“I’m very blessed. “I think that’s what people’s goals in life should be. Do what you love and get paid for it.” — Jared Eng
ISSUE: Summer 2011
STORY: Janice Jann
The face and brains behind the beloved Hollywood gossip blog is anything but Just Jared.
Jared Eng doesn’t sleep much. “Hollywood is 24/7. There’s always something going on,” says the 28-year-old Chinese American. “So I go with the flow.” It’s that mentality that earned Eng’s popular celebrity gossip blog, Just Jared, millions of devoted readers, top- ping Yahoo!’s Blogger List.
What sets Just Jared apart is that, in an increasingly mean-spirited Internet age where every celebrity humiliation is documented, Eng refuses to say anything but exuberantly positive things about his site’s subjects. “I don’t really diss people,” says Eng. “I’m just presenting news.” The news may be light fare like Cameron Diaz grabbing Starbucks or Zac Efron’s mustache, but the site is influential enough for shows like Entourage to reference and for publications like The New York Times to profile.
Eng’s ascent as the blogosphere’s King of Nice took time. “Growing up, there weren’t any aspirations to be a blogger,” he says. His strict upbringing didn’t help — he wasn’t exposed to pop culture until he entered Columbia University. “I fell in love with stars,” Eng remembers. “Jennifer Garner from Alias. Britney Spears. I would watch her video frame by frame so I could learn her choreography.” Eng started Just Jared simply to share his interests. The blog didn’t have the same initial take-off as some of Just Jared’s more sardonic counterparts, but that didn’t bother Eng. “Personally, I have a very apathetic personality,” Eng laughs. “I don’t really get mad at things. I liked what I was putting out. In the long run, it’s paying off.”
It sure is. Just Jared is now developing a younger sister site, Just Jared Jr., and with more than five full-time staff, including Eng’s older brother who runs the business side, Eng is working on expanding the JJ brand. Though that means even less sleep, you won’t find Eng complaining. “I’m very blessed,” he says. “I think that’s what people’s goals in life should be. Do what you love and get paid for it.”
— Janice Jann