James Corden Of Carpool Karaoke Talks About Being Big And Making It Big

For James Corden, the chatty singing driver in Carpool Karaoke and host of the Late Late Show, weight has always been a big issue. In fact, being big has been an overarching issue in his interpersonal interactions, his career options, and his public image. Though Mr. Corden has, at times, come close to slaying his personal dragon, losing significant amounts of weight, it continues to be an uphill battle, as it is for nearly every overweight person on earth.

Even when James Corden was just a schoolboy, too young to drive the carpool, he had to learn to deal with taunts and criticism about his weight from classmates. Though James was by his own admission not very gifted academically, or at least he had little interest in academics, he was still a very smart kid in other ways. Mr. Corden, of Carpool Karaoke fame, explained in a recent Rolling Stone feature interview how he was “quick” enough to defend himself from bullies, using confidence and humor.

“If you’re big at school, you’ve really got two choices. You’re going to be a target. If you go to school and you’re me, you go, Right, I’m just going to make myself a bigger target. ‘My confidence, it will terrify them.’ That’s how I felt in school. Inside, you’re terrified. But if you’re a bit funny, if you’re quicker than them, they won’t circle back on you again.”

Lucky for James Corden he had that “quick” wit and powerful confidence. Not every kid does, but nearly every kid has bullies at some point. For James, the bullies went away in school, becoming afraid of his snappy comebacks, but it was harder to fight the stigma of weight in a profession that is all about appearances.

Carpool Karaoke didn’t just fall into James Corden’s lap. He had to fight a tremendous uphill battle to get there. First, there were years of auditions, where casting really just seemed to want him to go away.

James Corden struggled for a big break in both London and Hollywood. At first, he struggled with perpetual rejection. According to The Daily Mail, those first interviews were simply brutal, and how dare those people treat the beloved Karaoke star that way, but despite weight discrimination, Corden would simply not go away. He just kept on trying. He said rejection was what separates amateurs from professionals. Corden was determined to be a pro.

“You are either told you are too fat or your ears are too big.”

James Corben with Ruth Jones in 2008 [Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]
Years before Carpool Karaoke, James Corden was fighting hard for a slice of fame. Not only was he fighting his own weight, he was also struggling with other people’s bizarre perceptions of his weight. James was not going to give up, though. He fought the scales like a tiger trying to overcome his natural size. Though James has proven he can lose some weight, he could never quite make it to thin, but he hung tough. He kept on trying and kept on asking for roles.

James Corden, finally got a break, if one could call it that. After years of rejection, he made it into the stage of endless type casting. As unbelievable as it sounds, his first major break was a TV show called Fat Friends. But, in spite of the rather insulting title, that ITV drama was good to him and got him a foothold in showbiz according to The Huffington Post.

The Carpool Karaoke star was quoted by The Mirror, explaining that casting decisions were all about appearance. After all, that’s what the audience sees first. Casting is based on public expectations and perceptions, but how much public perception is based on those casting and production decisions?

“Decisions, when I started, were only made on the way I looked. They were like ‘You look like this, so you will work your way to playing a bubbly judge or something.”

James Corden lost a significant amount of weight immediately before landing his current job in Carpool Karaoke. Did losing that weight finally tip those scales a bit in his favor? Was it only a coincidence James lost an incredible six stones according to Celebs Now. For those readers about to look for a conversion calculator, a stone is 14 pounds, so Corden lost about 86 pounds. That would represent a simply monumental effort, and apparently, that was rewarded by a huge career boost.

James Corden with Niall Horan [Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]
James Corden, now the king of Carpool Karaoke, is still baffled by strange perceptions about weight perpetuated in the media and prevalent in society. He expressed his disdain to Rolling Stone concerning heavier people attempting to be cast in a romantic role.

“I could never understand when I watch romantic comedies the notion that for some reason unattractive or heavy people don’t fall in love. If they do, it’s in some odd, kooky, roundabout way — and it’s not. It’s exactly the same. I met my wife; she barely owned a television and worked for Save the Children. We sat down one night and we fell in love and that was it.”

James Corden was fortunate that at least he didn’t have to fight his weight to gain the affections of his wife. It also turns out that despite his fluctuations in body size that represent his constant battle to keep his weight in check, against its natural predisposition, his Carpool Karaoke audience loves James too. Not only that, but Corden is on the cover of The Rolling Stone, so top that, playground bullies.

James Corden may have gotten his Carpool Karaoke job because he lost weight, but he keeps it because he is loved by fans and great at his job, regardless of his weight.

[Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]

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