EXCLUSIVE: Celebrity Journalist Marc Lupo Dishes on His Amazing Career

Credit: Phyllis Orozco

Marc Lupo‘s rise in the world of celebrity journalism is quite impressive. The Long Island native has built his way up to where he’s one of the most in demand writers and editors out there that has taken him from small town USA to the belly of the beast in New York City.

His drive, dedication and determination are key anytime you witness him interview a celebrity that millions of people ogle over. Marc has a fabulously cool demeanor that only makes the subjects he talks to that much more comfortable with their conversations. Oh and let’s not forget how cute he is? Not that its the main focus here but come on… look at him!

Credit: Marc Lupo

Marc, who is currently a Senior Editor at famed publication Us Weekly, has practically seen and done it all in his field. From news-making fights at New York Fashion Week, chats with controversial and polarizing stars and navigating his job through COVID, his rise on the career ladder keeps going with no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Check out our exclusive interview with him where he dives into his love of celeb culture from a young age all the way to what’s next for this talented individual. 

Credit: Marc Lupo

At what age did you know you wanted to be a journalist?

Since I was a kid, I have been obsessed with pop culture and entertainment news. I never cared for playing with video games or participating in sports like the other kids my age. My days were planned around what was showing on television. I spent most mornings glued to the breaking news that would unfold on Today followed by Regis and Kathie Lee’s iconic host chat. My afternoon viewing included Sally Jessy Raphael, Ricki Lake, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight and 20/20 (then hosted by Barbara Walters).

Looking back, there was always a celebrity tabloid or two laying around in the kitchen for additional intel. Those who knew me best knew I was always in the know of the latest Hollywood hookups, breakups and celebrity scandals. My interests as a kid proved to be a guiding light as I navigated college and career choices… centering myself in the eye of the storm. 

Was celebrity journalism always your desired route or were there other avenues you wanted to explore?

My first love will always be daytime talk. I spent 10 years of my career working for hosts including Wendy Williams, Tyra Banks, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa among others. There is nothing more exciting to me than working on staff at a live talk show. It’s an inviting space for like minded people to come together to make something special. Since I can remember, I’ve been attracted to the idea that my work will allow someone else to escape the stressors of life for a moment. Especially during these dark times, I think people want and need to escape and exhale. I know pop culture does that for me.

Towards the end of my time working for Wendy Williams as a talent producer in 2017, I decided to take a left turn. I wanted to step out from behind the scenes of booking talent and to explore my desire to become more creative. The universe has put so many wonderful people in my life who have helped me manifest a career I didn’t know could be possible. Through working at Us Weekly, I’ve grown as a writer, producer, interviewer and host. I worked as a supervising producer and as an on-air contributor for several Us Weekly produced specials including: Luke Perry: In His Own Words, which aired on The Reelz Channel in spring 2019 and College Admissions Scandal: Varsity Blues which aired in winter 2020.

I’ve appeared several times on Access Hollywood as a contributor (talk about a full circle moment). I’ve also dipped into the world of podcasting. I’m a weekly co-host on iHeart Radio’s Naughty, But Nice with Rob Shuter. The world of entertainment journalism has opened up my life to so many extraordinary opportunities and I’m forever grateful for the experience. 

Credit: Jason Katz

What is the biggest peak and pit when it comes to dealing with celebrities on a daily basis?

Working with celebrities can be a whole lot of fun. I’ve interviewed talent from all walks of life — actors, models, athletes, chefs and hosts. I have had conversations with people like Martha Stewart, Charlie Sheen and Alec Baldwin. They’re moments and perspectives I’ll cherish forever.

I’ve traveled to Los Angeles, Portland, Miami, even Bentonville, Arkansas (Home of the first Walmart) to land a story. One of my biggest blessings as an entertainment journalist was witnessing Cardi B throw her shoe at Nicki Minaj during a NYFW event held at The Plaza Hotel. #Neverforget.

Life as an entertainment reporter does have its challenges. The glamorous part of the job appears in the form of parties and events … but the real work goes down at the office or late at night after working a carpet and sipping on one too many glasses of champagne. There’s a lot of pressure to get the bite, to get the scoop — to be first. Because the news cycle moves so quickly, it’s hard not to be attached to your phone 24/7, checking email and Google Alerts. It sometimes proves difficult to manage your personal and professional life. You have to really love it and want it. 

