Exclusive: Ross Mathews previews his new book full of juicy Hollywood stories
Over the past few decades, Ross Mathews has interviewed just about every celebrity you can think of on red carpets and beyond. Now he’s ready to spill his juiciest off-camera Hollywood stories in the appropriately titled Name Drop.
Indeed, this is Mathews (who previously wrote Man Up!) at his dishiest. “The stories where I actually get invited into celebrities’ secret lives — their natural habitats, if you will — are the real gold,” he writes in his new book. “Their private tables in restaurants, their magnificent movie trailers, their hilariously humongous houses — that’s where the really good stuff happens.”
The former The Tonight Show With Jay Leno intern and current RuPaul’s Drag Race judge explores his being an unlikely insider in the alternate reality that is showbiz, from being invited by Barbara Walters to host The View to spending Christmas with the Kardashians to making national news while on Celebrity Big Brother for his revelatory talk with Omarosa, who’d just exited the Trump White House.
Mathews has shared with EW an exclusive preview of Name Drop, in the form of a cover reveal and first excerpt, which you can see below. Name Drop publishes Feb. 4, 2020, and is available for pre-order.
Excerpt from Name Drop, by Ross Mathews
Name-dropping runs rampant in Hollywood, like high-speed car chases, gluten intolerance, and syphilis. And much like syphilis, name-dropping is super-grody and spreads quickly. You can’t walk five feet down Sunset Boulevard without overhearing some Real Housewife of Whatever telling a former Disney tween about how her new trainer is the guy who got Chris Pratt’s body into batshit crazy shape for that comic book movie. No, not that comic book movie. The other one. No, not that one. The other one.
Side note, Chris, if you’re reading this—and I just assume you are—I love your body . . . of work. Honey, I’d Guard your Galaxy any day! (Side note: I’d like to point out that I made a conscious choice to not make a cheap, tasteless Uranus joke here. Why? Because I’m trying to be bigger than that. We’ll see how long that lasts.)
As someone who has interviewed just about every celebrity you can imagine on every red carpet you can imagine for nearly the past two decades, I have some pretty amazing stories. And, trust me—the red carpet stories are the boring ones! The stories where I actually get invited into celebrities’ secret lives—their natural habitats, if you will—are the real gold. Their private tables in restaurants, their magnificent movie trailers, their hilariously humongous houses—that’s where the really good stuff happens.
From time to time, I’ve managed to sneak beyond the velvet rope that separates them from us mere mortals and see what few ever get to see.
The following Hollywood stories are wholesome and hilarious. No celebrity was harmed in the making of this book. But don’t worry, honey—we’re still gonna go there. I mean, don’t you wanna know what Kanye piled onto his plate at the buffet when I was in line behind him at the Kardashian Christmas party? And who would it hurt if I told you? Ham. It was ham. See—now you know and nobody died. Well, the pig did, but you can’t blame me for that.
No one ever specifically told me not to tell these stories, but I never do . . . Unless you take me to happy hour and ply me with cheap two-for-one cocktails and appetizers. What can I say? I’m a total whore for a hors d’oeuvre!
The idea for this book hit me as I was hanging out with a fun group of friends—some old friends, some new friends, some old friends who, thanks to Botox, look new. After about four Skinny Margaritas (I was going to have only three, but hello, they’re two-for-one!), I told one of these exceptionally juicy stories and noticed my friends, their mouths agape, hanging on my every word. When I finished narrating, one of them said “You have to put that in a book!” to which I indignantly replied, “I could never!”
And then I asked myself the same question I did when I was offered Skinny Margaritas number five and six: “Why not?”
You should also know that, in true Ross Mathews spirit, I’ve taken the liberty of creating a corresponding cocktail and a related recipe—or “Rossipe,” as I call them—for each chapter (why should Martha Stewart have all the fun?). What other book has done that for you, huh? Go open up Moby Dick! There’s not a single recipe in there—not even for fish sticks! I know—I was shocked, too! No wonder nobody ever read it!
So here we go. Let’s get this soon-to-be-classic piece of literature started! Pretend it’s happy hour and you and I are sitting at the bar. I look amazing and, I agree with you, much thinner in person. You look good, too. Maybe it’s the candlelight, maybe it’s the booze—either way, let’s just go with it. Just lean in, keep this all between you and me, and do me a favor? Don’t judge me if I name-drop just a little. Thanks. I promise this book will be out of this world. Just like Uranus. Dammit!