You’ve seen us on screen, but have you ever wondered what we’re like off-camera?
For the last few months, I’ve enjoyed checking in with some of your favorite Fox personalities to learn more about who they are behind the scenes.
What’s the one thing Jesse Watters couldn’t live without? What’s Bill Hemmer’s favorite Halloween costume? And what’s sitting on Greg Gutfeld’s nightstand?
But that’s not all! The fun is just getting started.
This week, we’re excited to shine the spotlight on Washington, D.C.-based Gillian Turner, a full-time news correspondent on FOX News Channel (FNC). She joined the network as a contributor in 2014. In her position, she covers the top news stories of the day across both daytime and primetime programming.
Throughout her tenure with the network, she’s appeared on a variety of programs, including “FOX News Sunday,” “America’s Newsroom,” “Outnumbered,” “MediaBuzz,” “FOX & Friends” and “The Five.”
P.S. We have so much more in store for you. Stay tuned each week for new editions of “Short Questions with Dana Perino” — and if there’s a question you want answers to or a suggestion for the person I should interview next, leave a note in the comments section below.
Q: Let’s start with a little background. Where are you from? Where’d you go to school? And what local markets did you work in prior to joining Fox?
GT: I’m from New York City and I had a wonderful, magical childhood growing up there, which is probably surprising to most folks. But it’s true!
When you live in the city, it becomes a very small, neighborhood-y place. Everything you need to conduct your daily life is within a five-block radius, so you know your neighbors, and you know the local staff at every store, restaurant and laundromat.
I also went to school in Manhattan all the way through college — public school for elementary and middle school, private school at Lincoln Center for high school, and Columbia University for college.
“I first did TV news as a commentator on foreign policy and national security stories.”
I never worked in news a day in my life before joining Fox News — so no local TV markets for me, unlike my colleagues at Fox (except for Dana!). I come from a foreign policy and government background.
I first did TV news as a commentator on foreign policy and national security stories before becoming a full-time journalist a few years in. I used to feel very insecure about that resume difference between me and pretty much every other reporter and anchor at our channel, and always felt like I was struggling to “catch up.”
But over time, I’ve come to appreciate my own professional experience and background as a blessing and a real advantage to my work.
Q: You’ve covered a number of big stories since starting at Fox. Which one stands out to you as your favorite assignment to date and why?
GT: The first big assignment I had at Fox was to travel to the U.K. to cover the wedding of Prince Harry to Megan Markle. I had just started full-time as a correspondent and had never covered anything outside the D.C. bureau.
I had very little experience turning around stories for air quickly, on short deadlines, and doing reporter hits live on air without scripts and teleprompters and producers (my comfort zone was challenged by being out in the field in a big way — and this wedding was particularly chaotic, with millions of people on-scene and every media outlet in the world).
Everyone who traveled with Fox for that wedding worked very long days, during a very long week, and ended up exhausted at the end. I was just grateful to make it through without any huge mistakes!
“Over time, I’ve come to appreciate my own professional experience and background as a blessing and a real advantage to my work.”
I learned a tremendous amount about my job that first week spent out in the field, including that the natural elements ALWAYS make TV more difficult than it looks, even on beautiful sunny days. (Rule of thumb: If you’re outside, your job is going to be difficult and it’s your responsibility to make that difficulty invisible to viewers.)
I also met some wonderful Fox colleagues like Benji Hall, Greg Palkot and Pierre Zakrzewski, who I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to know and work with (Pierre passed away in 2022 while on assignment covering the war in Ukraine).
Had it not been for this trip to the U.K., who knows whether we would have ever crossed paths while he was alive.
Q: Imagine I’m sending you on an epic all-American food road trip. Lobster rolls in Cape Cod, deep dish in Chicago, Gumbo in New Orleans, you get the picture. Which U.S. city do you think would steal the show and what iconic food would be its crowning glory?
GT: I’m going to go with NY-style pizza! It’s my first food love and it’s never left me.
We’re talking large, gooey, greasy slices that you often have to blot with a napkin in order to get down without destroying your clothes. Pizza that’s been cooked in a sweltering pizza place with guys that literally toss it up in the air like you’ve seen in the movies.
Bonus: It’s super cheap compared to the thin-crust and artisanal pizzas you get in lots of other places that are trendy these days. Bonus-bonus: fountain cokes with lots of ice. (Also, don’t ever order salads from a real NY pizza joint.)
Q: Washington, D.C., the heart of our nation’s history, is home to countless iconic monuments and museums. Each one tells a unique story about the fabric of America. I loved visiting them when I lived in D.C. many years ago. What is your favorite national monument or museum to visit in D.C. and why?
GT: From the first time I saw it after it opened, the World War II monument on the National Mall has been a joy and a delight for me.
I love all the monuments and take visiting friends and family on tours, but the WWII memorial dazzles. For starters, it’s got the best spot on the National Mall, sitting between the Lincoln Memorial with the famous reflecting pool out front and the Washington Monument on the other end.
When you sit down around the fountain that’s at the heart of the WWII monument, you can literally see it all! In every direction, there’s something to take in and appreciate.
