02 April 2012
“I Do, Now What”
So, what’s the best part about being Runway Magazine’s latest cover girl?
Everything, from what Giuliana tells me. I got the chance to have a light heart-to-heart with the long-legged beauty just days before her doublemasectomy. This past month, she has been very public with her recent battle with breast cancer, inspiring women of all ages to go get checked for the disease. Fortunately, not only did Giuliana and I talk about her experience with the illness, but she let me know all about the good that’s come from it. This woman is all about positivity; from her reality show, to her red carpet interviews, to her entire outlook on life. In this inside look, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know everything you’ve wanted to know about Giuliana, not to mention the run-down on everything going on for her in the new year ahead.
Okay. First things first. What are some things to keep in mind in order to not end up a victim of the Fashion Police?
You really good being, if it’s possible, take a picture of yourself before you go out on a red carpet. Sometimes what you see in the mirror is not what you’ll see on the red carpet. We actually just had Parker Posey on the red carpet and she was in all red, a red dress, red tights, and red shoes. I mean, if she was going to something like a holiday party it would’ve been cute, but red outfit on top of a red carpet… It was just overkill. You always have to look at what something looks like in real life versus how it photographs.
I’ll have to remember that! So, how do you keep it together on the show sometimes with some of the beyond hilarious things that come out of Joan Rivers’ mouth?
I don’t keep it together. That’s the thing. Sometimes it’s funny because she’ll make a comment about a celebrity I know or that I’m friends with and I can see that the camera cuts away to me laughing. I’m like, “Oh, my God.” I’m trying not to laugh, but I can’t help it. Joan is one of the greatest comedians over time. She’s an amazing woman. What comes out of her mouth always shocks me and amuses me. At the end of the day it’s all in good fun. Fashion is fun and I know celebrities think it’s funny too.
I’d have to agree. I absolutely love Joan Rivers… and the show of course. Do you ever have a tough time coming up with things to say when you’re on the spot?
Not really. I think my role is more of how the everyday person would respond. I mean, we have George the stylist who gives the breakdown on the fashion of it. I just look at them more in the eyes of the average woman. I just speak from the heart and say what I’m feeling when I look at the pictures of these people.
Well, when did you realize that fashion, on-air reporting, and interviewing were the way you wanted to go with your career?
I’ve loved movies, television, and pop culture since I was a kid. I moved to America when I was a little girl and I think that I always thought how cool Hollywood would be and how cool it would be to be a part of it. It was so glamorous. I didn’t really realize that I could make a living at just talking about fashion, Hollywood, or anything like that. When I went to college and graduate school for journalism, I studied “hard news”, but my professor said I should really go to Hollywood to try to get into entertainment reporting. So, I think it was really in college when I knew I wanted to go in this direction.
Right, well, I know the awards shows are coming up. Do you have any fave red carpet moments that you can think of?
Yeah, one of my favorite from a long time ago was when I was interviewing Tom Hanks. Halley Berry had just won the Oscar and she was making rounds. I could see her coming and I knew I couldn’t miss that interview, but I didn’t want to interrupt Tom Hanks in his interview. It was an interesting situation because I didn’t want to miss Halle Berry either since she was the woman of the night. In the moment, I made eye contact with Halle and I brought her over. I said, “Halle, have you met Tom?” So, my tactic was to kind of introduce them and interview them together. Halle was like, “it’s just such an honor.” And, Tom was like, “Are you kidding? It’s an honor to meet you!” We caught this beautiful, very real moment on camera.
E! was very happy about that. (She chuckles.)
So. what goes into picking out your dresses for events like these?
Usually we start pulling the dresses about two weeks ahead of time. Usually, we have about twenty dresses to look at, but I’m pretty quick. I put it on and it’s either a yes or a no. We narrowed down to two or three and then it gets a little tougher. In the end, one always tends to pop within the others.
Well, when the event finally comes, you and Ryan Seacrest are the red carpet dynamic duo. What do you think makes you guys click so well on-air?
I think what makes when I so great is that we ask celebrities what people at home would want to know. We don’t focus as much on storylines and their movies or their characters. We talk more about happening at the moment, what they’re wearing, and what’s going on in their lives. I think that helps, and we always do it with a sense of humor. Okay, let’s add another man to the mix. Let’s talk about Giuliana and Bill.
Can you give me any info on what’s next for the show?
Well, we are deciding about doing another season and it’s looking good. We’ve been shooting a little bit just in case. It’s great. We’re opening a restaurant in Chicago actually opens this January.
