Glammed down—jeans and little makeup—Adrianna Costa curls up on a couch in the lobby of the Stirling Club, as open to being the target of a friendly inquisition as she is to being the friendly inquisitor.
Fielding professional and personal inquiries, the entertainment reporter and Vegas correspondent for Extra handles them with gregarious aplomb, though on the personal front, we confess disappointment: The 30-year-old named one of FHM magazine’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World” is engaged. (Have a good weep, gentlemen.)
Give the gal a microphone and a carpet—red, please—and aim the camera of the TV Guide Network in her direction, and Costa’s in her natural habitat, whether the carpet leads to the Emmys, Grammys, Oscars or Golden Globes. Celebs she’s bantered with include, well, more or less everyone: Al Pacino, Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr., Oprah Winfrey—you catch the drift.
Other stops along Costa’s career journey include relaying entertainment news on CNN Headline News and MSNBC, hosting the former Fox reality-show competition On the Lot and contributing to PerezHilton.com. Now, after moving here in January from L.A., she files Extra reports from Planet Hollywood. Herewith, a dispatch from Planet Adrianna.
What was your reaction when Extra asked you to work out of Las Vegas?
Once it sunk in, I was 1,000 percent into it. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle in L.A. when there are so many entertainment reporters. Here I’ve been able to make it my own, more or less. I keep my fingers on the pulse of what’s going on every week, through Vegas Seven, through television shows and the Internet.
It’s such an untapped market when it comes to celebrity culture, because there is so much of it here. Celebrities come here to cut loose, and in turn, they talk more. It’s so much better than you would get in L.A. At the ACM Awards [Academy of Country Music awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena], I joked that you could smell a trail of whiskey. I did shots with Toby Keith.
Are some celebrities harder to interview than others?
A lot of the comedians, surprisingly. They are very guarded, shy at times. You’re waiting, expecting them to be so funny, which is probably why they don’t put on a show. I interviewed Steve Martin. I was shaking. I am so in love with this man; he reminds me of my dad. Chevy Chase is another one, very even-keeled. But they’re sometimes tortured souls.
My boss gave me a very good piece of advice. She said, “Mirror what they’re doing. If the person is having a great time, go have fun with them. Be that crazy person. But if the person is mellow, you don’t want to be all in their face. You want to mirror what their mood is, because you’re going to get the best stuff that way.”
Has anyone left you starstruck?
I was called to Paris to interview Johnny Depp, the two of us for a 15-minute sit-down. Once I was back in reality, I was like, wake up! He’s such a humble, cool guy, on his own agenda, not Hollywood at all. And drop-dead gorgeous. And there’s something behind the eyes; he’s not just vacant.
I blushed with Leonardo DiCaprio. Man, is he dreamy. It wasn’t as much what he said, but it was the way he was looking at me. I don’t take that as a personal compliment; I know that’s how he is. I was a little schoolgirl. My cheeks were bright red. It was an embarrassment. He just stares at you with those frickin’ piercing eyes, and you just melt.
Sometimes people dismiss celebrity journalism as fawning and fluff. What’s your response to such criticism?
Being entertained is a very important part of everyone’s lives, just as is hearing about hard news and murders. My goal as a journalist—because I did go to journalism school—is not to cover tragedies, because it just didn’t make me happy. I’ve always been fascinated by unique people and their lifestyle and what makes someone tick or why the world is fascinated. There is just as much value in that as reporting on other world news.
And I’m not about the stalking of celebrities. I don’t want to go knock on their doors. At times journalists have to do that, but I cannot stand it. If people want to be interviewed, then they should be interviewed. If that means I don’t get the breaking story, then whatever. There is a classy way to do everything.
What are your best and worst physical traits?
Best—my boobs. I’m pretty blessed there, naturally, thank goodness. Worst? I’m starting to show my age a little. When I laugh, I get the smile lines. Like, really? That said, I wouldn’t rather have the alternative, which is not smiling and not being happy. If I get smile lines, so be it.
Was it flattering to be named one of the world’s sexiest women by FHM?
Oh my God, please. That’s what I ask other people. It’s so not true. For the longest time I had trouble doing photo shoots, because I wasn’t comfortable doing the sexy thing. I didn’t think of myself that way. I’m more funny and relatable. But I think I’m sexy to my man.
Do you realize how many men you’ve made cry by getting engaged?
OK, fine—I’m single … for the sake of this article.