Mary Kitchen delivers the latest entertainment stories making headlines in Toronto, Hollywood and beyond, as the entertainment anchor on CityNews on Citytv and CityNews Channel.
Mary’s knowledge of all things fashion, music, television, film and the arts keeps viewers on the pulse of Toronto’s vibrant entertainment scene night after night. From red carpets and breaking entertainment news, to exclusive interviews with national and international celebrities, Mary anchors the Entertainment City segment on CityNews at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. on Citytv and CityNews Channel. She is also a regular contributor to Breakfast Television, keeping viewers informed on updates from Canada’s Got Talent, and is the voice of digital reality series Canada’s Best Beauty Talent.
Previously she was a reporter for Fashion Television Channel and travelled around the globe interviewing celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna and Natalie Portman. As host of Red Carpet Diary at the Toronto International Film Festival, she has interviewed A-list celebrities, including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Clint Eastwood and Woody Allen.
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
No, I never knew this was really a job I could have. I got into the business in a roundabout way, starting as an actor.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
Working with happy people and telling good stories.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
I think it has to be a part of who you are, it’s not something you can force. It has to be in your nature. I think you either have an innate appetite for this stuff or you don’t. And you must be prepared to sleep very little!
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Not sure of my best interview, but there are best moments. Woody Allen is fascinating, Emily Blunt and Mark Ruffalo are two of my favourites because they’re always so generous. I was in awe of Tilda Swinton. I had the biggest CAN Lit crush on Margaret Atwood. Sometimes you’re disappointed though, so I’m happy that there are a few of my favourites that remain a mystery. I’d never want to interview James Gandolfini and feel let down.
Not sure if it’s the worst, but it was the most disappointing: Julian Schnabel. I was so looking forward to speaking with him, as I’m a huge fan of his work. It was on a red carpet. He walked up to me and asked if I saw the movie and I said no (as there was no press screening) and he gave me a really hard time about it. The clip played on 98.1 CHFI, and for years people asked me why he was such a jerk.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Kurt Russell told me that “the business picks you,” meaning to not worry what I was supposed to do in this business. I guess he meant that if you fit in, if it’s meant to be, you’ll find your way. My aunt Heather also told me the hardest thing in life is to be yourself, so strive for it.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
See answer above… and, I really think it’s important to not take yourself too seriously, and to laugh a lot. Try to be as healthy as you can, and to find the magic in life.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
People in media are on such tight deadlines: we don’t have any time, so do the work. Write the story, or set up the shoot theoretically and approach journalists with a creative ideas. Give journalists a package and make it easy. In the end, we both want to get great stories out there.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
George Clooney’s publicist – he was just such a nice guy. He’s calm and knows his stuff. He treats people with respect and gets the job done, and does it all in a very elegant manner. Same with all of the great studio publicists, the best are always great to talk with.
I don’t like uptight people, or people who take themselves too seriously. I don’t like nastiness or bad-spirited media.
Movies (drive-in movies, in particular), surfing, animals, Jay-Z, art, laughter and telling good stories. Organized publicists are great at helping with that.
Best place on earth?
Family cottage, and anywhere I can go surfing.
I would love to have Judy Garland or Lady Di for dinner (I think Diana would have been a great interview).
My mom and sister.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Just downloaded the new Santigold album and Girls. Also addicted to Game of Thrones, New Girl and American Horror Story. No favourite app.
Pool or ocean?
Voicemail or email?