Julie Chen: I'm a 'Little Bit Dirtier, a Little Bit Raunchier' Than People Think
10/16/2014 AT 08:00 PM EDT
Sure, the co-host of CBS' The Talk loves the Chenbot nickname that she earned while hosting the long-running reality show Big Brother, but she says it's been a long time since she looked and behaved like the robotic, picture-perfect newsreader from CBS' The Early Show, where she worked from 1999 to 2011.
"People went into watching The Talk thinking I was a certain way – a bit cold, a bit full of herself, not the fun girl to hang out with at the party," Chen, 44, told PEOPLE. "My hair was always big and curly, sprayed perfectly. That was from my training in news, like I always wanted to look very professional."
But now that Chen is starting her fifth season as one of the talk show's five hosts, she hopes viewers have come to expect a very different side to her.
"If you really want to judge me, watch The Talk," said Chen. "That's really who I am, a little bit dirtier, a little bit raunchier, a little bit more bawdy, but with broadcast standards because I have a son who I have to answer to."
Her colleagues have definitely noticed a change in the wife of CBS Corporation CEO Leslie Moonves since she started working in daytime TV.
"When we first started the show, Julie was the quintessential professional but very closed-off personally," Sharon Osbourne told PEOPLE. "Over the last four seasons, I have seen her grow from a straight-laced anchor to a hilarious, warm, confident, beautiful, strong woman with a very dry, naughty personality. She has found her wings and is unstoppable."
For more about Chen, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE magazine, on newsstands Friday.