When Kylie Erica Mar walks into a room to interview the hottest movie stars, her vivacious personality, bright smile and infectious energy win over even the coldest of cold celebrities (*cough* Tommy Lee Jones). This girl does not mess around.
As a reporter for Made In Hollywood, the host of Made In Hollywood: Teen Edition and movie correspondent for KCAL9, Kylie is a sought-after TV personality, movie expert and all-around firecracker. She’s interviewed some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Ben Affleck, Denzel Washington, Reese Witherspoon and Mila Kunis. The list goes on and on and so does the number of movies this lady has watched.
A true California girl, Kylie lives in Hollywood and is one half of the LA-based instagram account @StylieLA. With one of her best friends, Stefanie Elefane, @StylieLA visually captures the latest trends, designers and fashion inspirations in the city.
She travels the world, covers junkets and interviews Hollywood’s biggest stars. Lucky for us, we had time to catch Kylie right after her recent interview with the cast of Oz the Great and Powerful, reverse the roles and get her secrets and behind-the-scenes scoop on the entertainment industry!
You entered showbiz at the young age of 4, but you also attended a prestigious math and science technology magnet school before getting your bachelor’s degree in Business from California State University. How did you get to where you are now, as a movie reporter and host?
After my first year in college, I realized the entertainment industry was where I belonged. I was worried I had missed my window of opportunity as I was 17 at that point and knew I couldn’t just get right back into it. I had maintained contact with the manager I had when I was 4 years old and so I reached out to him and told him I wanted back in.
He told me about Made in Hollywood. The show was in its first season, doing great, but didn’t have a host yet. I was sent on my very first “press junket” to Universal Studios for the third installment of Fast and the Furious. Talk about being thrown in with the big guys. On that first junket I ended up conducting interviews, performing stand-ups (standing intros and teases straight into camera) and interviewing drivers while drifting inside a fast moving vehicle!
I must have been able to hold my own, because the next thing I know is, I’ve been with Made in Hollywood for 8 years!
The entertainment industry is tough to get into and requires thick skin. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from the industry?
Thick skin is key. You must know who you are and love the person that you are. In this industry, you will get rejected and criticized, but that cannot hold you back and you can’t give up. You must be determined, tenacious, motivated and confident.
This is how I describe being a TV personality: As an actor, if someone doesn’t like your body of work, it’s not bad because you were pretending to be someone else, and they just didn’t like your performance. When someone doesn’t like your hosting performance, that’s a direct insult to who you are as a person because as a host, you are being yourself.
Everyone is always going to have their own opinions. Everyone comes from different experiences. I don’t let those things get to me or put me down. I do what I do, and I love it! I have fun and I’m appreciative! I’m not perfect but I’m constantly working at getting better. For others trying to get into the industry - never stop working and never let it get bigger than you. If you have a passion for this industry, put yourself out there and do it! There’s so much to gain from going after your dream. You never want to look back and think “what if.”
You’ve interviewed so many Hollywood stars. Can you share an interesting experience with us?
Mr. Tommy Lee Jones is known to be the toughest interviewee. For years, I had heard stories upon stories of reporters leaving his room crying, Mr. Jones standing up and walking out on them, or the interviewer just plain getting stumped and humiliated in the room.
My time finally came last year for Men in Black 3. Throughout the day, I was hearing he wasn’t in the best mood. I thought, oh great, here we go. I embraced the thought and the nervousness for about 30 seconds, then tucked it away and mustered up my confidence and fierce attitude.
I walked in owning who I was to get the job done. I ended up having a great interview with him! He was extremely polite, gave me long-winded answers (which is supposed to be rare) and I got all the information I needed. I walked out of that interview room feeling like I had won a battle. I knew from that point forward, I would be able to handle anything!
You’ve also traveled to a ton of places around the world with Made in Hollywood. What was your most memorable experience?
I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to travel the world to cover movies. My most memorable experience would have to be when I traveled to Scotland for the Disney/Pixar movie, BRAVE. I learned archery, which is now one of my favorite hobbies! It is extremely therapeutic and rewarding, I highly recommend trying it! I also learned falconry, clan fighting, how to play the bagpipes, went Scotch whisky tasting, and explored many awesome historic castles - it was so much fun!
I don’t know what it was, but I when I was in Scotland, I felt extremely connected to the country. I felt at peace with myself, even though I have absolutely no Scottish heritage at all. I’d go back any time!
What is your personal motto or mantra?
When in doubt, always be honest. Life is easier if you always tell the truth. When I was a kid, I was the worst liar! I would dig so many holes for myself with my parents! The lies would start small, then just get deeper and deeper as I kept trying to cover for myself.
When I went to college and grew up I thought: this is way too exhausting. You end up putting way more effort trying to cover yourself up, than you would have if you just owned up to it and figured out a resolution.
I’ve become an extremely honest, sometimes brutally honest person. But I think it is one of my best traits. I say it how it is, don’t hold anything back and then I see what comes from it! You learn a lot about yourself and other people, that way. It’s extremely satisfying.
You were born and raised, and still reside in California. How has this influenced your personal style?
I would say fashion is heavily influenced by which city you reside in. I grew up in Orange County where the fashion is super beachy, laid back and comfortable. Think Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch. I wouldn’t say being fashionable is super huge there. Sometimes, I feel out of place or too dressed up when I visit!
I live in Hollywood and I feel L.A. always gets trends last, which is why I love traveling to London and NY. Of course fashion is always shifting. In LA, we’re very grunge chic. We like dark muted colors. You’ll see ladies with a simple tee shirt and jeans, but then they’ll have a fabulous expensive designer bag, or expensive Isabel Marant sneaker wedges.
I would describe my style as very edgy and sharp. I love black leather. On a daily basis, I dress in all black, crisp black or white, grays, and a pop of color to me would be maybe a maroon. I love structured jackets and dresses with sharp straight lines, and different textures.
Who are your style icons?
The list is endless!
Celebrities: Kate Beckinsale, Olivia Palermo and Victoria Beckham.
Fave Stylists: Rachel Zoe and Monica Rose who styles Giuliana Rancic and the Kardashians.
Designers: Isabel Marant, Celine, Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang, BCBG Max Azria, Alexander McQueen and Prabal Gurung.
What are your plans for 2013?
Continue reporting on all of the new movies for Made in Hollywood, hosting the Teen Edition and doing segments on KCAL9.
I’m also starting to look for representation, because I’d like to branch out and start reporting and hosting for other entertainment news shows. I’d like to be on a show that will allow me to really let go and show more of who I am! I have so much more to offer, and I’m ready to let it all go!
What’s your fave video?
I recently came across this really awesome video that is perfect for this interview. It’s a reminder you should be doing what you love. It’s extremely inspirational!
If you could give one piece of advice to your 14 year-old self, what would it be?
Stop worrying and thinking about boys so much! Focus on school work. Take your SATs and college applications extremely seriously. But I wouldn’t change too much, because then maybe I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I would never take that away!