Same question in terms of COVID. What has been your highest high and lowest low, professionally? 

COVID has really changed the media landscape and the way entertainment journalists operate. What has been most challenging is being separated from my dear friends and colleagues in the media world. Entertainment news is a relationships business and many of those connections have become some of my most trusted allies. I also deeply miss going out to premieres, mixers and being a part of the scene.

I see NYC as the capital of the world… and boy do we know how to throw a good party. On the upside of COVID, I have loved working from home. I’m (low key) a homebody and it has been nice to take a break from running around all the time. Recording interviews and podcasts over Zoom can be challenging (my brother accidentally crashed my Zoom interview with She’s All That actress Rachael Leigh Cook), but I’m excited that while we’re socially distanced, we still have the ability to connect and share. 

Credit: Marc Lupo

You have interviewed some massive names in your career. Who was your favorite and why?

When I look back on the interviews I’ve done over the years, my conversation with Lamar Odom stands out as a pivotal moment in my career. It was May 2019 and he had just released his tell all novel, From Darkness to Light. I’ve been interested in Lamar for years. While I don’t follow basketball, Lamar’s life and career intersected with Hot Topics via Khloe Kardashian.

Like many of you, I watched Lamar and Khloe’s relationship play out on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. They fell in love and got married quickly … only to later unravel in a most spectacular way. And, like the rest of the world, I was shocked when Lamar was found unconscious at the Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nevada in 2015. Lamar had survived having 12 strokes and six heart attacks and was in a coma and on life-support for days.

When I learned I’d be sitting down for a no holds bar interview, I knew I had to bring it. It’s not common for a celebrity publicist to let you ask their client anything. Usually, there’s a laundry list of “off limit” topics. Trust and believe, publicists aren’t afraid to interject or even end an interview early if they feel you’ve crossed the line.

The sit-down with Lamar was filmed at our studio at the Us Weekly offices and lasted for more than half an hour (whew). In the room there were several producers, camera operators, Lamar’s publicist and his daughter, Destiny. The challenge with Lamar was that I had a lot of sensitive ground to cover in a confined window of time: his difficult childhood, his complicated family dynamic and his near death experience. Nervous at first, Lamar opened up as the interview moved along and sh#t got real. My take away from the conversation was confirmation that acquiring fame, success or lots of money does not necessarily equate to happiness — if anything, they seem to magnify the person you already are. I learned that addiction does not discriminate and being a notable person in this world does not spare you from the human experience — specifically experiencing pain and suffering. I’ll always be proud of my conversation with Lamar and will continue to root for his sobriety and happiness. 

Credit: Marc Lupo

Do you miss doing the red carpet and do you think these events will happen again sometime in the near future?

Working a red carpet is an experience like no other. It’s fast paced, chaotic, stressful and a total adrenaline rush. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside some of the smartest and most respected entertainment journalists and hosts at events like The MET Gala, The Grammys and NYFW. What makes these events so special is the over the top people that attend and the energy they bring. Interviewing celebrities on a red carpet is an electrifying experience — one which I feel is nearly impossible to recreate over Zoom. The bright lights, the shouts from competing photographers … even the frantic publicists running around. It’s Hollywood magic at its finest and I can’t wait for it to return in a new way once COVID is over. 

Are you dating or single? If single, what do you look for in a guy?

Like everything in 2020, it’s complicated. I’ve spent time in quarantine getting to know myself, my needs and desires in a new way. My ideal partner is an emotionally intelligent, passionate and driven person. Self aware and financially literate, I’d like to share a life filled with adventure & personal growth, good wine and lazy Sundays in bed. Oh… and can we adopt an Italian greyhound who likes to wear chic turtlenecks? I believe celebrity matchmaker Patti Stanger would call these my “non negotiables”. 

Credit: Jason Katz

In conclusion what are you most hopeful for as your career continues?

Looking to the future, I hope for the opportunity to continue to grow as a journalist, producer and broadcaster. I want to shine a light on people and stories that still need to be told, especially those coming from the LGBTQ+ community. As for my dream job? I’d love to be a correspondent and producer for a streaming news show or network. Ask and you shall receive, they say. 

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