Guys Choice Awards: Meet producer Casey Patterson, the dude whisperer
The Guys Choice Awards, Spike TV's annual testosterone-fest, has a secret weapon: The show is run by chicks. Girls. Technically, women. Not guys.
"The dirty little secret of Guys Choice is that it's produced by women," executive producer Casey Patterson told the Ministry.
The awards, held last weekend and airing Friday night, this year honor the likes of Jennifer Aniston for a "Decade of Hotness" and managed to lure Sandra Bullock out of hiding around this time last year.
We first met Patterson at 2010's Scream Awards -- another live event she produces as EVP of MTV Networks Entertainment Group -- nestled in a cashmere sweater in a control booth, coaching Marilyn Manson on how to set fire to a sexy female vampire tied to a stake in the middle of the stage.
Patterson is a package full of contradictions. A sparkly brunette, she wears YSL jumpers and gold rope. She also buses the troops into Guys Choice and feeds them pizza and beer, made a live-action version of Angry Birds with Neil Patrick Harris and encouraged Halle Berry to fondle Jamie Foxx.
How does she know what boys like?
"What we've learned over time, through the process of launching and building Spike and then this [Guys Choice] franchise, we've really learned what guys don't want," Patterson said.
"What they don't want is pageantry -- big long red carpets, where it's all about who you show up with and what you're wearing. Guys Choice is about camaraderie. Think back to the Rat Pack," she said.
Indeed, the green room at this year's show was stuffed with iconic entertainment guys: Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Samuel L. Jackson and Keith Richards, to name a few, plus younger admirers including Mark Wahlberg, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans and Justin Timberlake.
Patterson gives props also to the ladies who get involved, including Aniston.
"She's so famous, but she really got it," Casey said of Jen's Decade of Hotness win. "She came looking gorgeous and was so funny. The girls love to come to boys' night, get dressed up and have a ball. Cameron Diaz says it best in the show's opener: 'Boys, we know you love us, and we love you right back.' "
Amid an ocean of award shows, what makes Patterson's efforts so much more effective in the fun department? (Take it from us, we go to a lot of these things, and her broadcasts are a blast.)
"Honestly, we get out of the way," she said. "Someone like De Niro? Bob has created some of the most indelible guy movies; who am I or any writer to write him copy and tell him how to interact with his audience? I get out of the way."
Her understanding of this market makes her a veritable Dude Whisperer, but when does she manage to get her girl on? Think mani-pedis, makeup and rainbows.
"I don't really," she said with a laugh, "but for Guys Choice I have a sort of tradition: I get hair and makeup done with the dancers. We talk about who they're excited to see, and that's when I get my girl time."
-- Matt Donnelly
Photos: (Top) Casey Patterson with Keith Richards, left, and Robert De Niro. (Right) Patterson with Samuel L. Jackson. Credits: PictureHouse