“I was a fan of ‘Project Runway’ and have been for years,” Murphy admits to Zap2it ahead of her hosting debut.
Being a fan was a slight hindrance, but Murphy says she got over it quickly. “Being a mother and who I am as a person, I did feel an attachment to designers from previous seasons,” she admits. But don’t worry, she didn’t play favorites. She’s not allowed to interact with the designers on a personal level anyway.
In order to put her own stamp on the position, Murphy had to put Heidi and her catchphrases far out of her mind. “[I tried] not to over-think that aspect of it,” she says. “I went into it obviously knowing the show really well, and it’s hard to get Heidi out of your head.”
Instead, she took Klum’s advice and really tried to embrace her own style of hosting and interacting with the designers. Eventually, hosting became second nature. “I love [Heidi] as a model and as a business woman, but I really enjoy her as a person. There was even one point where she said to me ‘Don’t think of me, just do it.'”
Ultimately, things turned out pretty well. “I’m feeling really good about it. We taped a couple of months ago and it was so much fun. I know that’s kind of a lame word to use, but it really was a thrill to get up every day and go to so-called work.”
Since Murphy has worked as a model for nearly two decades, she was an easy fit as a judge. “I have an opinion and I can articulate what I like and what I don’t like, knowing the language [of fashion],” she says.
Plus, she already knew one of her fellow judges. “I worked with Isaac [Mizrahi],” she says. “He was one of the first designers I worked with when I began my modeling career almost 20 years ago.”
Murphy has nothing but good things to say about Mizrahi and their fellow judge, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman. “Isaac is hilarious — I can’t keep up with him. Every day I was like, ‘Did you just drink 20 cups of coffee?’ I really feel that I learned a lot from both him and Georgina. She’s very eloquent and very humble. These are both really, really talented designers, but they’re also nice people.”
Watching the contestants do their thing was extremely educational too. “There is a side of fashion that I gained a whole new respect for,” Murphy says. “These designers and what they’re creating literally within just a few hours is just incredible.”
“[Holmes] came the day after she announced her divorce,” Murphy shares. “She was so professional; she was such a lady. We were afraid that she wasn’t going to show up.”
And unlike some guest judges, Holmes, who has her own denim line, added a lot to the challenge. “She did speak and she did critique. She was really good — she knows what she’s talking about.”
“Project Runway All Stars” premieres Thursday, Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.