James Corden has said “no-one ever tells you how to deal with this stuff” as he addressed how he struggled with fame and why he feels there is a negative perception of him online.
Like many celebrities in the spotlight, the actor and comedian has faced criticism on social media and has recently been in the midst of a heated online dispute with the owner of Balthazar restaurant in New York for alleged bad behaviour.
In an interview with The Times, Corden said he no longer reads about himself in the media and aims to focus on his work.
As his new Prime Video drama Mammals launches, The Late Late Show host, James Corden, tells @caitlinmoran why he’s quitting the show at the height of his fame – and reflects on that New York restaurant spat https://t.co/RgmjfJ8e5g
— The Times and The Sunday Times (@thetimes) October 28, 2022
Asked why he feels there is a perception that he is cold to fans, the Gavin And Stacey star told the newspaper: “I think I used to get quite freaked out.
“I didn’t know how to deal with it, and also there was this thing of people going, ‘Ah, Smithy!’ and – what do you do?
“They’re expecting to meet this really confident lad, or lout, drinking lager, and I’m really not a lad, you know?
“I’m a musical theatre performer. I don’t drink beer. I like maybe one slimline G&T. I didn’t know what people wanted from me.”
He revealed that someone finally told him to say “Thank you, that’s a really nice thing to say”.
Corden continued: “That’s what I do now. Now, I want to talk to the audience – I want them to feel they’re getting something extra they don’t get on TV.
“But the thing is, no-one ever, ever tells you how to deal with this stuff. You have to figure it out along the way, and I used to get so tangled up in whether the people liked the character or me.”
The actor was briefly barred from Balthazar in Manhattan last week after its owner Keith McNally claimed he had been “extremely nasty” to his staff on two separate occasions about a meal involving an omelette.
Mr McNally posted about the incident on social media which prompted a strong backlash, with calls for Corden to be “banned” from other venues.
Corden later addressed the incident during an episode of his talk show The Late Late Show where he said it was “never my intention” to upset staff at the New York restaurant, but acknowledged he had been “ungracious” during the incident.
The actor spoke about the dispute with The Times, texting the journalist: “It’s been the most surreal moment.
“I mean, it’s so odd. I never screamed at anyone, I didn’t shout, didn’t call anyone a name or swear or use derogatory language… How is it remotely a thing? And that be OK? And now it’s fact, and that’s that. When that person who posted the story wasn’t even there. Just so odd.”
He added: “And you know, the reason I had to send the omelette back is because Jules (his wife) is allergic to egg white. That’s why we’d ordered an egg-yolk omelette. Her actual words were, ‘But don’t worry if you can’t manage it.”
Corden said when he is walking around cities like London, New York and Los Angeles he often finds people are “lovely” to him but revealed that he no longer reads about himself.
“It’s so long since I’ve read anything, but when I used to, a lot of it was from broadsheet journalists being… being pretty f****** cruel”, he said.
“I remember a review of the show The Wrong Mans, which me and Matt (Baynton) wrote, and there was a critic who wrote, ‘Wouldn’t this have been better if James Corden had died?’. I’ll never forget it…”
Corden announced in April that he was stepping down as the host of The Late Late Show in the US.
He is said to have extended his contract with CBS to present the show for one more year before finishing in the summer of 2023.
The actor is exploring new ventures, starring in a six-part comedy drama titled Mammals about the complexities of marriage.