Casey Wilson and John Stamos on set.
John Stamos may be labeled—and even lampooned—as an archetypal Hollywood heartbreaker, but when the actor, entertainer, and newly-minted web-show host caught up with DETAILS, he freely admitted to being all alone. "I'm walking around this gorgeous hotel by myself," Stamos told us as he ambled across the Montage resort in Laguna Beach sharing insights from his new web series, Losing it with John Stamos. On the show, a Yahoo exclusive co-created by Morgan Spourlock, Stamos chats with other celebs about their first time in the sack. The series, which launched two weeks ago, presents sex as "the great equalizer," and carries a tone that's at once tasteful, laid back, and just a little risqué.
That about sums up Stamos' own demeanor throughout our interview; everyone's favorite hunky uncle from the classic '90s sitcom Full House opened up about his own first time, his way-off reputation as a womanizer, and the show's motley assortment of guests (Olivia Munn, Perez Hilton, and others have already spilled their guts). He also shared his candid thoughts about what it's like to turn 50, how he stays in shape, and shooting an episode in his jacuzzi.
DETAILS: I understand you had a star-studded 50th birthday party recently, with guests running the gamut from Don Rickles to Darren Criss. Was there a highlight of the night? I know you joined the Beach Boys and Tom Jones for some tunes on stage.
Alan Cumming with Stamos.
JOHN STAMOS: A friend said the other day, "Man, that party was so surreal." And I said, "You think it was surreal for you?" I was just standing there that night and I literally thought they were all talking about someone else. It was so magical, and I couldn't believe all the people who were there—Bob Saget, Jeff Ross, Garry Marshall. But I think Don [Rickles'] speech was the most touching. He just came in, slayed the room, told everybody to shut up, told my mother to stop drinking, and busted the hell out of everybody. And then . . .at the end of Don's act, he'll always do something sincere and nice, and I've seen it 100 times. But this time it was really personal, and I don't think I've ever seen him get that emotional about something or someone. So I think that was the highlight.
DETAILS: Age has become a subjective thing these days. I'd be inclined to say that you don't look 50, but then, what does that look like anyway? I'm curious what turning 50 means for you.
JOHN STAMOS: You know, it's good and bad, but I don't have a great memory, so it always feels like stuff is sort of new, and I'm fresh and bright-eyed about things. But I do always remember people telling me when I was younger, "You better find someone, because when you're 50, you don't want to be all alone." One of my issues is I don't have the pillars that most 50-year-olds have in their life, like a wife, and kids, and a real job and things like that. I don't think I have to "act 50," but you have to be responsible, and sometimes I have issues with that. Sometimes I need to tell myself, "You're an adult! Knock it off!"
DETAILS: You feel like you don't have a "real job" because you're an entertainer who goes from project to project?
JOHN STAMOS: Well, it's a real job, but it's a fantasy job too. I go, and I play, and I get spoiled all day. I'm certainly not one of the hardworking people of this country who goes and digs ditches, or goes into service, or works long, hard hours with his hands.
DETAILS: What about staying fit? How do you keep in shape?
JOHN STAMOS: I've switched around a lot over the years. I used to go to the gym a lot, and box, and I'm doing Pilates now, which is good. But I'm not a super fitness person. I think the cumulative of starting young, when I was 18 or 19, and staying fit on a consistent basis, has helped. But I don't run around with my shirt off too much.
DETAILS: And diet? Any healthy eating habits you swear by?
JOHN STAMOS: I think that's been my best thing. I'm pretty good at eating well. I eat fish a lot, and vegetables. I'm not really a foodie. To sit down and have dinner for two hours is not really my thing. I use food more as fuel, you know? A good piece of chicken, and some vegetables, and then I want to get on with the day. I envy people who like to sit, and try different foods and restaurants. I'm just not that guy.
DETAILS: Alright. So let's get to the web series, Losing it with John Stamos, which we should stress is not about weight loss. You've co-produced the project with Morgan Spurlock. How did that connection happen?
JOHN STAMOS: I met Morgan when he was doing that movie Mansome, and he said, "Hey, I'm doing this movie and I'd love for you to be in it." And then I never heard from him until after the movie came out, when he called and said, "Hey I'm doing a web series of it and I'd love for you to be in it." So it was like, "Oh, now you want me for the Internet?!" [Laughs] But we became friends, and wanted to work on something together, and I went to him with this idea. I've always been fascinated by people's first times. Was it a loss of innocence? Was it good? Bad? Was there pressure? There's a lot of stuff there, and it's also the great equalizer. He loved the idea, and then it hit me: Why don't I just host it, and I'll invite my friends, and we'll make it more conversational? When I told Morgan about that, he was in a meeting with Yahoo, and after he pitched it, he told me, "Yahoo wants 30 of them." I think we're doing about 20.
DETAILS: What about your first time?
