You’d be lying if you said you’ve never seen one of TV show host James Corden’s sensational Carpool Karaoke stints, from rocking out with First Lady Michelle Obama to belting the Spice Girls with Adele. Since Corden’s first aired episode for The Late Late Show in March 2015, the Brit has found wild success (and even an Emmy) in his young host career, but Corden reveals that he was hesitant to take the job at first.
“I felt reticent about taking it. Very reticent indeed,” the 38-year-old admits in the latest cover story of emmy magazine, which PEOPLE can exclusively reveal. “I hadn’t really considered that this would be my life. But I’d rather regret doing something than regret not doing something. And I thought the experience would be good for my wife and children as much as anything.”
Corden’s focus on his family in his decision was part of what sealed the deal for CBS Studios President David Stapf.
“I called him to say welcome and to let him know we wanted to help with this massive move he was about to make with a wife, a 1-year-old and a baby on the way,” Stapf shares. “I remember his concerns weren’t things like, ‘What size is my office?’ It was, ‘Where should I live? How close should I be to work?’ He wanted to make sure his family was comfortable and he could spend as much time at home with them as possible. My first impression was, ‘This guy is a loving, caring husband and dad.’ ”
Since the former Broadway star’s leap of faith to take on the host role, the show, which garners about 1.3 million nightly viewers, has exploded on YouTube boasting more than 2 billion views.
“Now to be living in Los Angeles and to have TV show every night where we get to be as creative as we can…. On no level is it lost on me how lucky I am to live here and be here,” says Corden.
The Late Late Show with James Corden airs weeknights (12:35 a.m. ET) on CBS.