James Corden was beyond skeptical about the idea of hosting CBS' The Late Late Show.
In an interview with the menswear website Mr. Porter, posted early Thursday, the 37-year-old British star talks about his big career move and relocation from his native England to Los Angeles.
Corden took over as the host of The Late Late Show last March, replacing Scottish star Craig Ferguson. Corden's past notable credits at the time included parts on British comedies such as Teachers and Gavin & Stacey. He also hosted the BRIT Awards five times, between 2009 and 2014.
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But it was his performance in the hit Broadway play One Man, Two Guvnors that caught the attention of CBS CEO Leslie Moonves and then company president Nina Tassler. Corden told Mr. Porter website they wanted him to replace Ferguson and that he met with him and pitched a "fun, youthful show that the Internet would respond to." He got the job, but he was still reluctant to accept it at the time, as he was busy writing a sitcom for HBO and planning a return to Broadway.
"I said no, and then it went quiet for a few weeks," he said. "Then I said no again."
He said Piers Morgan convinced him to take the job. Corden, a married father of a 4-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter, was still skeptical.
"I was so convinced it wouldn't work that we rented all our furniture for a year," he said. "I mean, I've never hosted a chat show before. I'm not a stand-up. I'm not even a sketch comedian."
Corden told the Mr. Porter website he was so unknown in the United States when he started hosting the show that when he started work at CBS' studios in Los Angeles and forgot his security pass over lunch, a security guard initially refused to let him back in.
Corden's idea of making the show more Internet-friendly worked. The Late Late Show With James Corden has produced a popular recurring segment, Carpool Karaoke, in which the host sings in a car with a major singer. Past guests have included Adele, One Direction and Mariah Carey. The videos have been posted on YouTube, where they have gone viral.
The Late Late Show With James Corden typically receives an average rating of 0.2 to 0.3 in the target demographic of 18 to 49-year-olds and an average nightly audience of 1 million viewers. It has mostly ranked in third place in its 12:35 a.m. time slot, slightly behind NBC's Late Night With Seth Meyers and ABC's Nightline, since its debut—similar to how the show ranked when Ferguson during his past couple of years.
Corden recently had his contract extended to five years.
"So yeah, I did buy a sofa last week," he told Mr. Porter. "They can still fire me, but I can't leave."