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Runner-up thinks those red-carpet shoes will fit

September 18, 2004|Susan King | Times Staff Writer

Star Jones wasn't E! Entertainment's first choice to host Sunday's red carpet arrivals for the 56th annual Emmy Awards -- industry sources say E!'s wish list included former Emmy host Ellen DeGeneres, Tracy Ullman and Rosie O'Donnell, as well as supermodel Cindy Crawford.

E! also pursued Kelly Ripa and Kirstie Alley, but the TV talk show host wasn't interested and the actress was too busy working on a new reality show for Showtime, sources said. A network representative confirmed the network compiled a list of several candidates but refused to discuss the selection process.

Nonetheless, Jones, an attorney turned co-host of ABC's "The View," said she's looking forward to packing up her favorite flip-flops from Payless Shoe Source -- she's its spokeswoman -- and taking over at the Shrine Auditorium where the show's longtime hosts, Joan and Melissa Rivers, left off. The mother-and-daughter duo had earned big ratings for hosting the red carpet arrivals for E! until they exited for greener monetary pastures at the TV Guide Channel.

For her part, Jones credits a little divine intervention for helping her get the job.

Question: Did you have any inkling that E! would approach you for the job?

Answer: Yeah, I did because I have a beeline to God and he always let's me know when new things are happening my way. I have to tell you I sent a little message to the entertainment god that if I could pick any secondary job it would be doing the red carpet for some of the awards shows. I enjoy it so much. I enjoy watching it and enjoy talking about it on "The View," and so now to be able to host it will be fabulous.

Q: This comes at a hectic time -- you're getting married in November to Wall Street investment banker Al Reynolds.

A: My first phone call was to Al saying, "Honey. I am hosting the arrival show for E!," and my second was to my stylist, who was like, "How dare you agree to do this when I have to dress you for the wedding, 15 bridesmaids, four flower girls and a partridge in the pear tree!"

Q: Did you enjoy watching Joan and Melissa Rivers doing the pre-show in the past?

A: Absolutely. But my style is completely different.

Q: In what way?

A: I tend to celebrate an eclectic style rather than be critical of it. It is important to me to enhance the day for the nominees and the presenters and the participants in the Emmys and not do anything that takes away from their happiness. The fans are coming out to see their favorite stars and they are going to be screaming their names, and I want to add to that joy.

Q: Could you preview some of your questions?

A: Well, I will do everything from "What are you working on?" to "How is the baby?" I can't wait to see if Courteney Cox brings a photograph of the baby. I am excited to see how fabulous Debra Messing looks. Anybody who just got married, you know I will be picking their brain for advice. I really want to watch for the outfits. I am going to be looking for the tidbit ... that will make it interesting and fun. You have to remember I know a lot of these people because I see them. They have sat on the couch next to me. Unlike Joan, who encounters them just on the red carpet, I encounter them on "The View" almost every day. I want them to feel, "I can't wait to get on the podium and talk to Star." I don't want them to go, "Oh God. I have to talk to Star."

I am just honored to be a part of their evening. It is not about me, but I will be fabulous and glamorous, let's be clear.

Q: Will you be wearing a pair of Payless shoes?

A: I have already told my assistant to pull my Payless flat shoes, because I am not sure how long the four-inch heels will work. I always have my Payless flip-flops in my bag, so no matter what shoes I have on, I have the flip-flops in the bag. I am a real spokesperson. I don't wear Payless because I contractually have to; I wear them because I want to.

Q: What will your gown be like?

A: The only thing I can tell you is that there will be cleavage! I want to go for some brilliant color this time. Don't expect to see me in black. I love red. I love TV blue. I call it TV blue because it is that rich blue color. The great Oscar James is doing my hair. He will come up with something good and I have learned to be a smart girl and get out of Oscar's way.

Q: Do you have any favorite shows you want to win Sunday?

A: Well, I got to tell you I miss my girls on "Sex and the City." I would love to see "Sex and the City" win.

I definitely want Kim Cattrall to win because everybody knows she's one of my best friends. She is actually one of my hostesses at my wedding.

Q: If all goes well on Sunday, will you be doing the red carpet arrivals for the other awards shows for E!?

A: Do you think I am going to tell you that kind of thing? I always have to have some secrets.


Times staff writer Sallie Hofmeister contributed to this report.



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