Ashlan Gorse is an entertainment journalist best known for her work on E! Entertainment Television. Having aspired to be an entertainment journalist since her middle school days, she worked her way up to her dream job and is a prime example of how hard work pays off. Ashlan spoke with TheCelebrityCafe.com’s Kristen Maldonado about her favorite parts of her job, how difficult it was to get into the field, and her advice for people aspiring to do what she does.
TheCelebrityCafe.com: You are a correspondent and fill-in anchor for E! Entertainment Television – what goes into your job?
Ashlan Gorse: What doesn’t go into my job is the question! I kind of cover everything, from breaking news to pop culture to music to television and movies, so on any given day I could be anchoring for the evening news, anchoring for the internet, breaking news, or off on a red carpet…chasing down Johnny Depp!
TheCelebrityCafe.com: Is there anything you particularly enjoy doing, or any topic you love covering?
Ashlan Gorse: I really love going out in the field and getting to interview people. It doesn’t even have to be celebrities, but, just to me, to meet a new person that has a personality and you have to figure out how to get them to be comfortable with you and get them to answer your questions – I love doing that. It’s so thrilling for me, it’s like a little challenge everyday.
TheCelebrityCafe.com: Did you always want to be an entertainment journalist?
Ashlan Gorse: When I was little I wanted to be a vet and then I realized I couldn’t save all the animals, so I decided to change my mind. The first time I ever saw Cindy Crawford hosting MTV’s House of Style, it was in middle school, and I just remember I looked at my mom and I was like, “Oh, mom, that’s what I wanna do!” She was like, “Be a supermodel?,” and I said, “No – talk about things on television!” So it was all thanks to Cindy Crawford. That’s why I decided I wanted to do it. And then I think the first time I saw Wild On! when Brooke Burke was hosting it, I was like, “My gosh, that looks like a fun job.” That’s why I decided that I wanted to work at E!
TheCelebrityCafe.com: You’ve had a lot of success. Was it hard to break into the field and get the job you wanted?
Ashlan Gorse: Honestly, it’s the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do in my life. I studied journalism at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill – it’s a really good journalism school. And I knew I didn’t want to do hard news, so I decided to move up to New York and I became an NBC Page. It took me six months to get that job. Then when I became a Page I had to work my way up. From there, I went over to Access Hollywood as a production assistant and worked my way up over there to a producer. And then went over to MSNBC as the segment producer, and I didn’t get to E! until four years ago – so when I was 26. So it took me a solid five or six years to get where I am today, working every single day and knowing my ultimate goal. So, yeah, it’s really hard! And now everyone I talk to, all the kids in college, want to be entertainment reporters. No one wanted to be an entertainment reporter when I was around. So, as hard as it was for me, it’s even harder now for these kids because there’s so much more competition.
TheCelebrityCafe.com: What would be your advice to people who are looking to go into entertainment journalism?
Ashlan Gorse: I would definitely say to go to college and when you’re at school try to get into a program that specializes in journalism. Even though I studied hard news and I’m obviously not in hard news, the values that I learned and the storytelling that I learned is just invaluable for me today. I think that’s one of the things that put me ahead of the rest of the pack, of all the other guys and girls that wanted to do what I do. I was a producer, I could write my own stories, and I could sit with an editor and put together a piece. I know that my employers really appreciate that and see it as a one-up on everybody else. So that’s what I would say: make sure you go to journalism school and get a good education and then just try to make as many contacts as you possibly can in the business.
TheCelebrityCafe.com: You’ve interviewed a lot of celebrities. Who has been your favorite to interview?
Ashlan Gorse: Oh, that’s easy, and I referenced him earlier – Johnny Depp! There’s just something about that man. He’s so cool and kind of quirky and weird – and handsome! And he’s just such a talented actor. The fact that he lives outside of the spotlight…I mean, everybody knows Johnny Depp, everybody knows him, even my niece and nephew know him because he’s the pirate…but it’s the fact that he lives in this little town in France and he does his own thing. I really respect that. So I have to say he’s always my favorite to talk to because he’s this huge, larger-than-life guy, but then when you interview him he’s really quiet and he talks really low and he kind of stands close to you. He’s just very bashful. I just truly enjoy that because I think it’s so different than the way that you perceive him to be. And he’s hot – let’s be honest.
TheCelebrityCafe.com: Now, you’re on television all the time, has anything ever gone wrong during a show?
Ashlan Gorse: Of course! The one thing that we actually do over at E! News is we try to make each other laugh while we’re reading lines while we’re actually doing the show. So a lot of times Jason Kennedy will be in the corner making funny Zoolander faces at me, or Giuliana [Rancic] has thrown tennis balls at us before. So that’s the fun stuff!
I’ve had a teleprompter go out for a couple of seconds, which doesn’t seem like a long time, but we were live on the red carpet for one of the awards shows. I think it was actually the Oscars. And you just have to stand there and hopefully remember what you were talking about and make sense of it and go off the cuff. So that was probably my biggest freak out, when my teleprompter went out. But I just rolled with it and started talking about what I wanted to talk about until we went to commercial break and I don’t think anybody noticed at home.
TheCelebrityCafe.com: That’s great being able to improvise like that!
Ashlan Gorse: Yeah, and that’s, I think, the best part. When you asked before what my favorite part is…with going out and interviewing people…for me, its also not necessarily reading a script off a teleprompter. That’s just kind of boring for me. It’s being live and being able to improvise and to literally entertain your viewers – that’s my favorite part.