Cameron Mathison Interview: "Entertainment Tonight" Anchor Stars in Hallmark's "Very, Very Valentine"
Image attributed to Hallmark Channel
Cameron Mathison is co-anchor of Entertainment Tonight, the most watched entertainment news program in the world. In addition to his work with ET, he previously served as feature correspondent for Good Morning America and Extra and co-hosted the 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. He is well known for his fan-favorite role as Ryan Lavery in the ABC daytime series All My Children. In September 2007, Mathison joined the cast of ABC’s hit competition series Dancing with the Stars, advancing all the way to Week 9. Other TV appearances include Hot in Cleveland, Castle, Desperate Housewives and CSI.
Mathison stars in Very, Very Valentine with Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years), which premieres Saturday, February 10, 2018, as part of Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Valentine’s Day” programming event. Mathison resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Vanessa, and their children, Lucas and Leila.
"I really appreciate working for Hallmark as a company. I’ve been lucky enough to have been in the business for the last 20 years, and I just love working with them as a company."
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Cameron, how did you become involved in Very, Very Valentine?
Cameron Mathison: It’s a great thing to be in the Hallmark family, and when scripts come up that they feel you’re a good fit for, they present them to you and ask if you’re interested. I heard that Danica McKellar was already attached to it, and I just jumped at it, you know. I did some Christmas movies and other types of movies for Hallmark, but I just thought this one had a real sweet story to it, and I wanted to work with Danica, so I jumped at it.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I assume, as with all Hallmark movies, there’s a happy, romantic ending?
Cameron Mathison: Well, I don’t want to spoil it for you now! (laughs).
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Had you worked with Danica before?
Cameron Mathison: Not in a Hallmark movie, but I’ve interviewed her before. I think I only interviewed her when I was at Good Morning America, but I work as a correspondent and host of Entertainment Tonight. Maybe I have interviewed her for ET as well, but I’ve never worked with her side-by-side as an actor.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What do you like about Hallmark movies?
Cameron Mathison: I really appreciate working for Hallmark as a company. I’ve been lucky enough to have been in the business for the last 20 years, and I just love working with them as a company. The movies, for me, are very in line with how I like to live my life. I love heartfelt honesty, and I love people that care about each other. I love doing projects that my kids and my family can watch. There’s a lot about these stories that I really appreciate.
I love the fact that Hallmark is one of, if not the fastest growing cable channels out there. Other channels are shrinking, and Hallmark is growing like crazy. They’re adding channels, and that’s because these movies typically make people feel good. They’re just feel good, positive message movies and products I love to be a part of. It’s how I like to live. I try to be a good influence and be a positive influence on people, and I really feel like the messages in these movies do that.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): This movie is, of course, about Valentine’s Day. Are you a romantic guy even on a day that’s not Valentine’s?
Cameron Mathison: I try. I love to surprise my wife, and I love to try to do things that just show how much I think about her and how much I appreciate her and how grateful I am. Like you sort of implied there, I’m not necessarily a big Valentine’s Day guy, but I try to do that sometimes on just a regular day or a date night. I just try to do what I can in that way. But, yeah, Valentine’s Day is an important opportunity for us, for sure.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I’m a fan of your work on All My Children.
Cameron Mathison: Oh, thank you.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Have you ever wanted to return to a daytime drama?
Cameron Mathison: Part of me misses it a lot. Part of me is very grateful that I had … it was tough. Being on All My Children for almost 14 years, it’s typically a very tough bridge to jump from when you’re known as a soap opera guy. I’ve been very grateful that in my career, I’ve worked with Hallmark and Entertainment Tonight, have been on Good Morning America and hosted other shows. I miss a lot of things about it, but I’m very grateful that my career seems to be going on without it. I would absolutely consider it in the future. I would love to try and do a little story arc on a show.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Are you still in contact with some of the All My Children cast?
Cameron Mathison: Yeah. I’m having breakfast on Friday with Rebecca Budig who played Greenlee. I do that often. I talk to Melissa Claire Egan all the time. She’s on The Young and the Restless now, but I think she’s leaving. I keep in touch with Jacob Young from All My Children, with Thorsten Kaye, Alicia Minshew and Eden Riegel who played Bianca. So there’s a few people I stay in touch with, yeah. I feel like I’m forgetting other people, too.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What do you like the most as an anchor on Entertainment Tonight?
