Is Amber Rose the new Oprah?
Of course not. The South Philly-native-turned-professional-model is not the touchy-feely type. Instead, her new VH1 talk show, premiering at 11 p.m. Friday, will focus on sex and relationships, with the characteristically outspoken Rose decrying the practice of "slut-shaming," or insulting women for expressing their sexuality.
Rose talked about why she wouldn't do reality, how being a Philly girl affected her show, and why she loves Conan O'Brien.
Why a talk show?
It happened organically. I wasn't reaching out and trying to get a talk show.
I did a segment on The Doctors on slut-shaming. Dr. Phil [McGraw] saw it and said, "You should have your own show." That was a year and a half ago.
It's really cool because it's on cable, [so] I don't need a filter. I can say whatever I want, which is really important because I'm a Philly girl and I say it how it is.
You and Dr. Phil are an unlikely pair.
We're both in the business of helping people. We just do it in different ways. He knows I'm passionate about helping women - he's a feminist himself. He gets my movement.
He really took me under his wing and showed me the way. Oprah cosigned him, and now he's cosigning me. It's so cool.
Did he give you any good advice?
He said, "You feed off the crowd. They're coming to see you and who you are. Whenever you're getting host-y and you're not being yourself, take a second and act like you're talking to your best friend. You're sitting on your bed, and you're just having a conversation with your best friend."
You can't help it, with the teleprompter and the audience. I'm like, "Amber, go back and act like you're talking to your homey."
It's like you're playing a character of you, and not you.
I laugh at my mom all the time because when I was little, when she had to call the phone company, she would get so proper.
Who are some of your talk show influences?
Ricki Lake, she's so positive and stuck up for people. I love Wendy Williams. I love Conan O'Brien. He's my favorite.
I like tall, skinny guys! I'm obsessed with gingers. He's just funny, and he's smart and articulate and a comedic genius.
I'm trying to get on his show now, but it's tough to get on Conan. [When she lived in Philly], I would take the train up to New York to see his show live. I would get tickets early in the morning and get some sleep in a movie theater and go see his show at 4.
What's your show's format?
We have one segment where we take questions from the audience, sex-and-relationships questions. It's no-filter. I sit with my friend Dr. Chris Donaghue. I answer from personal experience, I'll tell them a story, or give the best advice I can. Chris gives more of an educated answer to their questions.
I also do comedy sketches. And all my celebrity friends are going to stop by, and they're going to promote what they want to promote, but I'll ask them intimate questions. They don't know the questions. I like to surprise them.
Why did you want to include comedy?
One of my writers, he wrote for David Letterman, and another wrote for Ellen DeGeneres. We sit and collaborate, and I put my little sauce on it. They know I needed to do comedy. I'm not going to do anything for money that I'm not happy with.
You're not the only Philadelphian with a VH1 talk show. North Philly's Marc Lamont Hill will have one, too. Why the talk-show format?
I'm not too sure. I never looked into that, but I really wanted a platform for me. Reality is not my thing, although I've been asked by every single network that you've ever heard of in life. I like to keep my family private. I like that my mom isn't famous. My son was born into this life, but he can be a kid for as long as possible. It's important for me to keep that part of myself for myself.