Leading Lady: Stacey Gualandi
Stacey Gualandi’s experience in front of the camera is remarkable: reporting for Inside Edition, Extra, The TV Guide Network, and The Hallmark Channel On Location, are just a few examples from her CV (and did I mention she is an Emmy award-winning journalist?!). And while it’s not every day that you get to write about someone with such accolades, her accomplishments are not the only thing that makes Gualandi the best at what she does. Her down to earth and playful personality make her stand out amongst other reporters in her field, which is probably why when celebrities such as Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Garner and Ringo Star (just to name a few) are walking the red carpet, they don’t hesitate to stop for her!
I remember the first time Gualandi and I met. We had an event with Luxe News Live (Deluxe Version Magazine’s video channel), and I was so excited to be hosting alongside this superstar. She was a pro in front of the camera, and from that moment on I knew I wanted to be the next Stacey Gualandi when I grew up. (You can still do that when you’re already a grown up, right?)
If all of this isn’t impressive enough, Gualandi is also a certified spin and yoga instructor…proving that from the intellectual to the physical,
there is nothing this talented star can’t do.
With a schedule crammed with red carpet events and celebrities, I felt a little famous myself when Gualandi let me ask her a few questions of my own.
Deluxe Version Magazine: You are everywhere! Every red carpet, every celebrity sighting…if there is something exciting happening, Stacey Gualandi is there! Did you always want to be a
Stacey Gualandi: From as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be in TV news—I used to read biographies of all the famous female veteran TV news personalities (like Jessica Savitch, Judy Woodruff, etc.). And I specifically loved entertainment shows. I’m old enough to
remember when Entertainment Tonight debuted! I grew up watching a TV screen and had an assortment of celebrity scrap books (my crushes were Gilligan and Starsky! Don’t judge!) Friends from high school and college tell me how I would always say, “I want to be just like Barbara Walters!” I studied mass communications at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and reported for the radio station on campus. I realized I loved interviewing people.
DVM: What has been your favorite memory of your career?
SG: I have two: My first job as a full-fledged, on-camera reporter. It was for a show called Strange Universe (like Entertainment Tonight for the paranormal). I had worked so hard to reach my goal, and I did it, in a non-traditional way. The other fave memory is when I won my first Emmy for breaking news in Las Vegas. It came later in my career, but better late than never I always say!
DVM: If you could choose anyone to interview, alive or not, who would it be?
SG: Alive: Madonna, while doing yoga. Dead: French chanteuse Edith Piaf, in French. I love all-things-Paris and I love her music. (Non je ne regrette rien.) But unlike Edith, I do have many regrets. That’s for another interview….
DVM: You’re always interviewing celebrities. Have you ever been starstruck?
SG: Oh yes! Mainly, people my age who I had admired growing up, like Brooke Shields and Cindy Crawford. But the one star I completely lost my composure with was the aforementioned Starsky, aka Paul Michael Glaser. I was a ridiculous glob of giddiness sitting across from him, fully flushed. He was kind enough to take a picture with me. Never did my teenage self think I would ever get to actually “meet” him someday! My camera crew said they had never seen me so tongue-tied!
DVM: It’s easy to tell that you love your job, but if you had to do it all over again would you still be in news?
SG: Yes! I wasn’t really cut out for anything else! Ha! After graduation, I got sidetracked and thought I would try hotel management. I was the PBX girl (answering the internal hotel phone calls), and once, when there was an emergency, I had to instruct people what to do! People said I sounded like a reporter! (Ha.) Then Molly Ringwald came to Cincinnati (where I was living) to film the movie Fresh Horses. I submitted my picture because I was told all the time how much I looked like her. I became her stand-in, got the entertainment bug, moved to Hollywood, and the rest is….
DVM: Journalists will go to the extreme for a good story. What has been the most extreme thing you have done to get the juicy headline?
SG: Years ago, I hid in bushes to get footage of Luke Perry’s wedding. More recently, I ambushed OJ Simpson in Las Vegas after his release from prison. But probably the most extreme thing I did was pretend to have polio and be confined to a wheelchair in order to expose a very popular but deceitful televangelist named Benny Hinn. I was so convincing that I had been “healed” and could walk again, that I was brought up on stage in front of 40,000 of his faithful followers. You can check it out on YouTube.
DVM: What’s next for Stacey Gualandi?
SG: Voice acting, podcasts, and perhaps my very own TV show! But whatever I do, it won’t involve hiding in bushes.
Stacey Gualandi…you are a star! You’re willing to go above, beyond, and into the bushes to bring us the story, and that’s why we love you.