’ve recently taken fly fishing lessons so I think I’m hooked on that.

I’m a redhead too, and my skin is sensitive to the sun. How do you keep your complexion so flawless?
I try to stay out of the sun as much as I can, cleanse my face daily and moisturize a lot! I always look for new products that will erase brown spots and get rid of wrinkles.

When can we expect a new album from you?
I started recording in the studio over the summer so new music will be out soon. Some of the music I’m recording will be for the TV show too.

What’s one food you could live off of for the rest of your life?
Red beans and cornbread—I love that. But one food? Beef stew!

What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?
Enjoy life. Love yourself. Have fun. Don’t get so nervous. Practice more. Take better care of your body—exercise more and quit picking up 50-pound sacks of cattle feed!


The Reader Interview: Carrie Ann Inaba

August 30, 2012 at 9:30 am , by

Image Courtesy of ABC/Adam Taylor

Every month an LHJ reader will get the chance to interview one of their favorite celebrities. This month, Linda Jacob of Prince George, Virginia quizzes Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba about grading the dancers, her BFF Bruno, and more.

Has the audience reaction ever made you change your opinion of a performance?

There are so many elements that go into a score, and the audience’s response is a big one. After all, a performance is for the audience, so if the audience doesn’t like it, I can’t give it a great score. The other elements that go into my scoring include technique, musicality, their chemistry and the way it all looks.

Who would be your dream partner if you were competing on DWTS?

My dream partner would, of course, be none other than Len Goodman himself. He’s the king of ballroom, and I would settle for nothing less than the best, and that would be Mr. Len Goodman.

Most people don’t know you started off as a singer. What is your singing style like?

I have a voice that’s like Sinéad O’Connor and Karen Carpenter mixed together. And when I write music my style is country/folk, kind of like Tracy Chapman. I like simple ballads and songs that tell stories because I was raised in Hawaii, and in Hawaii all the songs are like folk tales and tell stories. I’m actually getting back into writing again, so it’s nice. I play the piano and the ukulele and I’m learning how to play the guitar.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Read more


The Reader Interview: Ricki Lake

August 2, 2012 at 9:30 am , by

Image courtesy of 20th Television

Every month an LHJ reader will get the chance to interview one of their favorite celebrities. This month, Karen McCrea of Atlanta quizzes Ricki Lake about her new talk show (The Ricki Lake Show) how she maintains her weight loss, and more.

How will your new talk show be different from your old one?

My new show is entirely different because I’m a more evolved Ricki now. I’ve been through so much—marriage, kids, divorce, balancing work and family—but I still have quite a bit to learn. I want to get into the audience and, with them, learn from the experts and guests who all have invaluable perspectives on topics like personal relationships and raising children.

How do you maintain your weight loss?

I’ve tried it all. I have done all of the diets and all of the exercise programs. They all work, basically. The key is being realistic about your body type and goals and sticking to a way of eating and working out that fits into your schedule. I’m conscious of what I eat but I don’t deprive myself of treats. And, whenever possible, I choose to be more active than less active, whether that means taking a walk after dinner or taking a nighttime swim rather than sitting on the couch and watching a movie. Read more


The Reader Interview: Jimmy Fallon

June 28, 2012 at 8:30 am , by

Every month an LHJ reader will get the chance to interview one of their favorite celebrities. This month, Deborah Chamberlain of Wisconsin quizzes the Late Night host Jimmy Fallon about his new comedy CD (Blow Your Pants Off), bucket list, and more.

It’s been ten years since your last comedy album—what made you decide to do another?

It’s been ten years since my last comedy album. MP3′s didn’t even exist. I really wanted to have an album out in this decade.

What’s your favorite track on Blow Your Pants Off and why?

My favorite track on the album is probably “Scrambled Eggs” with Paul McCartney. It wasn’t even supposed to happen really. I was doing the pre-interview with Paul up in his dressing room at Saturday Night Live, you know, just going over what we were going to talk about on our show, stuff like that. So I told him I had a bit if he’d like to do it. He politely declined. So I tell him that it’s based on “Yesterday” and how when he first wrote that song it was titled “Scrambled Eggs” and he told me that he knew that story because HE did it. I felt like Chris Farley. So he politely declines again. So I tried one more time. I started to sing our version of “Yesterday” called “Scrambled Eggs.” “Scrambled eggs, oh my baby how I love your legs, but not as much as I love scrambled eggs. Oh, have you tried scrambled eggs?” Cut to Paul’s head over my shoulder and he’s singing “… waffle fries.” He was in! I said, “You’ll do it?” and he said, “As long as you do it with me!” That’s when I fainted. Read more


The Reader Interview: Bethenny Frankel

May 31, 2012 at 8:30 am , by

Every month an LHJ reader will get the chance to interview one of their favorite celebrities. This month, super-fan Jeannie Crofts of Chicago quizzes reality star and businesswoman Bethenny Frankel about her new talk show (Bethenny), married life and sky-high heels.

How will your new show stand out?
I like to speak honestly to the audience. The show is about discussing what women talk about when they’re out having cocktails with friends. We’re going to talk about sex, money, religion, family, shopping, and so much more. I’m not a big fan of the teleprompter or cue cards.

What’s it been like working with your producer, Ellen DeGeneres?
Ellen appreciates me for who I am and for how different we are. She knows I’m like a mustang and you just have to let me run! She likes that you never know what’s going to come out of my mouth. I’ve been on almost every talk show there is and I’ve been interviewed by the best, but the god’s honest truth is that no one listens like she does. No one else reacts truthfully and off the cuff like Ellen, and there isn’t anyone on this planet whose stamp of approval means more in this space.

You’re always so great about bringing your personal life and experiences to your shows. Will you be as open with this talk show?
As long as I am committed to being on television connecting to an audience, I will be honest about every area of my life. My fans have inspired me and given me the success that people only dream of. I have a responsibility to them even if it means exposing my personal life and mistakes.

Your life has changed tremendously in a fairly short amount of time. How do you stay so grounded?
I really haven’t changed because I don’t comprehend the success the way others do. I just do what I do every day to the best of my ability. Good enough simply isn’t good enough. I’m also lucky to have such interactive fans. They keep me grounded because they are very much so.

Just like your husband Jason [Hoppy], my husband Mike is a good-looking man who gets a lot of attention from women. How do you deal?
I’m not a jealous person. I don’t even know if Jason gets attention from women—I don’t really see it and he doesn’t tell me. Looks are the least interesting thing about Jason to me, so that isn’t on my radar.

Your shoes are gorgeous. What’s the secret to walking around in such high heels without falling over?
I love them so I just suck it up! What’s funny is that I have a very defined arch in my feet, so wearing flats is more uncomfortable for me at times.


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