Jay Shetty loves love.
So much so that the life coach and self-help guru worried his emotions would get the best of him when he officiated Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s wedding in August. “The No. 1 thing that was going through my mind was, ‘Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry.’ Because I’m a full-on crier,’” Shetty says, adding, “I was just talking myself down. So I had to just pull myself together because… every part of me just wanted to sob full of love.”
J.Lo and Affleck aren’t Shetty’s only Hollywood devotees. A former monk, Shetty also officiated Lily Collins and Charlie McDowell’s wedding. Selena Gomez asked Shetty to present her with the film song of the year award for “My Mind & Me” at Variety’s Hitmakers event in December. He’s the host of the health and wellness podcast “On Purpose” and conducts meditation classes for the likes of Joe Jonas.
I recently caught up with Shetty for this week’s “Just for Variety” podcast to talk about his new book, “8 Rules of Love: How to Find It, Keep It and Let It Go,” his producing plans and why he thinks “The Notebook” is an “unhealthy” depiction of love and romance.
“The ‘8 Rules of Love’ doesn’t treat love as an ethereal, intangible, spiritual concept,” Shetty says. “Instead, I break down love as a set of habits, skills and daily practices. So it’s probably the most tactical, practical version of how to find love, keep love and let it go in that there are exercises, there are meditations, there are workshops, there are reflections. I wanted love to feel like something you could work towards, not something that you wish and want and hope will just magically manifest in your life.”
While Shetty insists he’s not currently developing an “8 Rules of Love” reality show, he says that’s “definitely a part of the plan.”
Producing movies with a more realistic view of love could also be in his future. “The movie that I have a love-hate relationship with — and maybe this is an unpopular opinion — but it’s ‘The Notebook,’” Shetty says. “It’s a beautiful story, but there are moments in it that are so unhealthy.”
He points to Noah (Ryan Gosling) telling Allie (Rachel McAdams) he’ll “do anything” and “be whatever” she wants him to be in order to stay together. “That’s bad relationship advice. Please don’t do this,” Shetty says. “And then there’s another scene where he’s literally hanging off a Ferris wheel and he says to her, ‘If you don’t go on a date with me, I will let go.’ Those kind of things are extremely triggering today. If someone came up to you and says, ‘Hey, by the way, I’m going to let go and potentially die if you don’t go out with me,’ those are not healthy messages. But that’s how love’s been portrayed.”
Have a listen to my full interview with Shetty on “Just for Variety” above. Find out what he says about seeing Lopez walk down the aisle, why he believes his work resonates with celebrities and how he feels about “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “He’s Just Not That Into You.”
You can also find “Just for Variety” wherever you download your favorite podcasts.