Photo Credit: Amy Rapp
Consider Meredith Vieira’s schedule for a moment. She wakes at 2:30 a.m., checks in on the latest news, heads to the studio to cohost the number-one rated morning news show, Today, and then several days a week, she puts on her game-show host hat, taping a series of shows for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Well, that just isn’t enough for Vieira, who created her own production company, Meredith Vieira Productions, and now has added the title of "executive producer" to her long and distinguished resume. Vieira’s one of the executive producers of the upcoming feature film Return, which will likely hit theaters in early 2012, about a female soldier's homecoming from the combat zone.
When we sat down with Vieira, who is as down-to-earth and lovely as she appears on television, we had to ask how this mother of three also finds time to executive produce a major movie. "I think once you are a mother, it sounds obnoxious, but you feel like you can do anything because you discover you have to and you learn how to kind of compartmentalize stuff,” she tells iVillage. “Okay, I can do this, and then this, this, this, and you are much more better organized I think, much more organized once you are a mom and so it’s not like I want to take on a zillion jobs but I find that I am able to organize myself enough that I can get through them.”
Now that Vieira’s an executive producer, we wondered whether Jim Bell, executive producer of Today, should be getting worried. “No, I know I can’t do his job,” Vieira said with a chuckle, adding, “Jim… I don’t want your job… That’s really, really hard. It’s hard enough what Matt, Ann, Al and I do every day.”
As for her future, should she one day decide she no longer wants to hear that alarm clock in the middle of the night (her contract is up at the end of this year), would the "executive producer" role be the one she’ll pursue? “No matter what happens, I want this to be part of my life moving forward,” she said. “It’s kind of what I’ve been preparing for in some ways from when I first started many, many years ago in the '70s as a reporter on radio. It’s all about storytelling and it’s all about connecting people to people and if I can do that at the end of the day then I’ve really accomplished a lot.”
Watch our exclusive video interview above with Meredith Vieira about her foray into film and how she juggles her many roles.