Cameron Mathison: There are some similarities between it and All My Children, and that’s the family aspect. This is one of the hardest working, most unbelievable places you’ll ever see. These guys work around the clock to turn stories. It’s amazing what they do here. Because of that, we’re all together, and it’s a very tight knit group. We’re very supportive of each other the same way I felt with All My Children. It’s that family aspect, that day-to-day coming to work with your family, friends and your colleagues. That was the feeling I got at All My Children, too, and I’m really grateful for that because that’s one of the big things I miss from AMC.
As far as specific work responsibilities, this has groomed me into a totally different host. I’ve hosted shows and been a correspondent, but this is a really hard working, intense schedule that will whip you into shape quickly, and I’m grateful for that. I love the challenge of live TV. We’re live every day. I’m learning and studying for new interviews all the time, so I’ve got to really prep and dive in. We had the Grammy Awards, and I had to learn and prep for that, and that was a big challenge. We’ve got the Oscars coming up, and you’ve got to know the back stories and go on set visits with some of these cool celebrities that you’re a fan of at the same time and you’re also covering. It’s been a pretty neat experience for me.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You studied engineering after high school, so why did you decide to get into show business?
Cameron Mathison: That’s a great question, and one my parents asked at the time, too, I tell you that (laughs). I’ve always been a guy that’s sort of followed the paths or the indications that were laid out. I was in engineering school and working for professors in the summers between years, and one summer I couldn’t get a job with any of the professors. I just stumbled across this opportunity for modeling just to make a little extra money. I tried that, and it led to some commercials. Commercials led to some acting classes, and I finished my degree while I was still working as a model, doing commercials and trying to break into the acting world. I took some jobs in Toronto.
I booked All My Children while I was on set of a movie called 54. I was working with Ryan Phillippe, Salma Hayek, Neve Campbell and Mike Myers, then I got a phone call saying that I booked this show in New York called All My Children. I’m a hard worker. I’m a very hard worker, but I also really listen to the signs and indications that are coming my way, and I try to work toward what I feel like would be good energy for my career. I didn’t have a real passion for engineering in general, so I noticed that my energy was gravitating away from there.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Have you ever regretted not pursuing a career in civil engineering?
Cameron Mathison: What I would’ve done likely is taken my engineering degree and gone on to business school. That was more my plan or potentially engineering in conjunction with architecture in a design firm. So sometimes I wonder what if I’d gone into finance or into a firm where my best friend was an architect, and I would’ve been the engineer. So, yeah, sometimes I kind of wonder about it, but I wouldn’t say it’s a regret.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is your 14-year-old son asking dad yet for advice about girls?
Cameron Mathison: No. I can’t get anything out of him! He won’t talk to me about anything. I always try to trip him up. I’m always like, “So how’s your girlfriend?” He’s like, “Dad.” I mean, I don’t even know if he has a girlfriend, right? So I’m just trying to trick him into telling me something. We’ve got to drag it out of him. But he’s got a cool group of friends, and they all hang out. We like for them to hang out at our house so we can observe and be a little bit closer to what’s happening. But he keeps pretty quiet.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Will you be the typical overprotective dad when your daughter starts to date?
Cameron Mathison: I would say so. She’s such a sweet, kind, compassionate young girl. Sometimes people can take advantage of that. So I’ll probably be overprotective in making sure she’s not going for some guy taking advantage of that. She’s got a little guy in her class that texts her hearts and tells her that he loves her. He’s a sweet little guy.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What else is going on other than the Hallmark movie, Cameron?
Cameron Mathison: I’m starting to branch into trying to produce and create my own material. It’s definitely in the early stages. But I’ve got some things brewing for some adventure shows. I’m just trying to do things I love to do. I love adventure and activity. I’ve got a reality show that I’m co-producing and hosting with some friends. It’s kind of like a surprise wedding situation. It’s very sweet. So I’m getting more into production and creating my own opportunities.
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