Vanity Fair’s West Coast editor, insists she isn’t thinking beyond the tonight’s (Jan. 11) premiere of her special with Gwyneth Paltrow, Seth MacFarlane and fashion designer Jason Wu. “I just hope people watch it and like it,” says the personable Smith, who has whetted her on-camera interviewing chops on ABC’s Oscar pre-show, as well as VF’s website. “I love doing it, being live in the moment. I talk. That’s what I do,” she adds.
She does acknowledge that network chieftains Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel have made it clear they’re interested in opening up that 11 p.m. slot. But whether it will be with an interview show, a comedy or something different remains to be seen.
“Out of Character” attempts a bit of a different approach by getting its subjects out of the studio and into environments where they’re theoretically more themselves. MacFarlane is at his house. Paltrow is cooking in Smith’s own home kitchen. “I didn’t change a thing in my kitchen. I cleaned it up, that’s all. I was really nervous because I’m not that comfortable cooking, and she was showing me how to make a meal for my kids. And by the way, my kitchen is small.”
Wu, who is best known for designing Michelle Obama’s inauguration dress, gave Smith a tour of his design facilities. “He was so great, really interesting. His mother moved him out of Taipei when she realized he was different and would not be allowed to be who he was. She supported and nurtured his gifts … I’ve been a journalist for a long time, and he just has a great story.”