Sean "Diddy" Combs is on the hunt for new talent. Not only is he looking for musicians to back him up on tour for his new album, Last Train to Paris, on MTV's Making His Band, but he just premiered Starmaker, an American Idol-like reality show that's also on the music network.
"You have everything from soul to pop to rock to country," Diddy told me yesterday from his New York City offices. "We equipped them with a choreographer, a stylist, a vocal coach and a manager. That's why it's called a Starmaker, because we're trying to make a star."
Sounds like Starmaker could be a training camp for divas. But no worries—Diddy is OK with that. "I don't know any superstars who are not divas," he said with a laugh. "As long as divas come with hit records, I'm not afraid. I can handle them."
That's not all I have for you from the 39-year-old music impresario. Read on to find out what he says about Paula Abdul, working with Russell Brand and Jonah Hill, and why he has no plans for a Diddy's Apprentice.
Now that Paula Abdul has left American Idol, will she be popping up on any of your shows?
I haven't spoken to Paula about that, but that's a good idea! I think that would be hot to get Paula to come and bless us with her energy and experience on one of the shows…If I ever do it, you can remember that you're the one who planted the seed.
You've teamed up with Mark Burnett for Starmaker. Will we be seeing more projects from the two of you?
I think you will. Mark is definitely one of the greatest television producers in the game. I've learned so much from him.
How about Diddy's Apprentice?
Nah. [Laughs.] I think we're running out of the Diddy shows. You'll see my name up there as a producer more in the way that it is on Run's House and Daddy's Girls.
So not so much in front of the camera for you anymore?
Probably just for the big screen. I'm making my transition to the big screen. I have Get Him to the Greek coming out with Russell Brand and Jonah Hill. So as we turn things up on the big screen, we may start to dial things down on the television side.
Was Get Him to the Greek one of those shoots that you had to keep doing take after take because people were just cracking up all the time?
Constantly. [Laughs.] We'd sometimes have to take a time-out to get a hold of ourselves and get away from each other and not speak to each other for a minute because sometimes it got too silly.
I saw you in A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway back in 2004. Do you want to do more theater?
I definitely want to do more Broadway, but it's time for me to conquer that big screen, and I look forward to that.
And then looking forward to an Oscar?
One of the things I've learned is it's not about the award. It's about the real reward that comes when somebody's watching your work, and they're just so transfixed by your work that they get some emotion out of it. That, to me, is bigger than any award you can get.
And as long as you can make your mom proud, that's all that really matters, right?
Yeah, if you won an Oscar and your mother hated your performance and tells you that you could have done better, you won't appreciate it.
Get more television scoop at our 2009 Summer Reality TV Stars photo gallery.