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James Corden on his 'Late Late Show' preparations, and what viewers can expect

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Art Streiber/CBS

Despite starring in the Oscar-nominated Into the Woods and being selected to take over for Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show, James Corden still doesn’t quite think he’s made it.

“I don’t consider myself to have fans,” the British comedian tells EW.

But Corden definitely has some supporters in the late night talk show world, which he’ll join officially once The Late Late Show with James Corden premieres on CBS.

“Seth [Meyers] was the first person to email me when the news broke,” Corden says. “Jimmy Kimmel said I was welcome to come down and watch anytime. I had a great time with Jimmy [Fallon] in New York, and I had a good 40-minute talk with Jay Leno.”

And, of course, his Late Late Show predecessor Craig Ferguson reached out, too.

“He called on the day my daughter was born. I was in the hospital,” Corden adds. “He said, ‘There’s only two people in the world who know what it feels like to come from this tiny island in Europe and end up in Los Angeles on this talk show.'”

When it comes to the show itself, Corden and his production team haven’t set anything in stone just yet. “Mostly we talked about atmosphere and how it’s going to feel to watch it,” he says. “We keep coming back to this feeling of just wanting it to be an environment that feels interesting. If there’s one thing we’d like viewers to say, it would be that they don’t know what it’s going to be like tonight.”

Corden may want to surprise viewers—but he did reveal that guests during the show’s first week will include Tom Hanks, Kerry Washington, Kevin Hart, and Will Ferrell.

Despite his show’s star-studded lineup, Corden realizes that it takes time for viewers to get hooked on a program. “These things are bred on their familiarity,” he says. “They never ever hit the ground running straight away. I hope in time that we can reach out to people and offer them something that’s entertaining before they go to sleep.”

And while Corden may be new to American television, he has his elevator pitch to the country well prepared: “I’m 36. I’m constantly on a diet, which I constantly break. I have two young children and a beautiful wife, and I wouldn’t have moved them all the way here if I wasn’t determined to make a show that was entertaining.”

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