From Byron Bay to Hollywood’s hottest red carpets – meet our golden girl Renée Bargh.
Stepping out on the red carpet on a daily basis to interview every celebrity known to man would be the definition of the Hollywood dream. Interviewing your most idolised girl crush to your *ahem* actual crush, as well as the who’s-who of Hollywood heavyweights and Hall-of-Famers, would be near impossible for most. But for Renée Bargh, 32, this pretty much sums up her day-to-day life.
Living amongst the LA A-listers as a host on American entertainment show TV Extra for more than eight years, this stunning, down-to-earth Byron Bay bred ex-pat – who became a household name as the host of Channel V Australia – is a red carpet connoisseur, covering every major entertainment industry event – from the Oscars, Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAGs) and Golden Globes to the latest celebrity news from TV Extra’s global base in Hollywood. She even earned an Outstanding Entertainment News Program Emmy for her own work with Extra in 2014 and again in 2016.
And, as if her long list of achievements wasn’t impressive enough, her Hollywood career was also a happy accident. Renée’s foray into the world of the rich and famous was a serendipitous one, with the ambitious Queensland-born bombshell admitting she “fell into presenting” along the way of pursuing a dancing career.
When she’s not brushing up against Hollywood royalty the likes of George Clooney, Oprah, and J-Lo, our effervescent beach babe prefers to kick off her heels and find calm in her Venice abode. A lover of wholesome, nourishing food and all things health, this self-confessed wellness junkie also dabbles as a Health Coach and thanks her love of yoga and exercise for keeping her grounded and balanced in what could only be known as a whirlwind, highly demanding industry.
So just how does one balance the chaos and calm? We chatted to Miss Bargh in her Venice home, to delve into those red-carpet-ready secrets.
You look like you are living the dream. Is this where you imagined you would end up?
Never in a million years could I have imagined I’d be living in LA and doing what I’m doing because, frankly, I didn’t even know about this world or how you got into it. Growing up in Mullumbimby, this wasn’t a world I was aware of, really, and it seemed so out of reach. I pinch myself constantly but am a firm believer in fate and synchronicity so I’m meant to be exactly where I am.
How did you land the role of a co-host on Extra TV?
After hosting for a couple of years in Australia I took a trip to LA to take some meetings and just suss it out. I met with an executive producer at Extra who offered to give me a trial interview with John Travolta while he was in Aus. John was so kind and giving- I always say he helped me land the job. They offered me a contract soon after and the rest is history.
Your job keeps you extremely busy. Do you have a daily routine that keeps you sane?
Sanity is something I’m always seeking and my daily meditation really helps with that. My dear friend Ashley Hart introduced me to TM meditation a couple of years ago and it truly keeps me functioning and energised. Just practicing mindfulness and gratitude daily is key, really. I also like to take a hot bath and light candles every night. It feels so luxurious and helps me sleep better.
On your days off, what would we find you doing? Yoga, followed by cooking a delicious, hearty brunch. Catching up with friends usually over food or wine (I’m a massive foodie and it brings me so much joy). If the weather is nice you’ll find me on the sand- the beach is my sanctuary and the ocean keeps me calm. I love to hike and get out in nature, all things that help me connect to the earth and recharge.
Favourite workouts in LA?
F45, Modo yoga, hot8 yoga and sweat yoga. I also love doing reformer Pilates and if I’m going to train at the gym I go to UP fitness.
How do you prepare yourself to be “red-carpet-ready”? Do you feel there is a lot of pressure to look and be a certain way within the industry?
I don’t let the pressure get to me or make me feel a certain way. I just have fun with it! I love the process of putting a look together and coming up with everything with my team from head to toe. It’s fun experimenting and trying new looks. I prepare by getting a good facial and doing lots of face masks and staying super hydrated. I also just got a clear light infrared sauna and it’s been a game changer especially for my skin.
You work with big-name celebs day in and day out. Do you ever get starstruck? Spill the beans!
I’m going to sound jaded but after doing this for a while now I really don’t get starstruck anymore. You get to know people and realise they’re just like you. I love connecting with people and having authentic conversations so when I get to do that I’m stoked. The only person who can make me nervous / a little giddy is Oprah. She has always been my inspiration and I’m in awe of her. She looks into your eyes and is so present and captivating it’s like nothing else exists in that moment.
