Jesse and Amanda Stirling balance the joys of the glamour of Hollywood with the authenticity of home
When Jesse and Amanda Stirling reconnected after years apart, one of them knew before the other that this was it. With years and experiences behind them and a daughter now in the family mix, the two still make one another a priority even as they balance life between Hollywood and home.
Jesse Stirling, his wife Amanda Scholer Stirling and their daughter Olivia enjoy the best of both worlds. At times, they reside in Beverly Hills, living right smack dab in the hottest zip code, one made famous by the show of the same name, Beverly Hills 90210.
And it’s not just their zip code that shows they are among the cream of the crop in tinsel town. The Stirling couple walk the walk when it comes to being immersed in the who’s who of entertainment. Amanda is Senior Vice President of National Publicity for Universal.
“I work on all those animated movies the kids love so much (think Minions and Secret Life of Pets) and on the Fast and Furious movies too,” she shares.
Another career point worth sharing? She recently held an Oscar awarded to her team for one of their films, Green Book. It won Best Picture, and the Stirling family celebrated the success of one of their own.
Jesse is clearly proud of his beloved. “She has 20 year relationships with talented people like Mark Wahlberg, Vin Diesel and Matt Damon,” he shares before sharing a ‘star struck’ tale from early on in their relationship.
“We went to the premiere of Larry Crowne and it was a Tom Hanks film and Jesse and I were dating and I had worked on some Tom Hanks movies so I walked him over to Tom and his producing partner and Jesse was just like; wow,” Amanda begins.
Jesse picks up the yarn. “There was just this vibe at the party and I said, did the president just walk in? You could just tell something was happening in this other room and it was this interesting moment when I saw how one celebrity can light up a whole room. It’s almost like people get famous for a reason, because some big stars really have a luminescent quality about them, and Tom Hanks is one of those individuals.”
Not a wallflower
Jesse is no wallflower when it comes to making connections himself. He’s interviewed Matt Damon and, for his NTV show, Meetings with Remarkable People (airs Sundays at 7:30a.m. and 11:30a.m.) he has interviewed everyone from Eckhart Tolle and John Vallis to his own sister, business woman and television star Lydia Mclaughlin.
The couple says Hollywood is filled with kind-hearted, generous souls. “I interviewed Matt Damon and he’s a quality human being,” shares Jesse.
Amanda adds her reflections on that interaction. “I was about to start telling people that I was pregnant and Jesse told Matt that I was expecting and Matt gave him all this dad advice because he’s the father of three girls and he was giving so much advice knowing we were going to be having a daughter.”
Mark Wahlberg did the same, they share. “We were at the MTV Awards and Mark pulled us aside and offered Jesse some advice, going; let me tell you about being a dad of girls …”
The couple, who met in school before reconnecting years later thanks to Facebook, take a moment to share their first date.
“We went out on our first date and it was like a four hour amazing date at the Beverly Hills Hotel at the Polo Lounge and I knew in myself at that point that I’d probably end up with this girl. On our second date, I asked if we could go to Tahiti together and she said; let’s just do dinner.” They both laugh.
And what about the home connection? The family love their Newfoundland roots, they say. In fact they just bought a home here on the island. Amanda has embraced the place and its people to her heart. “I love the balance, I feel like Newfoundland is a lovely, authentic place where people are genuine and they like you for who you are and they are so welcoming.” But she wondered a little at first, she admits.
“I think Jesse’s friends were looking at me through a critical eye in the beginning. Funny fact; Jesse had purchased my engagement ring but he didn’t propose until after our first trip to Newfoundland when I got to meet all da b’ys and I got Screeched In. Three weeks later we got home and he admitted there was a part of him that said, if his friends didn’t like me he wasn’t going to propose.”
Culture and style
Despite that close call, she loves this place. “I love that Newfoundland has culture and style and lovely people but the pace is also just less crazy and everything is really authentic, finding authentic friends in Hollywood is a hard thing.”
What does daughter Olivia think about this place? “She loves it, though it’s the coldest place she’s ever been,” Amanda shares. Jesse laughs, almost with pride; “Funny, the coldest place she’s been in her life is Newfoundland in summer.”
The family were visiting their home province to host the Janeway Telethon, something he’ll be doing again this year and his daughter will once again be by his side.
“She had her first daddy/daughter meltdown live on air at the Telethon, so that was charming,” Amanda shares with a laugh.
Jesse has lots going on outside of daddy duties. He’s working on a book for Flanker Press on his grandfather and The Herald founder, Geoff Stirling called Captain Newfoundland. Also having Geoff’s name engraved on the Canada Walk of Fame is being developed.
“The family legacy is important to celebrate and remember, and it’s my privilege,” shared Jesse.
In spite of the demanding careers, this is one family that makes one another a priority. “Jesse says I bring the organization and he brings the fun. It’s a great mix, and it’s important to make the time and Jesse finds all these fun things for us to do, both he and I and as a family. My parents are in love, Jesse’s parents are in love, it’s important to us to bring that love to our little family, too.”
Olivia runs off and must be chased down. There’s laughter and squeals of delight as she performs her daughter dash. Jesse has the final word. “Life has so many blessings, and we are grateful for each and every one.”