With four successful seasons of #RichKids of Beverly Hills under its belt, E! has given one of its breakout stars his very own East Coast spin-off.
EJ Johnson, the 24-year-old son of basketball legend Magic Johnson, stars in the eponymous EJNYC, which premiered on Sunday night before moving to its regular time slot of Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
Known for his distinct, high-end style consisting of all things leather, mesh and lace, EJ has won over fans with his individuality and use of trademark-worthy hashtags in his everyday sentences (he refers to his group of friends as #TEAMTHIS). In the spinoff, EJ – who is carving his own path in the fashion industry – moves to New York City to pursue his passions.
In this exclusive NBCUniversal.com interview, the budding fashionista talks about why he loves being in the E! family, how EJNYC addresses a variety of hot topics, and who would be seated at his dream E!-themed dinner party.
Let’s start on the West Coast. You’ve had record-breaking ratings for season four of #RichKids of Beverly Hills. What do you think fans love about the show?
EJ: We certainly have a great group dynamic because we’re all actually friends. That’s always important for these kinds of shows. Also, we’re young, it’s funny, and I just think it’s very consistent – we always deliver what’s expected of us. It’s just a fun show to watch.
What brings you to New York City for your new show, EJNYC?
EJ: I went to school here, so New York is my second home. I always loved going back and forth and being bi-coastal. Now it’s going to be really interesting to show everyone my New York way of life, which is completely different from LA.
Tell us more about your New York City friends.
EJ: Well my sister [Elisa] is here so she’ll be very much involved in everything. We both have our groups of New York friends that you’ll get to meet. Everyone is very outspoken, sassy and edgy – so it’s cause for a great television show. Everyone is going to be very much on the edge of their seats the entire time.
What’s the dynamic like between you and your sister?
EJ: We are both fashionistas, obviously. We have very unique and amazing senses of style, so that’s always fun. We both have very big personalities; we’re both very alpha. We’re sassy and funny together. We love hard but we also fight hard, because we always want to have the last word.
What do you hope viewers take away from EJNYC? What’s relatable about it?
EJ: Our cast is really diverse – everyone comes from different backgrounds, whether it be race, socio-economic status or sexuality. We hit a bunch of topics and just let everybody know: it doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are – you can still look amazing, have an amazing time, and, you know, just have fun with your friends. There’s so many lessons to be taken away from that. We cover a lot of issues from gender to sexuality to relationships. We have so many different opinions and points-of-view about what’s going on in the world.
Why is E! the perfect home for #RichKids and EJNYC?
EJ: E! has really embraced me. They’ve become part of my family, and I’ve become part of theirs. It’s an amazing partnership. The network has really allowed me to be me, so anybody who allows me to do what I do and gives me a platform to speak my mind and run around in crazy outfits and be me is really a place where I want to be. They’ve completely embraced me for all that I am, which is so beautiful and amazing and that’s why I love them.
Hypothetical situation: You’re hosting a dinner party where you can invite three people from any show on E!. Who do you pick and why?
EJ: I would invite Nene Leakes (special co-host, Fashion Police). Every time I run into Nene we always have an amazing time. We love Kylie Jenner (Keeping Up With the Kardashians) so I would invite her. And Tyler Henry (Hollywood Medium)…he came to my house and gave me an amazing reading.