Wendy Williams is the self-dubbed "queen of all media" who has been taking over the radio for 23 years and is now ready for television. Windy City Times spoke with the talk-show host face to face while she was in town promoting her program.
Windy City Times: Is it weird to be the one being interviewed instead of doing the interview?
Wendy Williams: Yes, it is. [ Laughs ]
WCT: How is your show going?
WW: There are a lot of very necessary things that need to be done leading up to the show, the filming of the show for six weeks and then the break in between. Then the show has to be sold. It has been very exciting but I am ready for cameras to roll on July 13.
WCT: Congrats on being a part of BET. Your executive producer is Rob Dauber, who is not only been active in the gay community but has worked with Rosie, Oprah and Martha.
WW: There are three executive producers. Rob is the hands-on TV guy. He knows television and has a collection of Emmys. The second producer is my manager/husband of fourteen years, Kevin Hunter, who you met coming in. Kevin knows me. He knows the brand. Then there is me, I do have strong opinions on how I want to be represented at this particular juncture in my life. I have been on radio, Jerry, for 23 years. In terms of radio, I have done about everything that I could do in it. When you are playing a ratings game everyday is a struggle. This new challenge to be on TV is wonderful and I love the team that has been assembled.
WCT: It's very important who you surround yourself with in the business.
WW: Yes, and you know what? Our set designer, Mark, got it dead on. He came over to my house, my office and he brought his visual eye. So there is the pink, the gold, the animal print, the chandeliers and the disco balls!
WCT: What interviews are interested in doing for the show?
WW: I do, of course, love Whitney Houston. We are both from Jersey. We have things in common as well as the infamous conversation that we had years ago. Whitney has a new CD coming out on Sept. 2 and I can't wait. I love that Mariah is coming out a week before so that the girls don't conflict.
Also, Eva Longoria and I would love for Denzel Washington to come on the show. I will have hot topics, celebrity interviews and then advice at the end of the program.
WCT: Have you ever regretted saying something to a celebrity?
WW: It's too late to regret and waste the energy. What you can do is hope to live to see another day. That's when you eat a piece of humble pie. For example, yesterday when I was talking to Cher, maybe I was a little hard on her. I will send her some flowers. It's not what you say. It's how you couch it.
WCT: I wanted to say congrats on winning "Most Guiltiest Pleasure" at Logo's NewNowNext Awards.
WW: Thank you. That was my first time walking a televised red carpet. I can't get over how tall I am. Hollywood is so small. So I stand up and out. People voted for me from all across the country. I love the gays and the gays seem to love me. I need support from not just gay people but everybody. Celebrity is very fleeting and when it's over, honey, it is over. People can spot a phony from far away. I start out being as real as I possibly can.
WCT: This year a movie is coming out about your life, starring Robin Givens as you. Tell me about it.
WW: We have already shot it. It's an independent film and it's called Queen of All Media. It's based on my 2001 best-selling autobiography entitled Wendy Williams Brings the Heat. The beautiful thing was that we were able to use my new set to shoot the last scene. It's me coming out, the audience is there and I start crying.
WCT: What advice do you have for a celebrity interviewer like myself?
WW: I think more celebrities are willing to warm up if you don't dwell on what originally made them famous.
WCT: That's good advice. Well, good luck with your show, and I will be looking for you to start some fires with your upcoming interviews!
The Wendy Williams airs on WFLD ( Fox ) at 3 p.m. every day. For more up-to-date information, visit www.wendywilliams.com .