When interior design expert Nate Berkus premieres his daily talk show Monday, he'll have one of the best endorsements in town: Oprah Winfrey's seal of approval.
"I've graduated from the best talk show school in the world," Berkus, 38, tells Us. And after completing 127 makeovers in eight years on the daytime diva's series, he's ready to branch out on his own.
UsMagazine.com caught up with the designer, who relocated from Chicago to New York City to tape his show, for a chat about what to expect on his namesake program and which stars you may see pop up for a visit.
Us: First off, tell Us about the format of your show. How will it incorporate the design tips Oprah Winfrey Show fans have come to know your for?
Nate Berkus: It's going to be a daily, multi-topic, multi-segment syndicated show with lots of design, of course, because it's something I'm super passionate about. But there's also going to be a lot of other things on the show, which I think are great — real people who have very compelling stories or are in situations where I think I can help them. We've already got a lot of celebrities booked, but they're not coming on to promote their movie or their book. I've always believed that people have a million different facets to them. You'll be seeing celebrities in a new way.
Us: Which stars are you looking forward to chatting with?
NB: Julianne Moore is completely passionate about design. I saw her last year at the Oscars when I was working behind the scenes for Oprah and we had this amazing conversation about antiques, vintage furniture, renovations, and architecture, and I went 'Wait, we have to go. We're missing people during interviews right now at the Oscars 'cause I'm talking about design with Julianne Moore.' I could move into any of the spaces she's lived in, because it's so close to my personal style. Jamie Lee Curtis is an organizational freak and has a million ideas for everybody, which I think is going to be really fun to share. I went down to Chapel Hill, N.C., to spend the day with Elizabeth Edwards, for a show to air in my very first week. She's done a million interviews and we all know what's gone on with her, but she's reclaiming her life now and that was what was interesting to me. One of the ways is that she has a furniture store. We had an incredible connection about that.
Us: Who are some of your dream celebrity guests?
NB: Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson. I'd love to do a mother-daughter, mother-son thing because my mother loves them as well. My mom is going to be a correspondent on the show, which I think is hilarious.
Us: Will Oprah make an appearance?
NB: I would love for Oprah to come on the show when it feels appropriate, but I would never force that situation.
Us: Has she given you advice on your big debut?
NB: I graduated from the best talk show school in the world. If Oprah is offering advice, I'm going to take it. Oprah has also always been about empowering other people to be the best that they can be and that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm ready to be out there on my own.
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