Do what feels good and love yourself first. Self-love is the greatest love of all.
Do you have a favourite red carpet moment?
Ahhh there’s been so many. I’d say probably dancing or singing with John Travolta – I got to sing a song from Grease with him and learn a move from Saturday Night Fever… Definitely career highlights. Or the time I got flown to Paris to interview Tom Cruise. He’s like no one else and is a true movie star. He shows up to his premieres hours before the call time to sign every autograph and make sure he gives every media outlet a fair amount of time. He remembers your name and has this incredible charm and presence that just melts you.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness to me means being conscious of the decisions I make and what I choose to feed myself – whether that’s holistically, mentally, physically- it’s all encompassing. For me it’s truly about balance. I can be so extreme and cut out sugar and alcohol and gluten and really deprive myself of the things my body is asking for when really it’s about moderation and knowing when to stop. Self-care is so important and it can feel over the top or luxurious but sometimes you just need a spa day or a massage or just a bath at home with a glass of wine and jazz playing. Do what feels good and love yourself first. Self-love is the greatest love of all.
Can you share your usual day on a plate? First thing I have on an empty stomach is celery juice. Followed by a tonic with cacao, espresso, almond milk, reishi and ashwaganda. Then I normally have a smoothie with banana and collagen protein and almond butter or a couple of eggs, poached. Lunch is usually a piece of salmon and salad and dinner is normally roasted vegetables and fish or a bowl of soup.
What makes you feel confident?
A strong, healthy body. When I’ve been working out and eating right – as cliché as it sounds – I carry myself differently. It’s really a feeling that comes from within when I know I’ve been doing the work and caring for myself. I started weight training recently and weirdly enough the heavier the weights and the stronger I felt, the sexier I started to feel.
You are also a fellow health coach, was this a possible career path for you? What inspired you to study?
I decided to study because I was having so many digestive issues and I didn’t know what was happening so I wanted to gain a better understanding. I felt like a lot of friends would come to me for health advice and recipes because I was passionate about it but I didn’t really have the knowledge to back it up. I really studied to heal myself of all my health issues which I was able to do for the most part and be able to impart some advice on to friends and family.
Where do you call home? LA / Australia?
This is tough as I feel my heart and soul is really in both places- but I feel very lucky to call both incredible places home. Australia will always hold a special place in my heart and home is where my family is- which is in Aus. Didn’t really answer that did I …. to be honest, I’m a bit of a gypsy and could be happy anywhere, but every time I land in Aus I feel the sense of calmness and peace. That’s home.
If you could give your 16-year-old self one bit of advice, what would it be?
Be present. This too shall pass. Live in each and every moment and don’t make assumptions. What other people think about you is really none of your business.
Favourite guilty pleasure?
I don’t feel guilty about it because it makes me happy, but cheese. Any type of cheese… A cheese board and a glass of wine or a bowl of yummy pasta covered in cheese is my weakness.
Any beauty hacks from the stars?
The latest is celery juice. I thought it was a crazy fad but my skin has never been better. Also exfoliating your lips and around your lips to prevent fine lines. Men don’t get lines around the mouth until much later and I think it’s because they shave- therefore, exfoliating!
Tell us one thing that people may not know about you?
I can touch my elbows behind my back. Remember when boys in school would dare you to do it to look silly? Well, I figured out I could actually do it. I also split my tongue in half as a kid and had a snake tongue. I have a scar on the bottom of my tongue to prove it… I should’ve been in the circus.
What’s next for you?
For once… I really don’t know. And I’m learning to be okay with that and trust in the universe and the process. I know change is coming and I’m excited about this next chapter. I want to utilise more of what I’m passionate about and use my voice to help and heal others… I love interviewing interesting people, so no matter what I think I’ll be doing more of that… Watch this space.
Photography: David Higgs of Exclusive Artists / Vivien’s Creative
Styling: Giuliana Crescentini
Hair: Lauren Mackellar Photogenics LA
Makeup: Annie Kim of Exclusive Artists