Take Ross Mathews out to happy hour and he'll spill all his secrets.  Credit: Provided Take Ross Mathews out to happy hour and he'll spill all his secrets.

Summer interns, take heart. Ross Mathews, an E! News and “Chelsea Lately” regular who has rubbed elbows with everyone from soap opera stars to Michelle Obama, got his start as an intern for "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." He just came out with “Man Up!: Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence,” a book about his climb up the Hollywood ladder. How high up did he get? Gwyneth Paltrow wrote the intro. Mathews is bringing his delusional self-confidence to the TLA this weekend.

Have you always been obsessed with Hollywood?
Oh, totally. Ever since I was just a little kid growing up in a farm town, I have loved pop culture.

How did you make the move from intern to correspondent on 'The Tonight Show'?
It just sort of happened naturally. They just thought I was funny. Luckily, I had wanted to work in television for my entire life, so it just worked. Now it's almost 12 years later.

 

Were there times as you rose the Hollywood ladder where you felt like you had gone as far as you could go?
Nope. I've always believed I would achieve everything I wanted. I'm just getting started.

What's your favorite topic to cover — pop culture, fashion, politics?
I love award shows best of all.

Was Gwyneth Paltrow willing to write your book's intro right away, or did it take some convincing?
I thought I'd ask and she'd say no and I'd move on. But, to my amazement, she said, "Of course!"

What's the one thing you want readers to take away from the book?
That if I can love myself the way I am — a big gay cartoon version of a human — and celebrate myself, they can too. If I hadn't decided to fully celebrate myself, none of this would've happened.

What was your favorite celebrity encounter?
That's too difficult, like trying to pick my favorite dog! I would never.

How about your least favorite?
There is a certain someone, but I'll never tell. Unless you take me to happy hour — I'll tell everything after a pinot grigio or two.

If you go

Ross Mathews
Sunday, 8 p.m.
Theatre of Living Arts
334 South St.
$30, 215-922-1011
www.tlaphilly.com

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