Interview with Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn, hosts of “The Real Love Boat” on CBS
by Suzanne 9/15/22
CBS 2022 FALL TCA PRESS TOUR
THE REAL LOVE BOAT
Rebecca Romijn, Host
Jerry O’Connell, Host
Captain Paolo Arrigo
Matt Mitcham, Cruise Director
Ezra Freeman, Bartender
Jay Bienstock, Executive Producer
Virtual via Zoom September 16, 2022
© 2022 CBS. All rights reserved.
They played a great preview of the show for us. The hosts, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell, performed the theme song. They are certainly multi-talented. They also reminded us that “The Real Love Boat” premieres Wednesday, October 5th, on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.
Executive Producer Jay Bienstock addressed us with these opening remarks:
So when you hear “The Love Boat” theme song like we just did, you cannot underestimate the power of nostalgia. You can hum that theme all day long, and it will make you smile. So our new series “The Real Love Boat” caps into that nostalgia. So when you hear the theme song and when you see Ted Lange show up dressed up in that famous red bartender’s outfit that he wore when he played Isaac, when we see Jill Whelan, who played Captain Stubing’s daughter, Vicki, arrive on the ship, I mean, you feel like you are in the middle of a mist of friends. It feels like you are coming home. “The Real Love Boat” has this great sense of adventure. Now, the ship, the Regal Princess — which, by the way had 3,200 paying customers on board when we were shooting, no less. The ship visits these beautiful ports around the Mediterranean Marseille and Santorini and Crete it’s really magical, and it’s the perfect environment to fall in love. It’s fun to imagine that, at any port, at any given time, our singles may find the love of their life. And our singles, these are regular people who have great stories, have been in love and fallen out of love. We have a firefighter and a nurse, a youth basketball coach, real people looking for real love. So not only do we have the real ship and real singles and we have a real married couple as our hosts, Rebecca and Jerry, all we needed was the secret sauce. So, like the original series, we needed real crewmembers to be our matchmakers. So we have our captain. We have our bartender. We have our cruise director. And they are the real deal. I mean, those roles are their day jobs. They are not TV people. They are ship people, and over the years, they have made matches for many people on their cruises, and they did so on ours. It was sort of this interesting combining of roles of television and real life. So you take these real singles, take the real Princess Cruise Line, take real crewmembers, and you add them all together, and you throw in one of the most iconic theme songs ever, and — you heard Rebecca and Jerry — it’s amazing. I can listen to that all day long. It’s so fun the way they sing it together. You put that all together, and we have a really, really fun show, and that is “The Real Love Boat.”
I don’t normally watch any kind of unscripted or non-fiction TV shows. I would rather watch great acting and writing. However, I was very happy to speak with Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn, my favorite celebrity husband-and-wife team. At first it was just these two, and they brought out the crew later.
I’m not embarrassed to say I had a huge crush on Jerry from when he starred in “Sliders” on FOX back in 1995-2000. He was a child actor who got his start in the movie “Stand by Me” when he was only 12. Both he and Rebecca are now in different “Star Trek” series, which I love because I’m a long-time Trekkie. She stars as Number One in “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” and he does the voice of Commander Ransom in “Star Trek: Lower Decks.” I told them that I think they’re “amazing actors” and asked them what made them want to do this project. Rebecca answers that they “love watching reality television” and “watching love stories,” so they’re very excited to do it in person rather than from their sofa. They also enjoyed the “beautiful locations.” Jerry agreed, saying, “We as a couple consume an unhealthy amount of unscripted television.” They joked for a few minutes about how they shouldn’t be admitting that. They should, instead, say that they only watch “premium streaming shows” with “people with accents who live in manors.” They love the CBS competition shows and jumped at the opportunity to host this show. Rebecca had previously hosted “Skin Wars,” but he hadn’t hostead before. Since they’re actors, “This is a muscle we had not flexed before,” Rebecca said.
Jerry talked about how the show drew him in emotionally. Someone got eliminated in their first episode. He started to say something, but Rebecca interjected that he “cried.” He denied that, saying he was just “emotional,” but she repeated that he “cried.” It was a very funny moment. They have a great rapport that’s fun to watch. Jerry said that his “superiors” let him know that he can’t be so invested in what’s going on with the “singles” on the show. Rebecca agreed that being neutral is hard for Jerry. He gets “very caught up in the emotion” because he’s an actor. He added that when he watches at home, he definitely takes sides and shares his strong opinions on social media. Jay jumped in to say that this all proves how real the show is, that the singles wnat to find love and how real it is for them. He thinks that watching them do this is great TV. Jerry shared that he was shocked at how “emotionally attached I became to our couples and how much I was rooting for them.” When they’re acting, they know it’s pretend, but with this, it’s real.
