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THE SUNDAY CONVERSATION

Giuliana Rancic

The E! personality will be a part of the Oscar red-carpet team.

February 22, 2009|Choire Sicha

Giuliana Rancic, nee DePandi, co-hosts E! News with Ryan Seacrest. Today, she'll be working the Oscars' red carpet with him.

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Can you take us through a little bit about what it's like, starting in the morning -- or with your outfit?

I usually wake up at 5 and get a good workout in. I like to make sure my guns are looking good. Meaning my muscles. So I'll run maybe six miles, do a workout. Then I get to the Roosevelt Hotel, and I shower and do hair and makeup, which takes a couple of hours, and we get the dress ready. I like to look over some questions I've come up with. Then get dressed, go out there about an hour beforehand. Then we break and usually I will go back to the Roosevelt and watch the Oscars on TV and go to the Governors Ball.

I remember, when I was single, I'd start at 5 in the morning and go all day long. There's a big party, Patrick Whitesell and Rick Yorn -- they have a huge after-party that doesn't get good until 1 a.m. It's ridiculous. I remember the first few years I was at E!, I'd go from that party to work. But granted our morning meeting is at 6 a.m.

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This year, you're working the red carpet remotely.

Ryan is on the red carpet. Then I'm in what we call the skybox. I'll be up there with a movie expert and a fashion expert. We have more than 20 cameras on that red carpet -- our cameras start at the limo drop-off. There's no mercy with us! The second you put your foot out of the limousine and you get stuck on a pebble, we've got a camera on it. But that's what people want to see.

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Who are you most afraid of when you're working the red carpet?

Russell Crowe! When he started out he was a really tough interview. Reporters would bond over that. He got married, had kids, so he's gotten a little better, a little more pleasant to interview. Another is, like, Sean Penn -- actors who just aren't into the press that much. I get that vibe from them and feel like I'm inconveniencing them.

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Are you looking forward to a rematch with Brad Pitt, after your SAG Awards moment where he kind of shot you down?

I know I should be the sweet journalist and all, but here's the thing. You're at a red carpet of an awards show. E! stands for entertainment. We're not going to do a documentary interview, a hard-hitting, heavy, newsy interview with you about, like, the plot line of your latest movie. I'm not talking to you about that. I'm going to ask you about your love life. I get e-mails every single day from viewers. They say, "Can you ask Brad Pitt what he loves most about Angelina?" Not like: "Can you ask him, you know, one hour into 'Benjamin Button,' the lighting" -- No one cares! It's an opportunity for them to connect with their fans and be human and have fun and be light and funny and gracious. I'm there to allow them to do that. If they don't do it, it's a missed opportunity for them. That's my style, and I'm never changing it.

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So you're not going to ask people about the bailout or something? Because I would like to know what Richard Jenkins thinks of that.

Definitely not going to go there. We're going to keep it light and fun. That's what E! stands for. Entertainment with an exclamation point! If these interviews get heavy, people turn off. They want to see fashion, glamorous fun -- who people are dating. That's it. Families, diets, fitness regimens.

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Is it out of sync with our current moment to wear $20,000 earrings?

I think that the viewers still want these celebrities to be fabulous. I don't think they want them to show up in dresses they could buy at Sears. They don't want to see people dressed down for their sake. They don't want celebrities to take pity on them on the red carpet.

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Does it freak you out that we live in a world where Ryan Seacrest is a multimillionaire?

I wanted to hate the guy. He drives around in an Aston Martin, he's got a multimillion-dollar house in the Hills -- and no host in this business can get a job because he gets them all. But he's the most likable person. . . . He charms the pants off everyone on our set. It doesn't matter if you're the president of E!'s friend or if you're a security guard's cousin's cousin. Ryan, who's busier than anyone I've worked with, is more charming and gracious than anyone I've worked with. I think he deserves his millions. Would I tell that to his face? No. I can't let that little head of his get any bigger.

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Who are you rooting for in film editing?

"Slumdog Millionaire." Wasn't it edited so well?

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I was going to ask you if you ever run out of things to say. Now I know you don't.

Everyone at E! gets so scared when I have to do interviews because I run my mouth. But I'm not scared. I got a lot of heat for those interviews. Brad and Angelina, everyone's like, "God, she didn't ask them one movie question." Well, good. Mission accomplished! I can get a raise.

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Publicist [coming on the line]: You can say we're scared, yes. No more, no more!

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Rancic: I know, all right, I'll stop. It's how I feel. I'm the messenger. I'm trying to communicate a message from Brad to his fans. I want him to play ball and have fun with his fans.

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Publicist: We love you, G.

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Rancic: I'm in trouble now.

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calendar@latimes.com

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