Ross Mathews Talks Gwyn & His Diddy Bromance

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2When it comes to summer reading, we'll admit, sometimes, we like to indulge in something breezy, easy, and — if possible — pink on the cover. So, we nabbed Ross Mathews’ Man Up! Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence the moment it came out. Not familiar with Mathews? Yeah, you are.

He hit it big as “Ross, the intern” on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno; has been a red-carpet-style correspondent for practically every award show; pals around with Gywneth Paltrow, and — this may jog your memory — has a rather distinctive, adorably high voice. Yep, that guy.

When we picked up Mathews’ pink-balloon-covered tome, we weren’t expecting much. But, readers: Man Up! is hilarious. Like, laugh-out-loud, read-entire-passages-to-anyone-listening hilarious. And, it’s juicy — we stayed up 'til 2 a.m. several nights in a row to plow through it.

Not convinced? Come to Park West next Tuesday and get a little teaser, as Mathews performs his one-man comedy show, Man Up! As he confirmed during our recent Q&A, the show is sure to be side-splitting fun — and tame enough for grandma (if she has a few drinks.) So, read up on Mathews, then score your tickets for his show. Trust us — you’re going to love this guy as much as Gwynnie does.

Real or delusional, self-confidence is a must-have. What’s your secret to maintaining it? Must one be born with it, or can it be learned?
“I think it's learned. It's about saying to yourself: At the end of the day, I love myself no matter what, and I forgive myself of any shortcomings. What's next...?"

What was the process like for writing your first book?
“The process was very scary, but it came very naturally. I was surprised, as I wrote, how many little details came back to me. At times, I was transported back to those moments. Even rereading it now, I get that same nervous feeling I had in my tummy while those moments were really happening.”

Man Up! is a dish-y, honest read! Did you have any moments of hesitation when spilling your guts, or did you decide early on to let it all out?
“Nope. I never once hesitated or even considered not being 100% forthcoming. Otherwise, why write a book?”

What can we expect from your show at Park West on May 28? Is it safe to bring grandma? “Grandma can totally come, but she should be okay with a little swearing and a graphic story about me trying to perform oral sex to a woman. Come to think of it, maybe you should get Grandma drunk first.”

Switching gears from your life as an author to your red-carpet-reporting, what’s the hardest thing about working those award shows?
“The hardest thing is that you can never fully prep for a red carpet because you never know who you'll end up interviewing, so you've got to be on your toes all the time.”

Which celebrities are surprisingly nice in person?
“Most of them are actually super-nice. Diddy and Mark Wahlberg have surprised me the most, though. I kind of have a bromance going on with both of them.”

Who’s on your red-carpet-style A-list?
“My partner Salvador is a wardrobe stylist, so we talk about this stuff all the time. We both love current style icons like Gwyneth and SJP, of course. And we love Nicole Richie's style. Plus, I love how Miley Cyrus has reinvented herself.”

What’s the one thing no girl should walk the red carpet (or attend a fancy-pants event) without?
“Blotting papers. A J-Lo glow is one thing, but being a Sweaty Betty is another thing.”

What’s the best thing about having Gwyneth Paltrow as a pal?
“Knowing the real her, and her great sense of humor.”

Finally, what’s the scoop on your upcoming talk show on E!?
“It starts in the fall and it's going to be awesome — a place for pop culture and super-fans like myself to come together.”

Ross Mathews’ Man Up! Tour stops at Park West on May 28 at 8 p.m. Must be 18 or older to attend. Tickets: $29.75.

Park West, 322 West Armitage Avenue (between Clark Street and Lincoln Avenue); 773-929-1322.

Photo: Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing