Love Island is notoriously one of the most popular and entertaining show’s out there. The concept of the show, watching people be vulnerable in their public search for love, has people hooked. BUT, although the concept is great, the show is not as poplar without Love island U.S Narrator Matthew Hoffman. Matthew is relatable, funny, honest, and is your best friend in reality TV. HOLR sat down with the hilarious, iconic Matthew Hoffman to learn more about the behind the scene’s, process, and other insights to the it TV reality show. 

What are you working on right now with Love Island?

Honestly, every day on love Island time is just the craziest, so it is a tornado of, reality TV and making the show.  One of the best parts about love Island is that it’s in real time. My job is basically voicing the show that’s already made. Getting that on air by East Coast time when the show is in Hawaii but I’m in LA. It is a fun time to navigate..

How did you get involved in this intense project, and very popular project called Love Island?

I was invited to audition,  an executive thought I would be good for this and I was like “okay, another audition that I will not get can’t wait” I got the sides and was like “wow this is really, really funny.” And then I kind of went down the love Island rabbit hole. I had of course heard about it but I had never seen the show before and when I did my research preparing to audition I thought “Oh, this is a phenomenon, and I will never get it, it will go to every celebrity in town, it’s a massive, massive franchise.”. Because of going into the audition with that mindset I thought that “well if I’m gonna die I should probably go down on my sword”, and I pretty much rewrote a lot of the copy, and then recorded it in my own voice. Many months went by, no callback, nothing, then I found out that I was the official voice and narrator of USA which is crazy.

What did you do the night that you were told?

Oh my God, I don’t even remember that night, but I remember vividly I was in my car, and I got a call one of those calls you think you’re never gonna get and then you get it like when you’re driving on an LA freeway. It was the craziest craziest thing I took a selfie of like my initial, “Oh my God” through the ugly tears, and then I got to FaceTime my parents and told them which was the coolest thing so far of this entire journey.

What is the onset experience like?

Nothing I ever imagined. I was not a voiceover artists or  TV hosts so my very first voiceover ever was, doing promos for the show. So it was a pretty surreal experience we were in Fiji. I think they started the show, and the dark, dark hours early morning of Fiji and it was this surreal experience of getting the show out from a shipping container in a field in the middle of Fiji 50 feet from the beach, it was pretty insane and the process has not changed, you know pretty much through through three seasons so it’s a well oiled machine at this point, but it was, it was before I got on trust me, but um, you know, just learning the ropes of everything and and turning around. The quality of show that that we do in such a short amount of time is incredible. 

How involved are you with the day to day?.

Very, very involved in the day to day. I think a lot of the viewers, which I think is the highest compliment which I appreciate. But I think that they think I kind of just come in and, you know, read the lines but it’s not like that at all! I watch the show as the viewer does,  I basically get the show in the morning, and I watch it as you would on the couch I just watched it a couple hours before and I’m very adamant that I don’t want to know anything that happens, that I see everything for the first time in the same way that the viewer sees it for the first time. I think that that really, colors, and helps the performance because I never want to know anything that the viewer doesn’t know. So I want to find out things in real time as I want my mind to be my initial reaction my visceral reaction to the drama that’s unfolding so I didn’t have 12 hours to think about it I didn’t have five hours to write it. It’s like, because that was what I was feeling when i initially watched, so when people say to me, “oh my god I feel like I’m watching the show on the couch with my best friend.” It’s the highest compliment because it’s that my reaction is nine times out of 10, you know kind of what the viewers is so to come through that lens is is pretty cool. It’s we say what we see. So, if there’s a shadow of a drone over the production shot I will call it out if there is, you know, if someone given side eye, I will call it out. We say what we see, I have two very brilliant generous VO producers on the show with me who watched the show with me, we just press play and eat the popcorn and see this drama unfolding in real time, hours before the viewer does. And you know I pause it, We write it and then I go into the booth and record it, and it’s an insane process.

What’s so fascinating to me about love Island is that it works as a whole, even without me.  The format of the show is because everyone on it is authentic, you cannot go on a show like that being recorded for 24 hours a day, and not be, or not have your authentic self come in, you notice that you can’t not be authentic, so that is what I love about the show is that it celebrates our Islanders who are as authentic as it gets. They are like heroes in my eyes to be on a show and be so vulnerable, looking for love on national television. Like it’s so crazy to me so the fact that they, they do that and are themselves.

How did COVID impact filming?

Oh God, the  impact when filming. I have to say that last season, season two was incredible in so many ways in the sense that I could not believe that we pulled the show off because love Island is a massive, massive show to produce we are a 24 hour show there are. There are hundreds of people that make the show happen. And the fact that the network, and TV production company, handled this with such care, and grace, and everything that needed to happen to get the show off the ground, it is a tremendous undertaking in a non pandemic here, but to do it during a pandemic here is a feature that I will never forget as long as I live. That really speaks to everybody involved because you cannot pull a show off like this under those circumstances without everybody doing their part and I will just never forget it and on top of that, just success of actually getting into air and airing without anything happening is such a testament to this team, but then what I was not expecting.  I’m wildly aware of what we are we are a frumpy fund reality show, and we are here to entertain people and also follow our islanders looking for love, but throughout season two. I got so many messages so many beautiful messages, that you would get on social media. I got the most beautiful messages from so many people thanking us, as they couldn’t leave their house or this was the only form of entertainment throughout the year for the summer, and it was beautiful and I save so many messages I wrote back to as many as I could with a personal voice memo in the style of the show and it sent him out, thanking them for watching. I was reminded why how important, not why but how important this show is to a lot of people and it just makes doing it honestly that much more fun and I know that that sounds like a stock, but like it’s truly the truth. I just got we just got so much love last year and it just reminded me that this touches a lot of people and a lot of people look forward to it and are entertained by it and it just means the world.

I’ve never said this but I remember leaving the day after we wrapped I cleaned out my you know my studio and everything and I got to the traffic light and I just looked up at the building and I started to cry and I was like, I cannot believe we pulled this off, I just cannot believe it. I cannot believe it because we were on every night, it was just such a tremendous feat and I truly am in awe of every single person who, who made that happen.

What have you noticed about the dynamics of people and how they did such interact with each other? Siince COVID Has there been a change that you noticed?

It’s been this heightened level of excitement, because if you think about it at the height of the pandemic, You’re not dating. You’re not going out you’re not, painting the town to like, you know, look for love and then you get this opportunity of a lifetime to go to this gorgeous Villa and meet new singles and our islanders were quarantined for weeks, and then finally to be released and meet each other and connect after the year that we’ve had, I think just the levels of excitement and anticipation, were through the roof and it’s the coolest thing.

What about in real life?

In real life, I think that I would imagine in real life everyone really is forced to go online during the pandemic obviously nothing was open. So you were forced to kind of put yourself out there and do FaceTime dates and Zoom dates and all of this stuff and I think that’s a different level of intimacy and it’s it’s kind of cool.  I think it changed things for the better, but it certainly changed things for a year, a year and a half.

What do you love most about working on love Island?

Oh good. Um, it is the most rewarding show to actually get it on the air every night and then to watch it back because I live tweet it with the fans and to watch it in real time as the fans respond just blows my mind. It’s just the coolest thing and we have the best fans and to interact with them as they watch it and to follow them following us is the coolest thing. You get this beautiful kind of immediate response, as soon as the show airs, within an hour or minutes sometimes of my last breath. So then to then go and then watch it with them after I just did like is no What did they respond to what did they laugh to who they rooting for it’s just the coolest.

Published on Holr Magazine.

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