“I don’t really think of myself as famous,” says talk-show host, producer and unequivocally famous person Andy Cohen. After climbing the broadcast ranks from intern, to producer, to vice president of programming, Cohen’s gossipy emails to Bravo’s CEO about drama going down on TV sets landed him in front of the camera—and now he’s the face of the network. He’s also an author of scandal-driven books, including his latest, Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries, out November 15.
Before embarking on his national book tour (catch him at the Palm restaurant on November 15 and at Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue on November 16), Cohen talked to us about his response to critics, his favorite Housewives and his friendship with Anderson Cooper.
How do you respond to people who take issue with the name-calling in the book?
The book is based on The Andy Warhol Diaries, which is probably the most name-droppy book you’ve ever read. I talk about relationships with the Housewives, guests on my show, dating—it’s all in there. I wrote this book to unpeel the layers off of celebrities and my life and what it’s like to host a talk show, so I think it’s a badge of honor that there are so many bold-faced names in the book.
Is it hard to deal with people’s reactions on social media?
Every so often something gets under my skin, but the truth is that I really do my own thing, and I’m myself, and you can’t let opinions of random strangers who feel empowered by having a Twitter account affect the way you do what you do. It’s dangerous.
Do you have a favorite Real Housewives cast?
I have a special place in my heart for the New York ladies. I’ve known Carole Radziwill the longest. She’s a personal friend.
You and Anderson Cooper are close friends. What do people not know about him?
How fun he is. He seems so straitlaced, but he’s actually really fun and hilarious.
How has New York City changed during your 20 years here?
The loss of independent stores that started with [Rudy] Giuliani and then [Michael] Bloomberg [is evident]. Why is there a bank on every corner? Why is there a Duane Reade on every other corner? It’s just really upsetting, and to me it takes away the flavor of New York.
Would you ever consider moving away from New York?
No, I absolutely love it here. There’s still nowhere else like it.
For more details on Andy Cohen’s book tour, visit theandycohendiaries.com.