If you don’t recognize Brad Smith as the first ever Canadian Bachelor, his time as a CFL player, or his stints on Breakfast Television and ET Canada, you will know him as the host of Chopped Canada.
Brad has quickly become an influential tastemaker in Toronto and we’re pleased he took some time to chat with us about style, celebrities, movies and his time at BT.
You’ve been busy in the past few years! How have these diverse experiences influenced your style?
To be honest, what’s influenced my style the most is the people that I’ve met that know a lot more about fashion than I do. The football world was very blue collar and a three piece suit wasn’t as prevalent as it is in the television world. On The Bachelor I had suits custom made for me, which is something I think I take for granted now. Suits are more a vanity thing; when you’re on TV you want to look your best and it’s become a point of pride for me. It wasn’t so important in the past because it didn’t need to be.
Who are your biggest style influences?
My style influences fluctuate as much as trends do. When it comes to the red carpet right now though, I’m influenced by Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey and their love of trim suits.
What are some go-to pieces that you keep in your wardrobe? What are some specific times you’ll wear these pieces (i.e. for the weekend, at the cottage, date night, etc)?
On a day-to-day basis I just wear what inspires me. If I find something I like, I almost over-do it. Right now, I’m really into Zanerobe Jeans (can be found at the Hudson Bay at Yorkdale). This summer I’m wearing a lot of Lacoste polos, which I don’t think I’ve done since I was a kid. I’m a creature of habit so I wear what I’m most comfortable in.
For date night my style isn’t at all like what it was on The Bachelor. I like a good pair of jeans and a simple dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up. If you see me on a regular date wearing a suit, I give anyone permission to punch me out cold. It’s nice to dress up for special occasions, but in actuality you want to be comfortable on a date, you want that person to see you comfortable and natural.
On weekends I wear any sweats I can find.
On cold cottage nights I find that I’m more of a sweatshirt guy rather than a plaid guy. I like to wear nice sweatshirts with a high collar. Think two-toned elbow patches and a 1920s pipe. Haha!
Of the celebrities you’ve interviewed/seen/met…
Who were you most star struck by?
It’s only really happened to me once with Tom Hanks. I think he’s the greatest actor of our generation. I’m rarely star struck by the people we see in the tabloids because I’m a huge movie buff and I get excited when I meet the people I grew up watching on the screen.
Who do you think you’d be BFFs with?
I did three interviews with Adam Sandler in one day and we had a lot of fun. When he first met me and saw me in a three piece suit compared to his laid back style, he started mocking me being all like “oh look at this guy, looking all fancy!” (Side note: Brad’s impression of Adam is spot on).
Who do you think had the best style?
I was most struck by Julia Robert’s style. She’s ridiculous on a red carpet. If you see her, Jennifer Anniston or Angelina Jolie on a red carpet, you just see everyone stop dead in their tracks.
I’ve said it before but Jared Leto just looks so cool on a red carpet. He’s a beauty.
Since making the jump from BT to Chopped Canada, how have things changed for you? Are you getting to sleep-in more?
It’s going to be a very different lifestyle. At Chopped Canada we’re only filming for two months compared to every single day with BT. I’ll still be busy, but I’ll have a lot more time on my hands and a more relaxed way of life when we’re not shooting. It’s a whole different ball game.
Are you keeping in touch with your colleagues at BT? From the looks of it, you and Frank Ferragine are pals.
I think I’ve worn out my welcome at Frankie’s house. I just go over and play with his kids. I talk to Dina all the time, maybe 4 or 5 times a week. You know, you hang out with these people so much, you get friends for life. Frankie has no choice. He’s stuck with me. I think what’s great about BT is that people get to see hosts that love working together, it’s really not an act.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be on television?
To be honest, I never really did know that I wanted to be on TV. When I was a kid I always had a passion for acting. I’ve always been a huge movie buff. I still am, I watch one movie a day – usually over my lunch break!
When I was playing football I got asked to do a Vodka commercial, at the time I didn’t think it would be for me. When I retired from the CFL, I got an audition for The Bachelor, I didn’t think anything would come of it but I did it anyway, I didn’t realize they were down to five guys at the time, so I got really lucky.
I did realize after filming The Bachelor though that there was no other industry that would make me that happy. It’s not even about being on TV, it’s about the cast, the crew, the camera guys, and the sense of family that I get from being on set. Plus, sometimes I get to interview my childhood heroes!