It takes a big personality to interview some of the biggest personalities in Hollywood. Good thing YoungHollywood.com can count on host Oliver Trevena to bring the best out of his peers. This British born TV personality is no stranger to the spotlight having started his career in music and gained recognition as an actor stateside in projects including Leverage, The Good Guys, and The Forgotten. We sat down, host to host, to talk with Oliver about his latest gig and what’s up next.
Sure, he has a charming accent, but in just a few short moments it becomes clear that Trevena is just, well, charming and perhaps it’s that charm that allows him to get some of Hollywood’s biggest names to open up to him at his day job as the host for Young Hollywood whose studios call the Four Seasons Hotel home. It didn’t surprise us one bit when he told us about his next A-list project, his own show Ollywood. Read on to learn more!
PPLA: You are the host for YoungHollywood.com. Tell me about how you first got involved with this website and what your day to day is like.
OT: I got involved with them basically through RJ Williams who is the founder of Young Hollywood. It is actually a really random story but I’ll tell you anyway! There’s a nightclub called Villa and Leonardo DiCaprio was doing his birthday there and a friend asked if I wanted to host his karaoke. I guess for some reason they thought I would be funny doing it and so I hosted at Leo’s birthday and RJ was there and thought that was what I did. But at the time, I didn’t. I was in music most of my life. RJ said to me, “do you host?” and I said, “No” and he said, “Do you want to ?” and I said Okay” and literally two days later I’m on the red carpet and that was about four years ago. So that was it and the rest is history! As for my day to day now, I’m more in the studio than on the carpet. We have a studio at the Four Seasons Hotel, it’s a pretty amazing set. It’s on the 9th floor of the hotel and it’s like three suites. It’s built like a full studio set and it has a bar and a green room. Day to day, I also cover press junkets which occur when there’s a new film coming out or TV show for the new season. We also have a lot of bands come to the studio and perform. For example, we had Nikki Reed from Twilight in the other day with her husband Paul McDonald and they performed songs from their album The Best Part, so it really varies- bands, actors, TV personalities, Youtube sensations, stuff like that. It could be anyone from Drew Barrymore to Gerard Butler to Colin Farrell. There’s lots of big names that come in.
PPLA: So it sounds like a really boring day to day!
OT: Yeah my life sucks, it’s really really terrible! It’s really boring! (laughs) No, I’m very, very lucky.
PPLA: We hear you also have your own TV show in the works, can you tell us about that?
OT: Yes, I’m working with Kelsey Grammer which is exciting. It’s going to be my own show called Ollywood, very self-obsessed the name is! That show will basically be more about what the celebrity wants to do and promote as oppossed to their films and work. For instance, it could be Vanessa Hudgens taking me to a dance class and then her boyfriend taking me shooting because he is obsessed with guns which is quite scary! (laughs)
PPLA: So you get to see what the celebrities do with the rest of their time, in their normal lives?
OT: Exactly. We’ve got a lot of friendships with the people through work and myself having been in L.A. so long. They get bored of just promoting films so this show will let you see that celebrities are actually people in addition to their work.
PPLA: So you’ve been working as a host for Young Hollywood for four years now. What about the site and the set at the Four Seasons sets it apart and attracts such high-profile celebrities?
OT: When they come in if it’s their first time- it’s been there for four years and a lot of people have been back more then once- but when they first come in they’re normally quite blown away by it because it’s a proper full-on studio. The walls have been knocked through and it takes up about three normal suites so it is a huge space. They’re always impressed. We cover the press junkets, a lot of which are based at the Four Seasons, and they get quite boring. The actors are just going from little room to little room with just a blank poster board in the background and then they walk into our studio and it’s this massive set-up, and I guess I’m not your average host in the sense that I’m quite off the cuff as opposed to asking them every question they’ve been asked all day about their film. I’m much more conversational and more fun to talk to… at least I try to make it that way!
PPLA: As for your show Ollywood, do you have a set launch date for that? And are their any other projects we should look out for?
OT: It’s pretty much in the works now. We are shooting the pilot and I’m pretty sure we’ve got quite a lot of interest in it from a few networks because of the names we’ve got attached. I think it’s not going to be a problem getting it picked up and having Kelsey’s name behind it of course helps. Other than that, I’ve also signed with All Saints Clothing. I’m the brand ambassador for them so I’m shooting that campaign next year and I wear all their clothing!
PPLA: I also understant you are an actor and recently appeared on Leverage.
OT: Yep….I like to keep busy! (laughs)
PPLA: Are you pursuing that actively or has it just come to fruition naturally because of your presence with Young Hollywood?
OT: I am still pursuing it. There are a few little things here and there coming up which I can’t mention until they are a done deal. I still get sent out by my agents when a fitting part comes up, you know for a British guy! I always play the bad boy or the gangster too. So when a part like that comes up they always call me, and I keep playing those roles and I plan to keep acting.I think now more than ever crossing over is a lot more acceptable be it from music into acting, acting into hosting, hosting into acting, it’s all good!
PPLA: Out of all the people that you’ve interviewed has anyone really stood out or been your favorite? Have you ever been a bit starstruck?
OT: Starstuck not so much, but my favorite interview was Drew Barrymore because she’s just so lovely and adorable and whenever I see her (since that first interview) she’s still so lovely. She’s just a really nice person which is the best part of it.
PPLA: Do you have any dream interviews that you would love to do either for Young Hollywood or on your new show?
OT: I’d love to interview Elton John or Paul McCartney just because I’m a huge fan. Although then I might get nervous and it might not be a good interview. (laughs)
PPLA: If you had only one question you could ask them, what would it be?
OT: To Paul McCartney I’d ask him ‘what was it like’, you know his life and The Beatles. I’m sure he gets that but I’d have to or I’d just hug him. I’d probably hug him and I’d probably do the same to Elton John which would be even stranger!
PPLA: Just do a big group hug?
OT: Yeah, a big group hug! We need more hugging in this world!
PPLA: What would you like your fans to know about you? If you were on Ollywood, what would be the non-celebrity side you would show?
OT: I play soccer pretty much al the time with quite a lot of other actors actually. I play for a team called Hollywood United and it’s run by Anthony LaPaglia who is an actor on Without a Trace.
PPLA: What position do you play?
OT: I’m the Striker. I score the goals!
PPLA: I’m sure Rugby was bigger where you grow up but not here.
OT: I did play Rugby growing up and love it, but there aren’t many rugby teams here which is probably a good thing because when you have to be on camera rugby isn’t the best sport to play.