In her latest chat with Vegas, Emmy winner and host of The Real Jeannie Mai dishes on her dance battle in Sin City with Tiffany Haddish, what it felt like to win a Daytime Emmy for The Real, and her current obsession.
I have to ask you about Tiffany Haddish, because I heard while you were in Vegas for Jennifer Lopez's last show that you nearly got into a dance battle with her, right?
JEANNIE MAI: Oh my god. When she saw us, Adrienne [Bailon] and I, she just immediately kind of lunged into a dance battle and it was so funny. She was just creating a circle in the middle of the dance floor and Adrienne and I just sort of of joined in and got into it. Another guy then jumped in and he started to battle Tiffany, and Adrienne and I were like, “Good, we’re saved! We didn’t have to get into it.” Of course, Tiffany would have to win. It was just a really fun girl bonding time.
By the way, congratulations on your latest Daytime Emmy win for The Real! What was that like?
JM: Winning the Emmy was such a surprise. We were nominated in two categories: Best Show and Outstanding Talk Show Host. To go home with Outstanding Talk Show Host was beyond our dreams. We’d been nominated for an Emmy at The Real almost every year, and also on my other show, How Do I Look?, but to win… it’s really just something you don’t expect. It actually makes you feel good that you just had your head down to work hard and it paid off, rather than waiting anxiously each year to win. Even if I didn’t win an Emmy, I would feel just as happy because I’d worked hard. That was just a cherry on top.
You were up against some tough competition, from The View to The Talk and Live With Kelly and Ryan...
JM: You’re right. It’s a really tough category and I can’t believe we made it. Even though I’m really humbled about being an Emmy winner, we put a lot of work into the show. I mean the girls get up at three every morning. We pour our hearts out. There is nothing private about our lives. We talk about all of our experiences. We lived through broken engagements, divorce, weight gain, weight loss, depression, and having children. All of it comes out on the show. As much as I’m humbled for the award, I also know that we really earned being chosen.
I spotted a great shot of you on the Emmys red carpet on your Instagram. What's the key to the perfect Instagram photo?
JM: The key to taking great Instagram photos is good lighting, and then knowing your angles. Know that you can't stand square off in front of the camera, that you're not going to slouch, and that you're going to need to straighten your neck. When my assistant takes photos of me, we make sure that they're taken from a really low angle and when I position my legs towards her, we're able to make me look like I'm not five foot four. [Laughs]
Do you have a product your currently obsessed with?
JM: I really discovered this makeup brush set by Vanity Planet, and they're so cool. It comes in a set of 10 brushes, and they're almost like velvet brushes that you can use to apply your makeup. I think that the types of brushes you use to apply your makeup really play a big role in how you soften the texture of your skin. Try not to create too much heavy pulling on your skin.
When it comes to health, I also love protein shakes. I try to drink protein shakes with collagen in them. Tamera [Mowry] actually turned me onto them and it's really, really good.
What's next for you?
JM: The list is endless. I think the first thing I really want to do is create a television show that's about the Asian American lifestyle. That's something I hope that you'll be able to see more in the future of. Another thing I would like to do is start a YouTube channel. I love being able to tell more stories, show some cool recipes from my culture, offer workout tips through a personal YouTube channel. One thing I really wanted to do, that I'm able to cross off the list now, is to start a book club. I'll be sharing a book a month and reading and talking more to fans about all the books that really influence me in my life.
Photography by: Photography courtesy Robert Voets/Warner Bros. Television