Paul Lemieux Q&A

By Joan Porter

He has trained with Ben Johnson, been shot (albeit with a paintball) by Mark Wahlberg, and gone spray-tanning with The Hills’ stars, Lauren Conrad and Audrina Patridge.

In the process, Paul “the Intern” Lemieux, 22, has become a familiar face to all MTV viewers. Growing up in St. Catharines, Lemieux believes he “represents the average Joe at MTV.”

Lemieux originally had no plans for the world of television. “Most of my life I wanted to be an architect. I had pretty good marks in math and I liked all that,” he says. “I liked playing with Lego A LOT when I was a kid.”

After being hit hard by high school math, Lemieux found himself at a loss as to what to do with his future. A push from his mother and an Internet search landed him in a college broadcast program. His final year required an internship.

In March 2006, he began at MTV and found himself in front of the camera just weeks into his internship.

“I remember they wanted to use the janitor, but they were afraid it wouldn’t work. I happened to be behind the writer and the boss’s desk and they went ‘why don’t we use Paul for it?’” recalls Lemieux. “I guess they liked it a lot and just kept using it and so here we are now.”

The on-camera “Paul the Intern” is known for his awkward and almost selfconscious approach to interviews; however, Lemieux maintains his charm and personality shine through.

“I guess why the ‘Paul the Intern’ thing took off is because people see a real person on TV, not trying to be someone he’s not,” Lemieux says. “I do everything the way I would normally do it. I’m pretty much that awkward or nerdy.”

While he gets recognized a couple times a week, Lemieux is not letting the fame go to his head.

“It’s still really weird for me and awkward. I didn’t really plan for this to happen and when people recognize me I don’t know what to do or say and whatever I do say is really weird.”

When the tables are turned and he’s the one answering the questions, Lemieux shows he’s far more than average:

Fine Cut: George Stroumboulopoulos: Hot or not?
Lemieux: Hot.

FC: Degrassi – Original or Next Generation?
L: The new Degrassi’s pretty good, but the old Degrassi was awesome. I remember they started playing it again on CBC when I was in high school and we would talk about it like it was a new series. It was like we’d never seen it before. It was pretty cool.

FC: Shower or bath?
L: I shower most of the time but when I go home I might take a couple baths. They’re very relaxing and yeah . . . a lot of guys don’t really.

FC: Take baths?
L: Yeah.

FC: Song you would sing if you auditioned for Canadian Idol?
L: Oooh, I don’t know. I don’t know if it would be a song that I liked because then I’d just ruin a song and feel bad for the artist . . . I have no idea. That’s a good question. That’s not true or false!!

FC: Sorry. What is the best advice someone has ever given you?
L: Hmmm, best advice? Uhhhh, I don’t know. What’s the best advice someone’s given you?

FC: Do what makes you happy.
L: That’s good advice. I don’t know. If you said that to me, I would say that.

FC: OK. I’m giving you that advice.
L: All right. Perfect!

FC: Would you rather be hot or cold?
L: Temperature-wise? I think I’d rather be hot. I don’t deal well in the cold. I have bad circulation so my hands and my feet are always red and freezing. I can’t think.Except when it’s super hot. Then I can’t sleep. I like to be cool in bed but warm during the day.

FC: Who was your first kiss?
L: My first kiss . . . I think it was . . . I didn’t get into girls until it was really late. I wanted to but being the shortest kid in high school with the glasses and braces, anyway, long story short I think it was . . . God, I don’t even know her name. She was a friend. Andrea! That was her name. I think it was my 18th birthday. Yeah.

FC: OK. The cheesiest pick-up line you’ve ever used. Or had used on you.
L: The girl I’m kind of with right now. I asked her if she knew where I could get a falafel. I don’t know if that’s cheesy or just stupid, probably just stupid, but it worked.

FC: I have a friend who would fall in love with you for that line.
L: Really?! Falafels are delicious!

FC: Are you happy?
L: I’m very happy. I’m very grateful. It’s crazy. I don’t know if I deserve this, but I just got a lot of luck and support. I’m really happy with how my life’s turned out so far.

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