— Gary Riotto is a successful actor who has had numerous roles on popular TV shows like Gilmore Girls, ER, and How I Met Your Mother and has also been featured in films like Duplex. Some may also recognize him from his stand-out performance on Deal or No Deal where he won $340,000. Most recently, Gary was asked to make a guest appearance on CW's hit reality show, America's Next Top Model, where he will be coaching the aspiring models on interview skills and techniques. Gary was kind enough to chat with us at BuddyTV about his segment on tonight's episode of Top Model, what it was like working with the girls, and about his career and future plans.
Read the full interview transcript and listen to the audio below.
BuddyTV: You'll be featured on tomorrow night's episode of America' s Next Top Model: The Girl Who Goes Down Under; How did you become involved with the show?
Gary: That's a really great question. I occasionally have been doing things work wise where I'm like, "How did I get here?" (Laughs) I'm an actor, actually a theatre actor from New York and the last 7 years I've been splitting my time between New York and LA and I've been doing a good amount of television and film. But hosting things is a totally new, like kind of being me, and hosting things is a totally new turn in my career. A fun, exciting turn, but a turn nonetheless. I last year, went on a game show called "Deal or No Deal" and had a ton of fun on the show and was very fortunate and won money and a lot of people saw the show. And one of the people that saw the show works with Tyra banks in her production company. He was on a plane actually and because NBC sold my episode to United Airlines to play up in the sky for a few months and he was on the plane and was doing work and saw all these people responding to this game show and listened and then found out who I was and then found me and thus, then, this little gig with America's Next Top Model.
Were you always a fan of America's Next Top Model?
Yeah, I had actually…it's so funny because when they called I was like, "Get out of here!" You kind of don't…I mean as an actor, you kind of don't imagine yourself doing anything reality TV related. It's just not really my world, except for in my living room for entertaining purposes. So I had seen it quite a bit in the past, so when he called I was kind of like, "No way." Yeah, it was fun.
Can you tell us a little bit about tomorrow night's episode and what fans can expect and your involvement with the show and the girls?
Yeah, what I can talk about because of course I can't give anything away, but what I can talk about is what I did on the show. And basically what I did was work with the girls and kind of giving them some tools in order to be able to give a good interview. And frequently as models, they're doing a lot of red carpet hosting and things like that. So we did some exercises and some kind of role playing stuff with them to kind of hand them some skills so they can strengthen their interviews. I work with young people in East Harlem in the Boroughs and sometimes around the country, I do theatre and education with people their age, so I'm pretty much used to working with that population. It was just a slightly different forum. But it was the equivalent of me going in and doing a workshop and trying to kind of within the guidelines of what we're looking for, give them some tools to work with.
What was it like working with the girls on the show?
It was really fun. Because I work with adolescents in general, adolescents and young adults in their early twenties so I'm used to working with that population of people. And when I have peers and colleagues and even I've done a few other interviews, people ask what's it like working with those young women, and it's very familiar to me. Kind of their energy and their perspective on life and where they're at is something I'm used to experiencing and I always find it really energizing. I think young people are brilliant in regards to the way they view the world, the things they want to do, their commitments to creating change, their passion for life. That I really love, and these girls were no exception, they were really wonderful to work with.
From your time spent with the girls, did you get a sense as to who you think has the potential to be the winner of this competition?
That's such a great question, everybody always asks me that. Everybody's like, "Who's going to win? Who do you think is going to win? Who do you think is going to win?" I was with them for a little while. I actually think that the segment that's going to be on the episode will probably be fairly short but I was with them for a number of hours doing their work while they were taping and I got to know them quite well actually and I think they're all brilliant in their own way, so it's hard to predict because they all kind of shine. And it was interesting during the time that I was with them their kind of strength would just pop out at you and so all of a sudden I'd be like, "Ah…that young woman is pretty brilliant, she's got a lot going on there." And then like 10 minutes later someone else would kind of pop out with some brilliance and I'd be like, "Oh, well now that young woman is pretty brilliant." So I don't really know, but I thought they were all really strong candidates. It was fun.
Will you be doing any more work with the show?
I'm hoping I will actually. We're kind of just beginning to chat. The America's Next Top Model family is a fun group of people and I'm really honored to be joining them and I would love to join them on a more regular basis. That would be great, there's some possibilities there. We'll see.
Can you tell us about any projects that you have in the works right now that you want your fans to be aware of?
Sure, usually when TV goes on hiatus here in LA, I usually go back to New York and do some theatre with friends of mine. But this year, I'm actually taking a break because I just bought an apartment here in New York that I'm going to be renovating and I'm going to be doing a little bit of the renovation hands-on myself as scary as that sounds. So I'm actually not going to be doing theatre for the next few months, but I did a small role in a film that Peter and Bobby Farrelly directed…I think the working title so far is Seven Day Itch with Ben Stiller and that'll be out soon. I just did an episode of the Gilmore Girls which just aired not long ago. But right now between the film that's coming out, Top Model, and my home renovation, that's what's on my list of things happening.
Well, any last words for the fans out there?
For Top Model fans; I think it's going to be an interesting episode and I hope they enjoy it and I hope they keep watching and I hope they and I have the opportunity to experience more Top Model.
(Interview conducted by Royce Yuen)
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