Is that the Mama DePandi restaurant idea?
You know what, yes. It is with my mom, but it kind of went in a different direction. It went from old RPM Italian restaurant to more of a chic, hip spot. The name of Mama DePandi’s sounds a little old, so we are trying to come up with a name. It’s going to be great. It’s the first time Bill and I are getting into the restaurant business and we are very excited about it. I’m sure you guys will knock it out of the park. I mean, you guys seem to work through some really tough things in front of millions of viewers.
How do you manage to keep your cool so well with some of the curve balls you get thrown?
I think what we do is really focus on the positive. I know we’ve definitely gotten some bad news, especially this past year in different aspects of our life, but, at the same time, we’ve gotten a lot of great news. It’s natural that one bad news comes, that’s what you tend to focus on in the beginning. I mean, it’s hard. You need time to process things, be upset about them, and be sad. I think that’s what we do just like everyone else, but that we pick ourselves up and think about everything that’s good in our lives. We have a roof over our heads, I have a great job that I love. A lot of people don’t have those things. The good always outweighs the bad. With IVF, struggle to get pregnant, and now the breast cancer, it’s an opportunity to really take negative situations and turn them into positive ones. The way I’m doing that is by going public to help women or even just make them feel less alone, or to go get checked. That brings me joy.
Have you always had such a positive outlook?
I’ve been like that pretty much my whole life. It’s not just because I live in Hollywood with all the glamorous things I have. I’m actually very simple person. I live very modestly and, even when I was struggling as a hostess in a restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, I had the same attitude. You can’t control what life gives you, but you can control your attitude. I think that’s important.
Do you think that talking so much about everything is almost therapeutic in a way?
Yeah, it is. To be honest, what I rather keep it private? Yes, as far as my sanity is concerned. (She jokes.) I think if anything, it brings me an incredible amount of joy to hear that women are getting checked. I actually have a celebrity friend of mine who has every resource in the world because she’s a big star. She’s in her early 40s and left me a message on my cell phone, whispering that she was in the doctor’s office getting her first mammogram. She heard my story and said that she couldn’t believe she’d waited this long. So, I guess it’s not so much therapeutic as it is rewarding. I mean, just this week alone I have two friends in their mid 30s who went to the doctor to get checked because of my story and both of them found out they have the early stages of breast cancer also. So, yes, they’re dealing with bad news, but they’re going to survive. Otherwise, they they may have had a death sentence.
That’s incredible. So, what two cents can you give women regarding early testing for breast cancer?
It’s funny because I know a lot of people on the street will come up to me with sadness in their eyes like they feel bad for me. I tell them to actually be so happy for me. I’m lucky, you know. I caught it. I’m going to now have less than a 1% chance of it ever coming back. I feel bad for those who aren’t getting tested and when they finally do it’s too late. My biggest piece of advice is just to go to the doctor, no matter what age you are, and get tested.
Has this whole ordeal pushed you into any work for any breast cancer charities?
Well, even before I was diagnosed because I just think what they do is wonderful, I love BrightPink.org. They are actually educating women on giving self-exams and things like that. They’re just a great resource for young women. They actually did this thing where they can give you a text alert every month to give yourself your home exam. I think it’s called the “underwire alert” or something like that. Oh, that’s cool way to go about it. Well, in terms of what you’re dealing with, I know you were back at work so quickly after your first surgery.
How were you feeling after your recovery from that one?
Great. I think it was important for me to have a goal. I’m very goal-oriented and for me, one of my goals was to be back at work by Monday. I think it was good because it got me to go somewhere and tell my body that I needed to do something. I mean I was a little slower, I couldn’t laugh as hard, and I needed some help getting dressed, but it was good. Work distracts me some people find that the best thing to do is to be home, watch TV, and relax. For me, it was definitely to be distracted to go to work. It was wonderful because everyone’s been very supportive here at E!
Did Bill get you a little bell to ring for when you are recuperating? Is he a good home nurse?
(She laughs.) I love it. Yeah, he didn’t even need a bell. He was always so close to me, so
he was always right there. He makes fun of himself he always says he can have a career as a male nurse if this whole business thing doesn’t work out. He’s amazing and he’s been by my side through all of this. When someone suggested that we have the nurse come to the house after the hospital, Bill was like, “What?! No, I’m the nurse. I’m the one who’s going to be taking care of you.” He’s incredibly nurturing, the most nurturing person I’ve ever met next to my mom. Let’s get back to the show that I’m obsessed with…
Were you on cloud nine when Giuliana and Bill was first picked up by the Style network?
