For every little boy hoping for Hollywood success, Ross Mathews can be looked at as the ultimate inspiration. From small town beginnings to the red carpets of Hollywood, Ross has gone from “Ross the Intern” on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” to hosting his own show on E!. II I sat down with Ross to chat about his new partnership with OraQuick, the second season of “Hello Ross”, and who he loved the most on the red carpet this season.
Ross, you’re a spokesperson for OraQuick, the first at home H.I.V. test. Tell me about how you got involved with this?
I’ve partnered with OraQuick for the “Life As We Know It” campaign. I’m very proud and lucky to have my dream job, and I want to use it as a platform to do something good. The rates of H.I.V. are rising. People are scared to go to the doctor, the weeklong wait to get your results is horrible, and the needles are scary. OraQuick has taken all of that fear away with an at-home H.I.V. test, where you swab, wait twenty minutes, and you have the results. There is a 1-800 # that is available seven days, twenty four hours a day. I really didn’t know that the technology existed, and I’m pretty in the know! I figured millions of other people did not know it existed either, so I wanted to be a part of the campaign.
My partner Salvador Camarena and I got tested when we got together and it really was scary. We wanted to be responsible though. It was not a fun experience. I think most people aren’t doing it because they are trying to avoid the process completely, they are scared, things like that…
In your opinion, why do you think that the rates of H.I.V. are currently rising?
I think there are several reasons. I was in elementary school when H.I.V. really started to become “news” and it was really drilled into us about safe sex and H.I.V. awareness. Personally, I always took the precautions that I could. Advances have come as time has gone on, and I think that us as a society, we have gotten comfortable and a little lazy to be honest with you. That’s why with OraQuick, it’s so easy to get your status. It’s about forty bucks, no needles, no doctors, and the test is the same one that doctors use. It really has revolutionized H.I.V. testing as we know it.
It seems like every time we turn on the E! network nowadays, Ross is on air.
I know, isn’t that fun? (Laughs).
You’re now a red carpet staple. What’s it like being front row with all of those celebrities?
You know, when I was a kid growing up in Mt. Vernon, WA, I used to put a red towel on my front porch and my friends and I would pose on it. Now, I actually get to be there! I’ve been doing it 12 years now and it never gets old. I loved spending awards season with Kelly Osbourne by my side, and working with Giuliana [Rancic] and Ryan [Seacrest] down on the carpet.
Who did you find most exciting to see on the red carpet during this past awards season?
Probably stars like Jennifer Lawrence, she always makes such a fashion splash. A star like Lupita Nyong’ o, she’s really using the red carpet how it should be used, to make such a splash. You really never know who people are going to be buzzing about tomorrow, that’s one of the best parts about this pop culture junkie world I am in now.
What do you think some of the current trends are in fashion right now?
Man Spankx is what’s big for me right now! (Laughs). I honestly don’t know, I share my opinion and make some jokes. My partner, Salvatore is a stylist, he’s the fashionista and he knows everything! I just know what jeans fit me and where to get them.
We know that you live for Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise. What do you think it is that draws people in?
I love them. I really think that they’re just absolutely ridiculous – and I love that! I have a very stable life, moderation, calm, lovely, things like that. That’s not what I want to watch though. I want to watch a shit show! (Laughs again). I don’t fight with people in my own life, so I want the Housewives to do it for me. That’s exactly why I love em’.
Your E! talk show “Hello Ross” is back for a second season. What’s different this year?
Last year we really nailed it I think. The audience showed up and we made a show for super fans.We had such great celebrities show up, Kathy Griffin, Gloria Estefan, Jeff Lewis, and Gwyneth Paltrow. The audience really helped me get the second season. This season, we have a brand new set, last year’s was put together with a band-aid and a can of paint! This year, we have a brand new glossy set that E! dropped serious coin on. It’s really the dream and I’m getting to take it to the next level.
It’s so hard to get your own talk show, and it’s even harder to make it a success. I’m proud that we are making it right, and no one is excluded and we definitely are not “too cool for school”. I figured out one thing early on. If I could make a living just being me, I would always have a job.