Nancy O'Dell Gives Us Full Access
The Access Hollywood
host recalls highlights from 10 years of dishing with the stars.
I’m excited to celebrate 10 years on Access Hollywood
. It feels like my baby because I’ve been here since Day 1. In the beginning, I was literally doing every single interview, as I was the only reporter hired at that time. I didn’t know then that the show would be on for 10 years, so I’m proud of its success.
We’ve worked hard to build our reputation and relationships. Now, rather than having to knock down doors, people are coming to us. I was honored that Nick Lachey personally requested me when he started doing the circuit for his new album. He was the big get at the time because it was his first interview since his breakup with Jessica [Simpson]. Having gone through a divorce myself, I knew that subject could be touchy, but he was very open.
In 2002, Halle Berry
gave us the exclusive when she and Eric Benet
wanted to let the public know they were going to try to work out their marriage. That was a difficult interview for me because I am friendly with Halle, but she trusted me to be fair.
Some celebrities aren’t as open. I interviewed Vince Vaughn about The Break-Up, and when I brought up Jennifer [Aniston], I feel he thought a few of my questions were too personal.
People at work go, “You’re Southern. You can ask anything!” But it’s just about treating somebody with respect. I always tell celebrities, “Let me do my job. You can respond however you want, even if it's saying, 'I prefer not to talk about it.'"
Now, versus a decade ago, America has become obsessed with celebrities. People want more and more details. In the beginning it was about covering the projects. Now it’s more about the stars’ personal lives. We want to know about their families, relationships and diets. But Access Hollywood continues to take the high road. We never go gossipy.
Having done this for 10 years, I feel like I’ve in some way grown up with the celebrities. I’ve been through all of their marriages, divorces and babies. My job is constantly changing, which is what keeps it so fascinating. It may be my 50th interview with Tom Cruise, but it’s for a different movie each time. Seeing Access Hollywood become one of the top entertainment newsmagazines has been really special. I say every day, “OK, I’ve raised my child properly.” — Nancy O'Dell