JOHN STAMOS: Yeah, that's funny—we haven't gotten to that yet. I keep asking, "When are we going to do me?" With mine, I think I was almost 18, and none of my friends had really done it yet. I wasn't a geeky kid, but I was sort of . . .innocent. And then I was driving home with the sister of the bass player from my high school band, and she dropped her keys in my lap—my crotch area—and went to grab 'em. And I thought, "Oh. This might be on!" And she was this beautiful woman who was maybe five to seven years older than me. So we went to her house, and she was very gentle, and easy, and walked me through it. And it was fantastic! We're still friends. She's a great girl, and she really wants to be on the show.
DETAILS: I was going to say—when's her episode?
JOHN STAMOS: Yeah, we've been talking about getting the other person and getting their side of the story. And we haven't done that yet, but, for sure, when I do mine, she'll be on there.
DETAILS: I really enjoyed the Michael Rapaport episode, because he's very boisterously lauding you as this ladies' man, which you've certainly built up a reputation for being. Is the series as much about playing off of that image as it is about your own curiosities on the subject?
JOHN STAMOS: Well it didn't start out that way, but I guess from an outside perspective it would look like that. But I always have to remind myself of that perception. I promise you: I'm not that guy. It's very flattering. I mean, if you listen to Howard Stern or Jimmy Kimmel, they make it out to be like I'm this cocksman or something, but the truth is I'm really not. I've been in a lot of real relationships, and I haven't dated that many high-profile people. And I'm not that guy, even if that's someone people may want me to be. I can't get caught up in that, otherwise I'm going to run into some trouble in my life.
DETAILS: Well, I think you come off as being pretty humble on the show, but that image helps the theme.
JOHN STAMOS: Well that's good. Because it hurts my life! [Laughs] Girls will be like, "I'm not going out with you! You go out with so many people!" And I swear to god, 80 to 90 percent of the time, I'm alone. Like right now, I'm in a hotel, in a big, beautiful suite in Laguna, and I'm pacing around here by myself. And now I'm at the point where I'm really not going to have sex unless I'm in a committed relationship with somebody that I care about. And I think I've actually felt that way for a long time.
DETAILS: The show is about not just breaking down the taboos of sex, but humanizing these celebrities. And it takes an almost European approach to the whole thing, like, "It's sex! First time! What's the big deal? Let's talk about it!"
JOHN STAMOS: I read a tweet about it the other day, and it said, "TMI! We don't want the details! We don't want to know about how celebrities lost their virginity!" But if you watch the show, it's not about that. It's about what they were feeling, and what happened before and after. And I'm not saying this is an educational video by any means, but I always try to get into the nuances of things. And in the editing, I always try to get Morgan and the guys to make sure we're getting the emotion in there.
Stamos with Olivia Munn.
DETAILS: The whole thing has a very laid-back atmosphere to it, but are there any that have made you uncomfortable?
JOHN STAMOS: There have been some shockers. Perez Hilton was pretty honest. There are some people who come in and go, "Fuck it, I'm gonna be honest and tell you every single detail." And I'm like, "You don't have to! We can't even cuss on here!" But yeah, Perez was open, and Alan Cumming was also very forthcoming, if you will. But then, I also loved Olivia [Munn's], because she waited and wanted to be in love.
DETAILS: The show is refreshingly inclusive—men, women, gay, straight. How did you create that kind of equal-opportunity approach?
JOHN STAMOS: I think the women are really interesting, because that's a whole other thing: It's not the boys' club. We have to be respectful of their stories, and be a little more delicate with it, I think.
DETAILS: And what about the choices of venue? Are you curating these shooting locations?
JOHN STAMOS: Yeah. We started in New York, and I always thought it was all going to be darker, in a bar, and I wanted to take Bob Saget to a strip club, but I thought that might be too distracting [Laughs]. So we did that one at the Bowery, and we did a couple of others there, just sort of moving around. And then we did a few at One Oak. The Olivia Munn one was there. And then we shot a couple in my backyard, and we did one with TJ Miller in my jacuzzi, which was quite insane.
DETAILS: Like the two of you literally in the jacuzzi?
JOHN STAMOS: Yeah, part of it's in the jacuzzi. [Laughs]
DETAILS: Morgan Spurlock just made a doucmentary about the boy band One Direction, so the inevitable question is, can we expect your show to go on long enough that you can eventually invite those guys on and ask about their first times?
JOHN STAMOS: Right. [Laughs] Well, I think that would be a good episode. But I gotta be honest, I thought the whole thing would be a little easier. We've asked a lot of people who've said no, and I totally understand. If this weren't me, and if it were Losing Your Virginity with Scott Baio or something, I don't know if I'd be [a guest] on it. But after seeing it, maybe I would. I think if you're not in the game of making fun of yourself, then you're not in the game these days.
DETAILS: But you'd still be the one with the better hair.
JOHN STAMOS: I don't know. They have pretty good hair, those guys.
—R. Kurt Osenlund is an arts and entertainment writer and editor based in Brooklyn. Follow him at @AddisonDeTwitt.
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