Andy Cohen is behind some of TV’s most popular reality TV. But he isn’t shy about putting the spotlight on himself.
The Bravo star, who produces the “Real Housewives” docu-soap franchise and hosts the late-night talk show “Watch What Happens: Live,” is the author of not one but two memoirs. He follows up 2012’s “Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture” with “The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year,” out now.
Cohen’s journey to the front lines has been a slow and steady one. He’s been at Bravo for 10 years, where he’s put his stamp on such shows as “Top Chef” and served as head of development before stepping down last year to focus on producing. He’s also worked as a producer for CBS News, The Early Show, 48 Hours and CBS This Morning.
During press for his new book, Cohen talks about his life as a celebrity, casting the “Real Housewives” and his love of Andy Warhol.
Has your life changed since you became a host on Bravo?
It’s changed in the course of writing this book. My schedule is different and suddenly people want to take ‘selfies’ with me.
Is ‘Real Housewives’ the new soap opera?
I think it is and why the show has so much stamina. Different women connect with the ladies.
How do you cast the ladies?
We look for people with strong points of view and a connection to the other women.
Why did you put the actress Lisa Rinna on ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’?
She’s a real housewife living in Beverly Hills and she knew Kyle Richards, Kim Richards and Lisa Vanderpump. It seemed like a natural fit.
What advice would you give Bethenny [Frankel], who’s returning to ‘The Real Housewives of New York City’?
Bethenny follows the beat of her own drummer. I can’t give her advice.
Do you feel responsible when bad things happen to the women, such as legal issues, suicide, tax evasion, divorce?
No. The show magnifies their real lives and sometimes it’s not so pretty.
Do you want to be a daytime TV host?
Not really, I’m happy where I am.
You’re obsessed with Andy Warhol. Why?
I go out every night, and so did he. I am fascinated by New York, and so was he. And, I love his art.
What’s the shallowest thing that’s happened to you this year?
I think playing Zeus in a Lady Gaga video.
How do you become Andy Cohen?
Follow your bliss.