Carissa Culiner

E! News Reporter Carissa Culiner, and her 3 dogs, bring the mid-west to Hollywood

By: Aliya-Jasmine Sovani

Carissa Culiner is the go-to country music correspondent at E! News. Her beauty mimics glamorous blond starlets from past eras of the silver screen, but she is a laid back mid-west girl at heart! The Missouri native packed her bags and moved to the bright lights of tinsel town, but never left her country roots behind for Hollywood, instead – she brought her Missouri lifestyle (and 3 dogs) along for the ride! In between hosting red carpets, this sweet-as-pie bombshell seeks out LA’s hidden nature trails to give her wolf pack the sense of normalcy they had back home. Fresh off her Oscars coverage, get to know Carissa and her pups below.

Tell us about yourself!

I’m from Jefferson City, Missouri and grew up loving country music, barbecues, tailgating, pool parties and going to the lake! But now that I live in Los Angeles, my lifestyle is a little different – definitely more glamorous – but I miss having a big yard, free parking, and friendly drivers.

You definitely live a more glamorous lifestyle than most working as a correspondent for E! News – what’s the best part about your job?

I’ve been able to interview a ton of celebs including Ryan Reynolds, Matthew McConaughey, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Ben Affleck, and John Legend & Chrissy Teigen.

Being a die-hard country music fan, my favorite moments have been at the country music award shows. The artists are always so friendly on the red carpet and ready to have a good time, which makes my interviews fun!

Some of my favorite memories include when the legendary Garth Brooks handed me his CMA award, stole the mic, and started interviewing me!? That was pretty shocking! I also loved co-hosting the ACM red carpet with Kimberly Perry. She’s the sweetest. Meeting Dolly Parton was pretty up there on the favorite moments list too!

Any TV moment that stands out more then the rest?

I’ll never forget my first big award show carpet. It was for the CMAs in Nashville, and while we were on the carpet Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani announced that they were dating. (Big news in the entertainment world!) I was the one to break the “announcement” news to Blake’s good friend, Luke Bryan and he gave the most hilarious response teasing his buddy, “It can’t be true because there’s no way Blake could ever score a girl like that!” The interview went viral afterwards and was a great moment for the show!

Tell us about your dogs!

I have 3 dogs!

Charlie is 9 years old. He’s a Tibetan Spaniel. I adopted him when he was 2. I was working at the radio station in Missouri at the time, and we had a partnership with the local humane society. We saw a different pet every week, and I was strong for about two years. But the day Charlie walked in, I was in love at first sight and knew I needed him in my life. I even said on-air that day we didn’t have a dog for adoption because I was taking him! He still follows me everywhere!

Emmy is a 4-year-old hound mix. I got her with my husband, Shanon, shortly after he moved to Missouri with me. We were talking about how we felt Charlie needed a friend. So we went to the humane society to “just look”. Emmy was to Shanon what Charlie was to me, love at first sight.

Boba is a 2-year-old Pomeranian. We weren’t looking to get a third dog, we were just watching him while my brother-in-law was travelling for his music career. The problem with this was that we fell in love with little Boba and so did Charlie and Emmy. After a few really long stays with us back-to-back, we offered to just keep him forever. After seeing our bond and the other dogs’ bond with Boba, and knowing his busy lifestyle, he let us keep him! Boba still gets visits from his uncle all the time.

How do you spend time with your dogs?

When we lived in Missouri, we would always take our dogs on hikes in the woods or to big parks where they could run and swim. Now that we’re in LA we feel guilty that they no longer have a massive yard to run in. So we take them on lots of hikes, on walks near creeks so it feels like Missouri, and to new places where we can let them off-leash and just run and pee on things! Ha!

You have access to a gorgeous and fabulous wardrobe at E! News – but what’s your personal style like when you’re not on TV, and when you’re hanging with your dogs?

I would say my personal style at home is very casual, usually jeans and a t-shirt.

Have your dogs ever been on TV?

Ha! No, but they totally should be! If anyone out there needs a good TV dog, I have 3 different options available!

What are your favorite personal items?

I hardly ever wear them, but my favorite shoes are a pair of boots I got signed by my all-time favorite country artist, George Strait! My favorite piece of jewelry is obviously my wedding ring.

What does the ideal weekend look like for your wolf pack?

A great weekend is starting the days with doing something active with the dogs, like go on a hike or for a long walk. Having a nice lunch with my husband, and going out that night with our friends or having people over for dinner or game night.

What inspires you?

Lots of things! Seeing friends make their dreams come true, seeing people willing to take risks to do something their passionate about, and…seeing houses I want but can’t afford!

E! is an amazing company, and I’m very proud to work there. It’s a huge team that helps make E! be the great success it is. So it really just makes me feel grateful & inspired that I get to be part of it.

If your dogs were  A-list celebrities, who would they be?

Boba reminds me of Shia LaBeouf. He’s young and gets very interested in things, borderline obsessed. Charlie is like Zayn Malik. There’s something mysterious about him, but extremely talented (…at tricks and stuff). Emmy is like Ellen. Everyone always loves her. She’s got a big personality and always makes people laugh.

Tim McGraw or Blake Shelton?

Blake Shelton

Favorite celebrity dog owner?

Kaley Cuoco

What’s your favorite trend right now?

Fuzzy Slippers! I still have yet to get a pair, but it’s been on my list for months!

Which Kardashian is your favorite?

I go back and forth between Kourtney and Khloe

Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about your pet?

Boba was just a puppy, not even a year old yet, and we had just adopted him from my brother-in-law. We took him to the dog park and let him roam free to play with the other pups. When I looked over to see what he was doing across the way, I saw he was standing next to a tall guy who was wearing thick khaki pants, sniffing his leg. I immediately got a weird feeling in my belly like something bad was about to happen. Then, one second later, we see Boba lift his tiny back leg and proceed to urinate all over the man’s leg. It happened too fast to stop him and I didn’t want to yell to bring more attention to the scene. We just put our heads down and pretended he wasn’t our dog. Good times.

Creative Director: Aliya-Jasmine Sovani | Logistics Producer: Lisa French
Photographer: Ally Petruck | Stylist: Kirsten Reader
Dog Wrangler: Carissa’s handsome hubby, Shanon Culiner!