If you were one of the 12 million people watching CNN on election night, you probably caught the network’s proud display of its latest technological feat: the hologram interview. Correspondent Jessica Yellin was the first to give it a whirl early in the electoral count, instantly prompting countless Twitter references to Princess Leia. Later on, Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am (see clip below), who orchestrated the star-studded Yes We Can video project, also got beamed in from Chicago’s Grant Park so he could describe the scene at Obama’s coronation.
Now safely transported back to Los Angeles (by comparatively pedestrian means: an airplane), Will.I.Am admits the experience was kind of freaky. “I didn’t really know what to expect,” he tells EW.com. “Right after I walked through security, they asked if I would mind doing a hologram interview. I love CNN, so I went and did it. When I saw myself as the hologram talking to Anderson Cooper, it was crazy!” But while Will.I.Am’s responses to Cooper’s questions were appropriately serious in tone, he couldn’t help one fun, final indulgence as he signed off: a little hologram breakdancing. “That was the child in me,” he says. “I was, like, ‘I know this is historic and what not, but I have to do the wave.'”
As for the celebration itself? Behind the scenes was “a little nuts,” he says, but the night as a whole “was just beautiful.” Still elated by a personal thank-you he received from Barack and Michelle Obama that very night, the weight of the win is just sinking in. “It was a wonderful moment in time. The promise was executed. The concept and idea was executed. it doesn’t seem real, but it is. You have to pinch yourself.”