And he’s definitely getting inspiration from some familiar faces.
“For me, my job is to allow the people that are taking this crazy journey to tell their story,” Lawrence says of his role as host. He isn’t looking to be the star of the competition and he doesn’t claim to be the best host out there. It’s that modesty that drove Lawrence to learn a lesson or two from one of the best the television business has never had.
“I think that Dick Clark taught me to let everyone scream around you,” the 36-year-old says. He talks about developing a “calm confidence” as a television personality. In the end, it’s about connecting with the audience and really talking to them for Lawrence.
“Even in the midst of Times Square with a billion people and the ball dropping,” Lawrence says, “you can hear the energy in Dick Clark’s voice, but he’s never screaming at you.”
Luckily he has the help of seasoned ESPN reporter Charissa Thompson, though it’s having fun when the cameras aren’t rolling that Lawrence is most chatty about.
“We spend most of our rehearsal time quoting lines from Christmas Vacation and Top Gun,” Lawrence laughs, “and all of the movies that we grew up with.”
But if you think Lawrence took the job to become the next Ryan Seacrest, then you’d be wrong. “The personal stories of triumph are really what make this show.” explains Lawrence.
The show’s celebrity contestants face obstacles that include age, weight, height and even one with a clinically diagnosed fear of heights. He stresses that despite the competition aspect, everyone is a winner. In his opinion, overcoming obstacles and fears is a huge part of what makes this show great.
“Hearing the list of people they had involved and what they were going through,” Lawrence says, “I thought it was engaging television and something I’d like to be a part of.”
Splash airs Tuesdays at 8PM on ABC.
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