Michelle Beadle has yet to have a testy, hard-to-watch interview with a celebrity in her first year as a correspondent for NBC's "Access Hollywood." She prepared herself for the worst before speaking to actor Russell Crowe and then the "Queen of Pop," Madonna, but said they both ended up being "lovely." And while she called her interview with pop star Lady Gaga "less than pleasant," she wouldn't label it a train wreck by any means.
Still, the former co-host of ESPN's "SportsNation" and current co-host of NBC Sports Network's "The Crossover" knows it's only a matter of time.
"I haven't had anything god-awful that scarred me," Beadle said over the phone July 12 from Los Angeles, where she was guest co-hosting "Access Hollywood Live."
"But at some point it's going to happen," she added.
Beadle, who will run the XSport Fitness Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon Sunday in Grant Park on behalf of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, has prided herself on an honest approach to celebrity journalism. She refuses to kiss up to stars and isn't afraid to criticize them publicly (including calling reality TV star Kim Kardashian a moron on Twitter), even though she might have to interview them one day.
Just last week, she tweeted her displeasure with pop star and notorious fair-weather fan Justin Bieber for taking a photo with the Stanley Cup trophy in the Blackhawks locker room before his show at the United Center.
Why was she so annoyed with Bieber?
"I get annoyed when Bieber breathes," Beadle said. "Chicago is a good town. Who let that kid in there? He's a (jerk). I've been annoyed with a lot of things he's been doing, especially the peeing in the (restaurant mop) bucket."
The outspoken Beadle has yet to hear from unhappy celebrity publicists, but she knows that day, too, is coming. She argues there is too much ego-stroking in celebrity journalism and would like it to be more authentic. But she said she is willing to praise a celebrity when it's deserved, including all-around nice guy Blake Shelton (the Tom Hanks of country music), and still seems to be a fan at heart.
She plans on attending the Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake concert at Soldier Field Monday and hopes to catch up with WWE Superstar and Chicago resident CM Punk while in the city. As for the 13.1-mile race, which will include a performance by Canadian indie rock quintet Walk Off The Earth at the post-race party, Beadle said a friend talked her into running it.
Beadle, a celebrity ambassador for the ASPCA, called it a thrill to be able to support the animal rights group, but she knows the race could be challenging.
"I've never done one before," Beadle said. "I haven't run a race since I was a teenager. But I've been training. I'm a pretty competitive person. I'll finish, even if it means lugging my big fat butt across the finish line."
Beadle has more than 775,000 followers on Twitter and an especially strong following among sports fans, some of whom will likely run or watch Sunday's half marathon. Is she worried about getting approached in the middle of the race?
"Not even a little bit," Beadle said. "Wait until they see how gross I become as a runner. My face turns bright red when I run and will stay that way until the next day. Yeah, I'm not afraid of that."
Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
When: 6:30 a.m. Sunday
Where: Grant Park, East Monroe Drive and South Columbus Drive
Registration: $150 for half marathon, $50 for 5K, at the Health and Fitness Expo Friday and Saturday at McCormick PlaceCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun