He may be taking over Ryan Seacrest’s hosting duties as a new co-host of E! News, but Terrence J. still has his eye on the prize when it comes to acting. The new former co-host of BET’s 106 & Park spoke to Kelley Carter of EBONY.com about his new daytime gig, the acting roles that await, and why it’s a good to be seeing more Black men on the airwaves.
EBONY: After the success of Think Like a Man, you didn’t go full throttle with the acting career. You’re now hosting for E! News.
Terrence J: I think that Hollywood is this sort of hybrid now. You have incredible broadcasters like Oprah Winfrey who are now doing movies like The Butler. You have people that are building careers that don’t just have to fit in one lane. I want to be a trendsetter in that space. I look at a mentor of mine like Ryan Seacrest and the incredible amount of equity he’s been able to bring to the broadcasting arena, and the branding and the world that he’s been able to build around himself. I look at another mentor of mine, Will Smith – I call him the greatest actor alive right now – and I’m trying to merge the two. I have a long way to go, obviously. Those are some very big ambitions. But I’m shooting Think Like a Man 2 next year and I have two more film projects that’ll be coming out relatively soon. And I’ll be every day on E! News. Hopefully people just won’t get sick of me!
EBONY: The week that your new gig was announced was a big week for other Black men in the entertainment talk show industry. Steve Harvey’s show started, then Michael Strahan got the gig onThe View. Do you think we’re a bit more comfortable with seeing more diversity on-air?
TJ: I would hope so. And I just hope it leads to more. I called Michael and congratulated him, and obviously I’m very close with Steve. I hope it leads to more and more opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds – not just African-Americans, but Latinos and Asians. I hope that these new hires open up more and more opportunities so that TV looks more like America.
EBONY: When you start hosting on E! in November, will you be bringing any changes to the show?
TJ: One day I’m going to sneak in a pair of Jordans! I’m going to wait until I’m there a while, but I’m going to be the first guy to wear a pair of MJs on the show! No, I look forward to being myself and having a lot of fun. I’m just really happy to be here. My entire story has been public. The first time I was on television nationally, it was broadcast so people got to see me from day one to where I’m now in this new position. So I just appreciate everybody that’s been there along for the ride. I’m just a puny kid from North Carolina.
Check out the interview in full over at EBONY.com.
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