How Amelia Dimoldenberg Raised Our Red Carpet Expectations
It’s Friday, and I’m watching my favorite romantic comedy again. It was the one with the English guy with the messy hair who couldn’t seem to say the right thing. He plays the same quirky journalist who is willing to do anything for the mission, possibly even falling in love along the way. It’s interesting to watch the charm and power shift back and forth between the two in conversation. “They will, they won’t” of all. Puzzle? Stress. I can watch it over and over again because the film is short—only a minute or two long.
my favorite rom-com at the moment is not Nora Ephron or Richard Curtis gem, nor can it be found in the deep vault of Turner Classic Movies. Not yet, at least. It’s a 90 second clip of a rising celebrity interviewer Amelia Dimoldenberg flirting with her through a famous actor and former Spider-Man Andrew Garfield on the Golden Globes red carpet last month. And it’s actually a sequel. She and Garfield talked on camera at GQ Award Man of the Year two months ago. (It’s also fun to watch!)
Over video from her home in London, Dimoldenberg told me she couldn’t say whether the clip was an accurate representation of British flirting. (Writer Louis Staples categorize it as such on Twitter after it went viral.) It was the only kind of flirting she knew. Then again, she’s British and Garfield is British, so maybe there’s something to it.
“At one point, I said, ‘Well, I don’t care anyway,’ or something like that, which I think is very similar to what we do here. You’re dragging this line without you really knowing: Do you care? Right?” she speaks. “Like I won’t reveal too much about myself to you, but I’m always smiling, so what’s going on?”
It sounds complicated, but if anyone knows how to navigate this situation, it’s Dimoldenberg. The comedian has made a career out of flirting that runs straight to the limits of cringe. The Golden Globes red carpet is a side gig; Her daily job is to produce and host the show Chicken shop day, the First show in a surprisingly crowded genre that turns eating chicken with celebrities into deep-fried gold.
“The romantic element and the dating element are things that stick with my style and work very well. I’m always waiting for someone else to steal this thing that I’m doing,” she said. “It just hasn’t happened yet.”
The show, which now attracts between a few million and 15 million views per episode, began as a print column more than a decade ago; Dimoldenberg wrote for a Westminster youth club magazine run by local teenagers, and she rightly judged it would work better on visual media, eventually porting it to YouTube. The format hasn’t changed much since its launch on the platform in 2014, although guests have moved from London-specific to more general. She started by scrapping the city’s dense list of dirty artists, from Ghett ARRIVE AJ Tracy, and in the last few years she’s been “dating” to use the show’s vocabulary, Ed Sheeran, Keke Palmer, the 1975s Matt Healy, Rosalia, and Oscar winner Daniel Kaluya. Despite Dimoldenberg’s ability to attract ever more famous faces, she’s still just a girl who eats nuggets in front of celebrities, asking them to fall for her.
Chicken shop day turned Dimoldenberg into a rising comedy star, if not already a household name, and she’s starting to like it — or at least handle it. As we spoke, she had just celebrated her 29th birthday by taking 20 good friends to the English countryside. “Sometimes people will ask, like, ‘How do you succeed?’” she says. “I think a really good way to do that is to give back to people, like your friends and family. In those moments is where I really embrace the good things that have been and are happening.”