Other members of the press asked their questions as well. They asked if the singles on the show remember the original “Love Boat,” since they’re so young? Rebecca assumed that they probably didn’t know about it. She thinks that the one of the show’s strengths is the nostalgia for people who grew up in the 80’s. Jerry wonders if some do have awareness of the show because of the Princess cruises, where there is a “Love Boat channel” and you can watch all of the episodes there.
This reminded him that he had asked Jay and their other boss, Eden, what he should do to prepare for the show. They just told him to watch the original “Love Boat” because it was all about people trying to find love. Rebecca agreed that both the old and new shows are about “people whose hearts have been broken, who are looking for a second chance at love.” Jerry hopes that people will watch the new show and get that same “warm, fuzzy feeling.”
Jay reminded Jerry that he’s not his boss. He talked about scouting to find the people for the show, and he met the ship’s captain, Captain Paolo. He explained how it worked to film on the ship. He impressed them all with how charming, good-looking, and well-mannered he was, so they decided they wanted him to be their captain on the show. They had to find someone else to actually drive the ship instead of him. He related that the Captain and others are the “matchmakers” on the ship. They “bring people together,” along with Jerry and Rebecca. At that point, they brought out their crewmembers and introduced them.
Captain Paolo was asked if he’d had any acting experience, but he hadn’t. He said he was just playing himself in the show, so he doesn’t consider this acting experience, but he said it was “incredible.” He was asked whether the singls on the show really talk to the captain about how much they want love and whether he believes their stories, and how did he help them. He confirmed that the cruise director, Matt, and the bartender, Ezra, gathered info about the singles and what happened with them, and they all worked to help them out, “to either fortify or strengthen their bond or maybe try to open themselves up to other opportunities out there with other singles until they find the real love.”
Jerry and Rebecca were asked if they’re good matchmakers in real life. Jerry claimed that he was responsible for two couples getting married. Jerry went on to talk about how the setting for “The Real Love Boat” is made for couples to get together and find romance because it’s in the Mediterranean and other beautiful locations. Jerry mentioned that he and Rebecca have been together 15 years. He also admitted that he’d never been on a cruise before. He thinks it’s a very romantic place. Rebecca added that “Water is sexy” while Jerry went on to say that “time stands still.” He understands it now. He compared it to other traveling, like by airplane, which is stressful and not romantic. Rebecca also admitted that she’d never been on a cruise before, either. She said she loved sleeping on the boat, “I have never slept better in my life, like, rocked like a little, gentle baby, oh, so beautiful.”
Bartender Ezra was asked how long it took her “perfect the iconic Isaac finger point to your liking” and what it was like to meet Ted Lange (who played Isaac, the bartender, on the original “Love Boat’). Ezra replied that the finger point is a lot harder than it looks and Ted helped her with it. You have to tuck the thumbs in but point the fingers out. She said that it was “amazing” working with Ted. She was already a huge fan of the original show because of working on the Princess cruise line. She had always joked “that it should be required viewing for crewmembers to watch Season 1.” So she was very excited about the show and to meet Ted. In fact, she said, “Jay told me to stay away from him until we got the cameras rolling because I was so excited to see him and work with him.” She gushed about great he’s been to her. Jay also shared with us that Ted is working behind the bar in some scenes.
Jay was asked whether their partnership with the Princess line was to help promote it and get the cruise industry to be popular again, since it took quite a hit during COVID and via several revealing documentaries. Jay denied that and said that it was just about being “The Love Boat” and nothing else. Jay was also asked whether anyone else besides Ted and Jill (Whelen, who played Vicki on the original series) were going to be on the show. He let Captain Paolo talk about Jill. He had meet Jill on a previous cruise. He used to watch the show with his grandfather who was on the original as an executive chef. They were discussing this before they show the new show, and “all of these nostalgic things.” It was a great conversation for both of them.
Rebecca said a few closing words about how much they love the show and enjoyed traveling to the various beautiful locations. “We are very proud to be a part of it, and we hope everybody enjoys it as well.”
REBECCA ROMIJN AND JERRY O’CONNELL COME ABOARD AS CO-HOSTS OF “THE REAL LOVE BOAT”
The Dating Adventure Series Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 5, as Part of
CBS’ All-Reality Wednesday
CBS announced today Rebecca Romijn (Paramount+’ STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS) and Jerry O’Connell (CBS’ THE TALK) as co-hosts of THE REAL LOVE BOAT. The husband-and-wife team will take the helm guiding viewers through the dating adventure series inspired by “The Love Boat,” the hit scripted series in the ‘70s that used Princess Cruises ships as its setting. The series sets sail Wednesday, Oct. 5 (9:00-10:00 PM, PT/ET), following SURVIVOR (8:00 PM PT/ET) and leading into THE AMAZING RACE (10:00 PM, PT), to create the Network’s all-reality night.
