- Annette Dawm
Meet Morgan Hoffman
Updated: Mar 28, 2022
Since 2019, Morgan Hoffman has been a reporter for Entertainment Tonight Canada. Previously known for her work on InnerSpace, Morgan never thought she would be interviewing entertainers because she wanted to be one.
“I thought I was going to be an actress because I loved theatre.” She explained. “When I was growing up, everybody thought I was going to go to school for theatre and I didn’t go to school right away. I enrolled in acting classes and I got an agent and I thought, ‘Okay, I’m going to try to do TV acting….’ So I did that for a few years and I had a couple of fun projects that I did, but I didn’t love it. I loved performing but I didn’t like being other characters.”
At the age of 24, Hoffman decided to no longer pursue acting and enrolled into a volunteer program at her local TV station: “I’d always been fascinated by TV and how TV works. So I did this program. I learned floor directing and teleprompting and everything behind the scenes. I loved it so much that I went to school for Broadcast Journalism. While I was at this local TV station, I got to co-host a show and that kind of gave me this new found love for being an on-air personality! Being myself surprised me. I thought I loved acting but I just like being myself!”
While still in school, she received some advice that has helped her open many doors throughout her career: “I had a teacher tell me this. He said, ‘Always say yes.’ With that being said, you don’t want to do too many internships, but I’ll give you an example. I had already done my internship and an opportunity came up to volunteer with etalk, which is ET Canada’s competition! …. I said yes. They said, ‘Listen, if you want to get a job in the (CTV) building, you have to intern in the building.’”
After taking on the second internship, she was then offered a position as a teleprompter operator. Her friends discouraged her from accepting the job due to her qualifications as a Broadcast Journalist.
“I said, ‘No guys! I want to learn! This is my foot in the door! I want to learn everything. You’re never too good for any role. Once I said yes to this teleprompting position, it lead to a floor directing position, which then lead to an on-air position and now here I am! So I say, always say yes!”
With that in mind, Hoffman went onto describe her audition process for her current role at ET Canada: “I had to put a reel together of all of the past interviews that I had done…. They said, ‘We like it, come on in for an interview.’ It was an audition. It was short though! I had to read off the prompter and it was during a time when The Oscars were coming up. I didn’t know what they were going to talk to me about. They kind of put me on the spot. There was another host there and he said, ‘Hey, we’re going to talk about The Oscars!’ and I said, ‘Let’s do it!’ He wanted to know who I thought the next host for The Oscars should be. I know my Oscars very well. My family always dressed up and would watch The Oscars every year…. They just wanted to see if I could come up with something on the spot and do improv. The audition was only a minute long and that was it! Then I got a call back!”
Morgan also recalled one of her earliest days on the set, working with Cheryl Hickey: “Oh my God! I love Cheryl! I’ve been with ET Canada for three years now and one of the first days I was there, she sat right down beside me and she said, ‘Tell me about yourself!’ She’s just so lovely and I’ve learned so much from working with her!”
Since then, Morgan has done countless interviews, both in-person and online. Regardless of the format, she strives to make a connection with everyone: “I really love my job. I love interviewing people! I love making a connection, even if you have four or five minutes. That’s a fun challenge for me, to make that connection in a short amount of time. I love movies and TV so whenever I get to interview directors or actors, it’s a good day for me! It’s so fun! ….Not only do you learn from each person that you interview but your skills get better and better. I’m always growing. I’m always learning something new. I’m interviewing people that I never would have interviewed in real life. Everyone has a cool story, you know?”
She estimated that when she is not co-hosting ET Canada or ET Canada Live, (an online version of the show) she does about three interviews a day! She added, “If you do a junket for a movie or a TV show, there could be six different people that you’re interviewing just for that one project!”
“For years, I covered The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). George Clooney is hands down, the nicest actor ever! You know, when you’re on these red carpets for TIFF—this was before COVID—they’re long. Sometimes actors will get to talk to six or seven people in this long line of press, and if you’re in the middle or at the end, you’re not going to get the big names. There were about 30 reporters and he told everybody, ‘Guys, I have to go in and introduce the film, but I’m going to come back and I’m going to give each of you time.’ So we all waited and I was like, ‘There’s no way he’s coming back out!’ It had been about 30-40 minutes. He comes back out and spends the next hour giving everybody 2-3 questions! I had never seen anyone do that and he was so fun with everybody! So that was a cool moment!”
