After over a decade of covering celebrities on E!, Jason Kennedy has collected more than a few stories about the world's most followed and beloved stars.
The television personality joined E! News just a few years before the paparazzi boom of 2007, when Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton fueled an unprecedented rise in celebrity coverage that famously documented Britney's fall from grace. During a recent visit to AOL for a Facebook Live interview, Kennedy recalled an interaction with the biggest star of those "wild times."
"I have a good Britney story for you," he started. "This was the height of it -- 2007-ish -- and I knew her cousin at the time - still do! I was driving somehow: Britney's in the back seat, her cousin's in the passenger seat and we're driving to this fun party. You know me. I was thinking, 'Alright, I'll scoop her up, we'll go to the party.'"
But as the group started making their way with Kennedy at the wheel, they noticed that they had more than a few unexpected party crashers.
"I kid you not, there was 30 paparazzi following us to get the shot," he said. "[They were] running red lights. It became a dangerous situation. They box you in. And that's when I go, 'Oh, my gosh.'"
"For me, it was fascinating in the sense that I got to see what it was like," he went on. "But, for someone like that, every single day you're dealing with that."
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In the 10-plus years since paparazzi activity skyrocketed, Kennedy said that he doesn't "think it's as crazy" now as it once was, but being that close to someone like Britney Spears in that moment made him realize he "couldn't imagine that kind of lifestyle."
That being said, it was a preview for what was to come for the veteran entertainment reporter. From his time in the world of celebrity, Kennedy has picked up more than a few famous friends who he often has to cover and interview for E! News -- and, though it can be "so weird," it can often result in more access and better scoops.
"I don't prefer doing interviews with people that I know, because I already I know the questions that I'm asking. So, 'Tell me about this project,' I already know because we've been talking about it over dinner for the longest time ever," he said with a laugh. "I think I kind of get a little more awkward in interviews with people that I know, but you have to do it. It's the cool part of the business to have genuine friendships with people that you're covering."
As for his favorite person to interview, he was quick to say that Julia Roberts is "hands down" his favorite person to talk to.
Watch our full interview with Jason Kennedy below, where he reacts to Giuliana Rancic returning to E! News in September:
E! News airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. EST on E!
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