It was great. I mean, they filmed our wedding in Italy, so when they approached us saying that viewers wanted to see what’s been happening with us since the wedding, we thought it would be a great opportunity to put a reality show on the air that positive. It shows a healthy marriage and it’s not all about people cursing each other out and screaming at the top of our lungs like a lot of the reality shows out there. People actually told us it would never work and here we are. It’s working. We’re happy we can put something authentic on the air. You gave us a little glimpse this past season into the fashion line you were working on.
What’s going on with that?
Yeah, we are still working on it, definitely something for Spring. We’ve a great manufacturer
in New York, so, so far at the samples look great. We’re just waiting for the rest of the stuff
to come in. It’s been exciting. It’s definitely a lot more work than I anticipated, but it’s good. It’s going to be very stylish clothing that’s also really affordable. I get to see a lot of the trends in Hollywood before most people because of what I do, so it felt very natural to put out a line. Okay. Let’s talk books. You and Bill have both written books on your own and then you’ve also
Are there any more on the horizon? What are some of the advantages of writing with your hubby?
You now, there are no disadvantages to be honest with you. We had a great time writing and I think it was easy because we did it in a “he said, she said”way, so it wasn’t like we had to combine our words. I mean, we’ll see. People ask us all the time for relationship advice and they’re interested in our efforts and little tricks that we do to keep such a great relationship. We would love to share that information when people, so maybe in the future will write a book together something along those lines. Or, maybe I’ll write a book about my journey through all of this, but no plans just yet. So, you just mentioned your relationship tricks… What are your beauty tips? Everybody has to know…
You seem to get better looking every year. How do you stay so gorgeous?
(She blushes.) Oh my God, you’re so sweet. I love you. You know, I think one of the chicks is that I don’t do work to my face. I think that’s a trick to not looking your age. I think when some people inject a lot of things into their face they end up looking older actually. It’s that look. Everyone knows what that look is, that pulled look. It’s okay to have some wrinkles. I mean Botox and fillers, that’s all fine. For me, I think it’s helped for me to not fall into that trap yet. I’m trying to hold off on that as long as possible. I’ve also been using the same skincare line for ten years, so I think when you find something that works for you, just go with it.
Well, you also have ridiculously fabulous hair. With it getting styled all the time and dyed and having extensions, how do you keep it looking so healthy?
The secret, ya know, is I don’t wash it that much. These to wash my hair a lot and now it’s more like every other day, maybe even every third day. I think that’s where the real damage starts happening, when you wash it every day. Too much washing and too many products. Just let your natural oils take care of your hair. Now, I know that living in LA and in the Hollywood spotlight puts on added pressure to look good, stay thin, and all that jazz.
How do you keep it all from getting the best of you?
I just stay a very grounded. You interviews Louise every day, I can tell when a celebrity has kind of checked out of planet Earth. They’ve totally bought into their hype. They believe they’re bigger than they are. They think all the love and admiration will never end. I know that it’s fleeting. One day they love you in the next day they don’t. You have to have other things happening in your life that are bigger than Hollywood, bigger than this job, and that’s what I have with my husband and family. I know that if this all ends tomorrow, I’ll move to a great house outside of Chicago and have a great life with my husband. I’m not worried. I think it’s important. You just have to find happiness in your life outside of this industry.
So, I have to ask… How does it feel to be a Runway Magazine cover girl?
It feels terrific! I was so honored when I was asked to be on the cover. Obviously the photographer was incredible. He just took such beautiful images. I’m just thrilled and can’t wait to see it! To tell you the truth, I just can’t wait to frame it and put it in my office, show it off to Seacrest as he walks by.
Have you been on the cover of Runway Magazine?
I don’t think so. (She laughs.) I’m just very excited because I’m such a huge fan.
What do you think about helping all those emerging designer fashionistas out there who are struggling to have a voice?
Oh, I think it’s fantastic. I’m such a fan of TV shows like Project Runway because I think that
here was a time when it was really hard to get your designs seen. It still is. I love the magazine is giving these people that opportunity. There is so much talent out there that hasn’t been tapped into yet, that is undiscovered. We all started somewhere. We’ll just needed someone to believe in us and give us that one shot. That’s why I’m so honored to be a part of this issue.
Photo: Odessy Barbu
Stylist: Toni Ferrara, toniferrara.com
Styling Assistant: Nicole Velasquez
Make up artist: Paige Quintanilla
Hair Stylist : Lauren Stout /B2V Salon Beverly Hills