“I kind of have a rare thing with Margot Robbie. Our team followed her when she travelled all over the place to promote Birds of Prey, which came out a couple of years ago. I interviewed her on a red carpet in New York. Then we travelled to London, England and I interviewed her on a red carpet. Then I did a sit down interview with her and she’s great! She’s one of the most talented actresses and she’s so nice! That was the most I had interviewed the same actor in a week!”
Speaking of London, England, Morgan has become the main correspondent to cover The Royal Family. In 2022, ET Canada’s “Royal Rewind” segment was nominated for “Best Web Program or Series, Non-Fiction” at The Canadian Screen Awards. When asked about what makes The Royal Family so interesting to others, Hoffman mentioned that while there will always be drama, The Royal Family should also be remembered for how they support various causes:
“Let’s be honest. We love looking at what they’re wearing and their humanitarian work but people love the drama when it comes to The Royal Family! I think especially with Meghan Markle coming into the family and marrying Prince Harry, there was so much excitement and celebration. She also had to deal a lot with her family and her personal life and the tabloids. Then they stepped back from The Royal Family and moved to Los Angeles! So I feel like, over the last two years, every time we talk about Prince Harry or Meghan Markle, people just can’t get enough of them.”
“I personally love seeing every member of The Royal Family. They’re a fascinating family and I love seeing all of the work they do. They’re constantly visiting children’s hospitals and schools and doing such great work! They’re so busy and constantly travelling. When The Queen got COVID, there was this horrible rumour that maybe she had passed. Everyone was trying to figure out what was going on. We personally reached out to Buckingham Palace and they confirmed that she is alive. We have seen her do virtual events at home. She’s on the mend and she’s doing well. We have so much love and protection for Queen Elizabeth!”
In 2020, when COVID-19 first began, most people started working from home, including the staff at ET Canada. For Morgan, it was a bit of a learning curve when it came to figuring out proper lighting techniques and how to do her own makeup, but she made the most of it:
“I remember when we thought this was going to last two months and we were like, ‘Ooh! This is fun!’ and then it was a year and a half later. Everything changed! We were doing Zoom interviews. So, first of all, just the technology alone was very overwhelming. I was told to move several times in my house because they didn’t like my background. I didn’t know how to do this properly and then I was trying to have intimate interviews with people through a phone. I do all of my interviews on my phone….”
“Once I got past the technical issues and I got used to it, then I had a lot more fun interviewing people because you got to see inside their homes. It was cool, but the thing that was challenging was the lighting…. A lot of people don’t have good setups. They have beautiful homes, but we had to help the actors sometimes and tell them not to sit in front of a window so we could see their faces better….I remember I would use paint cans to hold up my phone because I didn’t have a ring light yet…. Nothing beats studio lighting! I love the lights in the studio!”
Morgan has had a number of interesting encounters on Zoom, from seeing someone’s pool guy walk by, to meeting celebrity pets. Her own dog, Georgie has also made an appearance or two. However, Hoffman admitted she is ready for the online interviews to end so that she can get back out into the world: “I was doing an interview with Robbie Amell and my dog made the loudest sound in the background. He’s like, ‘Is that your dog? Bring them into the shot!’ ….I’m not going to lie. As much as this has been lovely, I can’t wait to do in-person interviews again!”
With COVID restrictions beginning to lift, Morgan Hoffman has been slowly working her way back into the studio. The space is large enough for three stages so that all of the hosts can still practice physical distancing: “There’s just an energy when you’re in the studio and you actually get to see Cheryl Hickey or Sangita Patel!” She continued. “I hadn’t seen them all in so long! When I get to be on the same stage as them, I’m still myself but I feel like I’m ‘on’ and I’m performing. It’s just great! All of our interviews are still virtual, but being on set, back in the studio, I missed it! I love it!”
For more information, please follow Morgan on Instagram.
Photo courtesy of Morgan Hoffman.
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