If you ask Laila Ali what she loves about hosting OWN’s Home Made Simple, the 41-year-old doesn’t hesitate. Connecting with people is at the top of her list. In particular, watching their faces light up when they see how Laila and her team have rejuvenated their homes. “I love hosting the show because it gives opportunities for me to connect with families here in the Los Angeles area that have amazing stories,” the former boxer tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “A lot of times they’ve been through a lot and they’re really deserving of a home makeover, so that alone just makes me feel really good.”
For the mom-of-two – who loves whipping up healthy meals – it also gives her a chance to share her recipes with families and viewers back home. “I’m all about living a healthy lifestyle,” says Laila, who penned the 2018 book, “Food for Life: Delicious & Healthy Comfort Food From My Table To Yours”. “So being able to do what’s personally something that I’m passionate about and kind of instilling that in these families, is also a great opportunity for me.”
As the exclusive Home Made Simple trailer above illustrates, this season Laila and her team continue to whip up their magic amazing families along the way. Even the host is impressed by the results and she’s in the middle of it. “When you walk in you see a room or backyard or whatever, it may be one way and then you get to see a total transformation by the end of the show, [that] is very exciting,” she says.
If you’re a fan and that’s what you tune in to see every week, Laila promises that you won’t be disappointed. In addition to “some really cool projects,” she admits that fans will witness more emotional moments that make the series so beloved. “The people who you think are going to be calm and reserved, sometimes end up crying,” she says about the families’ reactions. “Obviously we edit the show, because we only have so much time, but sometimes they’re at a loss for words. I remember that multiple times a family’s like, ‘Wait a minute, I just need a second… I may need to pull it together for camera.’ Because it’s overwhelming, exciting.”
“There [are] nerves there because you’re really turning your house over to us. They don’t know what it’s going to be like,” Laila adds. “They’re appreciative because they’re getting something given to them, but at the same time they’re hoping they’re actually going to like it… I think that every time I’m just as surprised at what some of the reactions are.” Season 9 of Home Made Simple premieres on OWN on Nov. 9 at 9am.