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From sound engineers and screenwriters to celebrity makeup artists and stylists, Variety’s series “Ask an Insider” asks top professionals within the entertainment industry to share their must-have essentials, for work…and for play. In this installment, “Call Her Daddy” host Alex Cooper talks about everything she needs to stay focused on a busy editing day.
Four years ago, if you tuned into “Call Her Daddy,” which at that point was produced by the aggressively laddish Barstool Sports, you would likely hear then-co-hosts and roommates Alexandra Cooper and Sofia Franklyn exclusively talking about sex.
Now, since going solo and parlaying her success into a historic $60 million Spotify deal, Cooper is hitting A-list celebrities with probing questions from a plush white sofa chair at her in-home studio and getting information out of her interviewees that would make any publicist squirm.
“I always come at my interviews from a psychological perspective,” Cooper says over a Zoom call from Los Angeles. “I always come at it from trying to put myself in the shoes of being the ‘Daddy Gang.’ Like, I feel like I am ‘Daddy Gang.’ I’m a consumer, I’m a viewer. And so anything that I feel like hasn’t been answered, I’ll ask. I push myself to write the question in a way that will elicit a really detailed and emotional response.”
Of course, sometimes sex does still makes its way into conversation. Last month on the pod, Hailey Bieber shared her favorite sex position (missionary) and John Mayer, a few weeks later, revealed that he sometimes plays his guitar naked in bed with his lovers.
“I really try not to overthink it,” Cooper says about asking difficult questions. “I feel like in my friend group, I’ve always been the person that I’m going to tell you how it is. I want to go into my interviews like I’m having a conversation with a friend. Like, let’s get deep.”
While being unabashedly herself is one inarguable reason for Cooper’s meteoric rise, another is her impressive work ethic. Anyone else with a multi-million dollar podcast deal is likely handing over editing tasks to an assistant. Cooper, on the other hand, cites editing as the true passion that led her to content creation in the first place, and still spends hours on Final Cut Pro the day before an episode release.
As soon as she gets off the phone, she’ll be editing her latest episode with The Chainsmokers. “It’s a very fun episode, it’s literally insane. We drink and we have so much fun and the stories are insane that they tell me,” she says.
Below, check out everything she uses to stay focused on a busy editing day (and what she uses on her rare days off).
“I always put fuzzy socks on, 24/7 I have fuzzy socks on. And the fuzzy socks I have are from Amazon. They’re the Ant Sang cabin warm home socks. They’re very affordable. I just ordered them in bulk and I’m obsessed with them.”
Simple Modern Insulated Tumbler
“Then I come downstairs and get water. I just got this water bottle, the Simple Modern Insulated Tumbler, that is making me drink so much more water because it has a straw. Something about having a straw is making me drink more water and I get really bad migraines so this has been very helpful for me.”
Sichy Age Ergonomic Chair
“I never have snacks at my desk when I’m editing because it forces me to get up and walk and get something because I will sit in my chair for 19 hours, quite literally. And so I also got an ergonomic chair recently off of Amazon. I had back and neck issues because I used to edit in my bed. Like, what was I doing? And so I went on Amazon and I got this Sichy Age chair. It’s an ergonomic office chair. It’s gray and white, so it’s kind of cute. And I’m obsessed with it.”
Colleen Hoover Books
“It’s actually funny, I literally just started ‘Ugly Love,’ I have it right next to me. So, I’m torn because I really think I like ‘Verity’ more than ‘Ugly Love’ which is crazy because I’m such a scaredy cat with anything scary and ‘Verity’ was pretty scary. But it had a lot of psychological twists I liked.”
‘Trillion Dollar Coach’
“I’ll usually read a fiction and a nonfiction book at the same time, just because I like to like escape into a world but I also want to be educating myself. And so I’ve been reading this book ‘Trillion Dollar Coach,’ which is about Bill Campbell, who was a legendary coach and a business executive. And he was a mentor, he played a huge prominent role in the growth of several huge companies like Google and Apple, like he would mentor Steve Jobs so it kind of takes you through the blueprint he created for business leaders and managers to help them ultimately create higher performing cultures and teams.
It’s really wild to me, I’m such a creative person but I never intended to be a CEO. So I’m running a company and I have employees, and I have a team and so something that I’m trying to work on is being a better leader and putting in a process as my team expands, which is wild to me. So I’m trying to learn. I was reading it over break and I was taking notes. It’s been helpful.”
Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo
“I don’t put any product in my hair except the Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo: Light Tones. Anything that has some type of texture, I do like for my hair. If I’m going out it will give it more volume and it will make it look more blonde. So I really love that product. I’ve been using it now for like a couple months and I’m obsessed with it and I have like 17 bottles stacked in my bathroom. When my boyfriend saw it for the first time and there was powder all over the bathroom was questioning what kind of substance it was. He’s like, ‘What are you up to over here?’ I’m like, ‘It’s dry shampoo.’ Now he sees it all the time.”
Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
“People always ask me, ‘What are you putting on your lips? Like, why does it look that color?’ And I’m not kidding when I say Burt’s Bees in Pomegranate. I think I have a naturally kind of specific color on my lips already, and then when I put Burt’s Bees it gives me the exact color that I want on my lips and it’s all you see me in in every interview. I have it everywhere I go. They’re not sponsoring me, I just am obsessed with Burt’s Bees Pomegranate.”
Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Acid
“I love to bring my Hyaluronic Acid Serum from Barbara Dr. Barbara Sturm when I’m traveling. It’s definitely an investment piece. It’s expensive, but every time I like go halfway through if it’s a long flight, I’ll go to the bathroom and I’ll wash my hands and I’ll apply it just because my skin can get pretty dry. So it’s like I mask hyaluronic acid and snacks. And then I always need to either bring my iPad if I’m watching one of my edits or my computer if I’m making edits on the plane.”
Charlotte Tillbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder
“A makeup product that I started using recently that is now part of my holy grail routine is the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder. It comes with this little triangle powder thing. I used to always use one of those like beauty blender things but this one comes with this little triangle powder thing, it’s almost like what my grandmother used to use — you put your hands in between the little powder brush and you just pat it on. And I swear to God, you don’t even have pores when you use it. So that’s one of my little makeup hacks recently.”