The Insider's Star
by Lara Spencer
I just moved to Los Angeles from New York, and I can’t stop thinking about Randy Newman’s song “I Love LA.” I wish I could make it the new theme song for the show I host, The Insider.
My commute went from an hour to six minutes, and I can do it in a convertible. In February. One of the perks of an already-amazing job are the secrets stars share with me. And since moving to LA, I’ve garnered even more insider information from celebrities.
Who knew I would bond with Will Smith over our shared obsession with golf? Will told me golf is his “sports narcotic.” He plays with Tiger Woods, who—not surprisingly—beats him badly, for now. Will may be the nicest star in Hollywood, but he’s also a fierce competitor, even with arguably the best golfer in the world. Will told me he said to Tiger, “Let’s have an act-off, then we’ll talk.”
One of my favorite moments since moving to the City of Angels was with Mickey Rourke. I ran into him after the Golden Globes, and with his award on the table, he invited my husband and me to join him for a late dinner. That was both surreal and surprising because he’s not exactly taking résumés for new friends. He told me he remembers who was there for him in the dark times, and that’s who he wants around him now.
I’ve interviewed Tom Cruise many times but truly admire him for something he recently told me off camera. Will Smith offered Tom’s son, Connor, a part in his film Seven Pounds, but Tom said he wanted his son to read for the part—in other words, he didn’t want Connor to get special treatment. As the story goes, Tom and “Uncle Will” were so nervous at Connor’s audition, the director asked them to leave the room. If you’ve seen the movie, you know Connor ended up getting the part and did a great job with it.
As for some useful tips I’ve learned from celebs, Heidi Klum swears she keeps her figure by eating Starbucks oatmeal for breakfast. You have to love a woman who looks like that and eats carbs! And I got a beauty trick from none other than Fergie. She told me the secret to her new MAC lipstick, Viva Glam: Its blue undertones make teeth look super white. I ran out and bought a tube.
I even have a Hollywood nickname. George Clooney calls me “Tanglefoot.” The first time I met him I was so nervous, I pulled a Lucille Ball and tripped. We’re talking a total face-plant. But who cares? He can call me whatever he wants. I love George, and I love my job. And yes, Randy Newman—I love LA.
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.