“The older I get, the more compelled I am by WWII history.”
The first time I ever visited the WWII was with my father on a very hot D.C. summer day, after a lot of schlepping around the city, and coming upon the WWII for the first time, and all that water, was just a revelation. It’s really a very wonderful and special place.
I’m also Jewish, with relatives who perished in and survived the Holocaust, so the war itself is something I’ve studied and learned about extensively. The older I get, the more compelled I am by WWII history, and this memorial is a great place to learn. (I just finished reading “The Bomber Mafia,” which I highly recommend.)
Q: In an alternate universe where you have a different career, what would you be doing?
GT: I very nearly had a career as a professional ballet dancer. I trained for 10 years at one of the most competitive schools in the country, and at age 18 danced professionally with a company called the Pennsylvania Ballet for one year before “retiring” (I hate to say “I quit” ballet!).
I loved ballet for my whole young life, from a very young age. I still love it — but these days just watching from the audience! Knowing the pain and discomfort that goes into making ballet so beautiful is enough to keep me (very happily) in my seat.
Q: If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be, and what would your superhero name be?
GT: I don’t know what this is called, but I have always wanted to be able to move things with my mind. Physical objects.
Even now, as an adult, I often fantasize about moving things around my house just by directing them with my thoughts (this becomes an exceptionally compelling fantasy once you’re the parent of a toddler and there is stuff literally everywhere, all the time.)
Q: What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
GT: Getting married to my husband and creating our family.
Q: You are often seen reporting live from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If you could host a dinner party at the White House with any three former U.S. presidents, dead or alive, who would you invite?
GT: President George W. Bush, President Obama (because I worked in both of their administrations and have questions!) and President Washington (because imagine being here, then).
“I still love [ballet] — but these days just watching from the audience!”
Q: What’s a classic novel you think everyone should read at least once?
GT: I love fiction. All I do is read — news, history, fiction and nonfiction, biographies, natural science, anything and everything. So this is a very hard question for me.
I just read “The Overstory” by Richard Powers and Elena Ferrante’s “Neapolitan Quartet” — and loved them all. Highly recommend.
Q: If you could hop on a plane right now and go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
GT: I would go to Cape Town, South Africa (even though the flight is loooong). It’s where my dad’s side of the family is from, where I’ve visited nearly every year of my life, and where I lived for two years during graduate school (I got my master’s degree there).
When I don’t visit for a long time, I begin to miss it, and not just the people. The Western Cape is hands-down the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, and I’ve traveled to 40 or so countries.
Q: What do you love most about working for Fox News?
GT: Honestly? The best part for me has been working during my pregnancy and as a new mother (my daughter is 2½ now, so all grown up!).
I’ve never felt so valued, so supported or celebrated as I did by bosses and colleagues during that time. It was very special. The words of wisdom and encouragement I received from everyone, including people I’d never met and still haven’t met face-to-face; the thoughtful presents people sent me; and all the emotional support was just totally unexpected.
It all went down during the COVID pandemic, too, so it should have by rights been an isolating time. I was also very sick a lot of the time, and never felt judgment or disappointment from anyone.
But thanks to my wonderful bosses and colleagues, it was just the most exuberant working time of my life (weird how the hardest is, in hindsight, the best).
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To read all of Dana Perino’s earlier “Short Questions” interviews for Fox News Digital, check out this (long) list!
For her interview with Madison Alworth, click here.
For her interview with Nate Foy, click here.
For her interview with Laura Ingraham, click here.
For her interview with five New York FOX reporters, click here.
For her interview with Katie Pavlich, click here.
For her interview with Guy Benson, click here.
For her interview with Pete Hegseth, click here.
For her interview with Sandra Smith, click here.
For her interview with Nicolas Yannicelli, click here.
For her interview with Abby Hornacek, click here.
For her interview with Elise Bitter, click here.
For her interview with Brian Kilmeade, click here.
For her interview with Kennedy, click here.
For her interview with John Roberts, click here.
For her interview with Janice Dean, click here.
For her interview with Charles Payne, click here.
For her interview with Trey Gowdy, click here.
For her interview with Johnny “Joey” Jones, click here.
For her interview with Bill Melugin, click here.
For her interview with Jimmy Failla, click here.
For her interview with Tyrus, click here.
For her interview with Ainsley Earhardt, click here.
For her interview with Lawrence Jones, click here.
For her interview with Dr. Arash Akhavan, click here.
For her interview with Martha MacCallum, click here.
For her interview with Bret Baier, click here.
For her interview with Kayleigh McEnany, click here.
For her interview with Harold Ford Jr., click here.
For her interview with Shannon Bream, click here.
For her interview with Jessica Tarlov, click here.
For her interview with Leo Terrell, click here.
For her interview with Geraldo Rivera, click here.
For her interview with Clay Travis, click here.
For her interview with Bill Hemmer, click here.
For her interview with Greg Gutfeld, click here.
For her interview with Benjamin Hall, click here.
For her interview with Judge Jeanine Pirro, click here.
For her interview with Jesse Watters, click here.
For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.