Ross Mathews’ life completely changed almost 20 years ago when Jay Leno made him an on-air correspondent for “The Tonight Show”.
Now, after spending almost two decades in the business, the television personality is spilling all the tea on his famous celebrity friends and frenemies in his new book Name Drop: The Really Good Celebrity Stories I Usually Only Tell At Happy Hour.
While chatting with ET Canada‘s Cheryl Hickey, Mathews reveals the inspiration behind the tell-all’s title.
“I start the book by saying that name dropping is tacky. I know that. My best friend Gwyneth Paltrow taught me that,” he says.
“Of course, it’s tongue in cheek. It is so tacky to name drop but I kind of just lean into it.”
Speaking of Paltrow, the 40-year-old explains how it’s easy for him to forget that some of his friends are famous.
“The first time Gwyneth and I had lunch, I hadn’t seen her since we first met,” he shares. “She sat down and I said, ‘Oh my God, I’m gonna need a second cuz you’re Gwyneth Paltrow,’ and she said, ‘Give it 10 minutes and you’ll be over it.’ And she was right.”
Although his experiences with Paltrow have been positive, Mathews reveals that his experience with the legendary Barbara Walters left him less than impressed.
“I was a guest on ‘The View’. And she liked me so much she invited me back to co-host. Barbara was sharp as a tack!” he says.
“You know she was the best in the business. She was running ‘The View’ like a finely tuned machine. She just was not kind. Because I did ask her, trying to get her on my side, I said, ‘As they’re counting us down live, do you have any last-minute words of advice for me?’ and she said, ‘I’d like to tell you to go out there and be yourself. But I hope you won’t.’
“I shriveled into a little ball and then they’re like ‘Three, two, GO!’ and we’re on live TV and it just got worse from there and it wasn’t great,” adds Mathews.
Mathews may be adding author to his repertoire, but he’s also returning to the small screen in February as a co-judge on season 12 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”.
“Season 12…I think it’s my favourite season ever.”
“These queens are so good,” he raves. “You know, the show’s been on about 11 years and a lot of these queens are in their early 20s. They’ve grown up in a world with ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ on the air. So, they have been inspired by the show and now they’re reinventing it by coming on it.”