What You Didn't Know About Ryan Seacrest's Childhood

Ryan Seacrest is one of the most recognizable faces in the entertainment world thanks to his charisma, humor, and drive. While he's perhaps best-known as a TV personality and the host of reality shows like "American Idol," he also does plenty of work behind the camera. The star was instrumental in launching the Kardashians' careers after Kris Jenner first pitched her family to E! as the focus for a reality TV show. "[Kris Jenner] was looking to do a show with the family," Seacrest recalled during a 2020 episode of "Live with Kelly and Ryan." "We met and I remember they were going to do a barbecue at their house. She said, 'Why don't you send a camera up and shoot this barbecue?'"

Though the footage had "all of the ingredients to make a great show," E! executives dragged their feet as they felt it wasn't enough to commission a show. Thank goodness Seacrest was on the scene. The former "E! Live from the Red Carpet" host got on the phone with the head of the network and talked him into green-lighting the series — so it's thanks to Seacrest's determination that we got to see Kim Kardashian cry over her lost diamond earring. But Seacrest wasn't always so suave and can-do! In fact, the pop culture icon grappled with plenty of insecurities throughout his childhood.

Ryan Seacrest saw himself as 'overweight' growing up

Because Ryan Seacrest is a red carpet staple today, it's hard to picture him as a heavyset kid from Georgia — but once upon a time, he was! At least, he surely saw himself that way. "I used to hate spring break because you would have to go to the pool or the beach and I never wanted to take my shirt off," he told Jimmy Kimmel back in 2014 (via TIME). 

Though Seacrest has worked hard for his svelte frame, the memories of being a "chubby kid," as he told Men's Journal, in high school are still ingrained in his mind. "I do remember that feeling of growing up and being a little bit overweight," he told the outlet. "I also remember at times being teased about it and because of that it's still in my brain." These painful memories incentivize the star to prioritize his fitness regimen as an adult. "I treat my workouts as one of the most important meetings of the day," he added to Kimmel, per TIME.

However, it's not an easy commitment, and the "Live with Kelly and Ryan" host encourages everyone to strike a balance in their lives. "That's balancing your career, balancing your diet, and balancing your family," Seacrest clarified to Men's Journal. "That would be my advice, because it's what I try to focus on — but even I don't always achieve it." What relatable advice!

Ryan Seacrest always wanted to be a star

Ryan Seacrest may have been a few pounds overweight as a child, but he wasn't about to let a little thing like body fat stand in the way of his dreams. From a young age, he knew he wanted to work in radio. "Instead of playing with G.I. Joes or cowboys and Indians, he'd always have a little microphone and do shows in the house," his mom revealed in a 2002 interview with Atlanta-Journal Constitution

Per Business Insider, the budding star landed an internship at a local Atlanta radio station, where he was mentored by a radio personality named Tom Sullivan. When another broadcaster called in sick one day, a teenage Seacrest jumped at the chance to go on-air. "Ryan and I became friends. I saw the same passion and talent for broadcasting in Ryan that I had in myself," Sullivan wrote of the encounter on his website. And it wasn't long before Seacrest parlayed his talent into TV, hosting kids' game shows like "Wild Animal Games" and "Gladiators 2000" in the mid-1990s.

While best-known for hosting "American Idol," Seacrest hasn't let his meteoric success slow his roll. As well as executive producing several reality series, the TV personality has plenty of other irons in the fire, including a clothing line, a skincare line, and a nonprofit. Propelled by his dreams of stardom, it's little wonder he's known today as one of the hardest-working men in Hollywood!