James Corden says hosting The Late Late Show is like ‘playing a character’

James Corden says he’s actually performing when hosting The Late Late Show.

The British actor and comedian has helmed CBS’s late-night show for seven years, beginning in 2015. In April 2022, he announced he was quitting the talk series in spring 2023, once he has reached 1,250 episodes.

In a new interview with NBC10 Boston’s Hub Today, Corden was asked what the pivot from acting to hosting was like for him.

“I guess I see it all as a performance, really,” the 44-year-old shared. “I see it all as a character that I’m sort of playing.”

While gesturing and speaking in his famously animated late-night tone, Corden said: “Like, it would be odd if I got home and opened the fridge and was like, ‘Look who’s here tonight! Stick around, we’ll be right back!’”

Although he generally sees acting and presenting to be similar, he explained that “ultimately” what sets them apart is the “story and the scripts” and “the time” it takes to film both.

“Our [Late Late] show is an hour a day,” Corden said, before referring to his recently released Prime Video series Mammals. “This entire series is two hours and forty minutes.”

James Corden (CBS)
James Corden (CBS)

Corden stars as Michelin-starred chef Jamie in the six-episode dark comedy, whose world quickly implodes after discovering shocking truths about his pregnant wife Amandine (Melia Kreiling).

Earlier this week, during an appearance on Drew Barrymore’s daytime talk show, Corden teared up while recalling the conversation he had with his 11-year-old son that prompted his decision to leave The Late Late Show.

“Look, it’s not easy in any way to walk away from something… [when] I’ll never work in a better environment than the one I work in now,” he said, with tears in his eyes.

“Nothing about leaving the show was to do with not enjoying it, I love it. But the truth is it became a very easy decision because I always knew it was an adventure and I never ever considered it to be the final destination.”