Emmy award-winning presenter Renee Bargh was one of the few kids who didn't grow up dreaming of life as a famous movie star or singer.
In fact, she didn't know those career paths were something you could daydream about.
"I grew up watching Getaway and thinking that was the dream job," the new Stan ambassador told Mamamia podcastThe Spill. "But I grew up in Mullumbimby, which is outside Byron Bay, and I didn't know how anything in that industry worked.
"I thought the people in the McDonald’s commercials actually worked at McDonald's. Entertainment was just not a thing where I grew up, so getting the job with Extra in LA was serendipitous."
After kicking off her career in an Australian pop band (aptly named Girlband), a stint as co-host of National Bingo Night on Channel Seven, and a casting agent telling her she was a terrible actress but would make a great TV presenter, Renee went on to spend over a decade working in Hollywood as Extra’s weekend co-host and correspondent.
The 35-year-old presenter has reported live from the Oscars red carpet and conducted wide-ranging interviews with everyone from Oprah to Brad Pitt - yet her introduction to Hollywood was less than glamourous.
Listen to the full interview with Renee Bargh on The Spill. Post continues after podcast.
"The day I landed in Los Angeles I got a call from my agent saying ‘can you be on a red carpet tonight to interview Russell Crowe?'" Renee said on The Spill. "If you do well, you’ll have a contract in front of you tomorrow and if you don’t, then you won’t."
"Rusell made it so hard for me," Renee continued. "Now we are friends and everything is great, but he did not make it easy for me that day so it did not go well."
"I’ve never talked about this part of it before but I was really nervous so I said something like 'I’ve just landed here from Australia and you are the first person I’ve interviewed, how cool is it that I’m interviewing another Aussie!'.
"It was at his movie premiere and then he said 'well, have you interviewed the other actors that came on this carpet?' and I said 'yeah' and then he said, 'well, I’m not your first interview then'.
"It wasn’t the greatest comment for me to make and I thought, well I should have been better. As I left, I thought 'that’s it, I’m going back to Australia'.
"My boss said it was a real baptism by fire and then they offered me a three-year contract."