“After years of consuming, arguing about and dissecting unscripted television, hosting a reality series where a group of singles look for love while aboard a Princess Cruise ship, seemed like a dream come true,” said Romijn and O’Connell. “When we heard it was aboard THE REAL LOVE BOAT, that dream got an iconic theme song – ‘we promise something for everyone.’”
Rebecca Romijn continues to maintain her leading lady status in Hollywood since famously starring as Mystique in the FOX X-Men franchise. Currently, Romijn stars in the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS, reprising her role as the iconic character Number One, whom she also portrayed in STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. As co-host of THE REAL LOVE BOAT, the former Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model returns to familiar territory – she served as the host of MTV’s iconic “House of Style” and as host and executive producer of the GSN bodypainting competition series “Skin Wars.”
Actor, director and television personality Jerry O’Connell serves as host of THE TALK, CBS’ Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show that examines topical events and contemporary issues. O’Connell began his acting career at age 11 when he co-starred as Vern Tessio in “Stand by Me,” spawning a career of roles in critically acclaimed films and televisions series. O’Connell currently voices Commander Jack Ransom in STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS for Paramount+ and he can now be seen in the thriller “Endangered Species” opposite his wife, Romijn, and Philip Winchester.
THE REAL LOVE BOAT brings singles together to sail the Mediterranean on a luxury cruise ship while looking for love. Destination dates, challenges and surprise singles will test the couples’ compatibility and chemistry. Like the beloved original scripted series, the indispensable crew members, including captain and cruise director, will play pivotal roles in the matchmaking and navigation of the romantic (and sometimes turbulent) waters ahead.
After nearly one month at sea, one winning couple will dock in the final port and take home a cash prize plus a once-in-a-lifetime trip courtesy of Princess Cruises, the series’ exclusive cruise line partner.
THE REAL LOVE BOAT is produced by Eureka Productions in association with Buster Productions. Chris Culvenor, Paul Franklin, Wes Dening and Jay Bienstock serve as executive producers for Eureka.
Jerry O’Connell is an actor, director and television personality. He serves as host of The Talk, CBS’ Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show.
O’Connell began his acting career at age 11 when he co-starred as Vern Tessio in Stand By Me. Born and raised in New York City, O’Connell graduated from New York University with a BFA before returning to feature films. He received critical acclaim for his role as quarterback Frank Cushman in Jerry Maguire.
Most recently he appeared in the film Endangered Species, with additional credits including Scream 2, Can’t Hardly Wait, Mission to Mars, Tomcats, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced comedy Kangaroo Jack, Yours, Mine and Ours, Man About Town, Obsessed, Piranha 3-D, The Lookalike, Deep Murder, and The Secret: Dare to Dream. O’Connell was also seen in the big screen follow-up to the cult hit television series Veronica Mars. In addition to his film work, he has been seen in multiple hit television series, including Scream Queens (FOX), Mistresses (ABC), The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Billions (SHOWTIME), The Mysteries of Laura (NBC), Carter (OWN) and currently voices Commander Jack Ransom in Star Trek: Lower Decks (PARAMOUNT+.)
Additionally, O’Connell hosted his own daytime talk show Jerry O in 2019 and starred in the Broadway play A Soldier’s Play in early 2020.
O’Connell resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Rebecca Romijn, and twin daughters. His birthday is Feb. 17. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mrjerryoc.
Rebecca Alie Romijn was born on November 6, 1972 in Berkeley, California. Her father was Dutch-born and worked as a custom-furniture maker. Her mother was American-born, with Dutch and English ancestry, and was a teacher of English. Rebecca attended Berkeley High School where her nickname was the “Jolly Blond Giant”, then she attended the University of California at Santa Cruz where she majored in Music, but left in 1995.
She was a natural for modeling, and has posed for Sports Illustrated, Christian Dior and Victoria’s Secret, to name but a few. Rebecca first met John Stamos in 1994, at a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and had her first date with him at Disneyland. They married in September 1998, but have since gotten divorced.
Rebecca’s favorite foods are fillet mignon, tuna sashimi and Häagen-Dazs Cappuccino Commotion ice cream. But to keep her weight at a svelte 130 pounds, she stays fit with a rigorous stretching and strengthening routine (her firm body tone is evident when compared to photos of her earlier modeling, where she was very slim but not toned). Rebecca’s most famous movie role, so far, was as the shapeshifting Mystique in X-Men (2000), based on the long-running comic book series about teenage mutant superheroes (that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created in 1962). To play Mystique every day, Rebecca had to start out nude, and then two female makeup artists would apply blue body paint and other stick-on parts for 8 hours a day. Rebecca told Jay Leno on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) that things like tissue paper would stick to her hips; and, one day, the long hours of wearing sticky paint makeup made her so upset that director Bryan Singer told her to have a glass of white wine and relax. Notwithstanding those technical difficulties, X-Men (2000) was a box-office bonanza, and Rebecca’s future in films was assured.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda