Marina Orlova’s Lust for Words
This friend of Bill O’Reilly mixes sex and knowledge – and draws millions of fans.
-Kathryn H. Cusimano
She isn’t your typical teacher. Born and raised in Russia, Marina Orlova, 28, moved to the U.S. six years ago and quickly became an international Internet sensation. Her YouTube video series, Hot For Words, combines her Pam Anderson-like appeal with easily digested, though heavily accented, vocabulary lessons. (And Marina knows what she’s talking about: She has degrees in Russian and English, with specialties in philology, the study of words and their origins.) She’s got over 270,000 subscribers and has more than 250 million video views. Marina’s also become an O’Reilly Factor regular and, the author of a book entitled, naturally, Hot for Words. She recently talked with BettyConfidential:
KC: What gave you the idea to do YouTube videos, and how did you come up with the concept of “Hot for Words”?
MO: It’s funny, because I met a friend who was really into the Internet, you know, an Internet geek, so he told me to check out YouTube channel, because I didn’t have a job. I wanted to do something with philology, you know, use my degree. So I was like, you know what, I’ll just do [YouTube] as a hobby and see how it goes. It just got so popular, and then seven months later, or eight months later, they offered me to become a partner. When you [are] enrolled in the partnership program in YouTube, you get paid. [It] depends on your views, it depends on the advertising revenue, but you get paid, and if you are popular, you get paid good money. But it has to be millions and millions of views. Hot for Words – since I’m hot, you know, I’m hot (laughs), and I’m obsessed with words, so Hot for Words.
KC: You also thought about becoming an actress.
MO: I tried acting maybe one time. I went to audition and I tried to be an extra in Ocean’s Thirteen. It was terrible, because I spent 3 hours waiting in line to get my clothes to be an extra, then what they gave me was horrible, so I told them I’d keep my dress. Then I had to wait for my five minutes of fame… another five hours. I went to see the movie, I did not find myself in the movie, and my friend[s] taped the movie, and they [did] a [search]… frame-by-frame, and they found me, like a blurry picture of me, right by, oh what’s his name, who was in the movie, Al Pacino… You can’t even see my face. So that was my 5 minutes of fame. So I said, I’m not going to be an actress, that’s it, period.
KC: Now how did you connect with The O’Reilly Factor?
MO: Oh, they contacted me, like, a year ago on my Web site. I got an email and I had no idea who [Bill O’Reilly] was. I told my friends, “I got an email from Fox News!” I was very excited, and they were like “You don’t want to go there.” I was like, what do you mean? It’s Fox News, it’s a great network. They said, “He’s mean, he’s going to be mean to you, he’s going to attack you because you’re a provocative teacher, and you use your looks to educate.” I said, “So what’s wrong with that?” I’m like, ok, I’m not going to tell them no yet, I’m just going to do my research. And then I found out he was a teacher, an English teacher. So I said, “You know what, he didn’t invite me because he wants to attack me, he probably likes what I do.” And then I went there and we found a connection, we like totally became friends I guess, if you can say that…I love it, they always promote my website, and they are [a] very popular show, as you know, from four million to six million views. So it’s great opportunity.