Ellen DeGeneres rarely does personal interviews. She’s prefer to be on the other end, asking all of the questions. But she opened up to Tracy Grimshaw from A Current Affair about her impending trip to Australia, and here’s what we learned from that talk.
1. Her talk show was not an easy sell. “There were a lot of people that didn’t want to buy the show. It was not like ‘Let’s put her on the air!’ Initially the thought a lot of people — station managers [said] ‘She’s a lesbian! These are housewives at home. … They’re not going to relate to her!’ And there was a lot of fear like what was my show going to be about? Like I was just going to wave a rainbow flag around or something. I said, ‘I’m just going to be me. I’ve always been me, I just know more about me now.’”
2. Ellen’s not bitter about the turn her career took after she came out. “I was just saying ‘I’m gay.’ That’s all I was saying. I was so mad I lost my show. Not just my show, but nobody wanted to hire me. I had no money, I was out of money. That tends to make people cranky. And then It was good. I’m actually very grateful for that time. I got to experience — it gave me more compassion.”
3. Finding Nemo helped save her career. “I thought I’d go back to stand-up but then Finding Nemo came along and he wrote that fish for me, he wrote Dory for me. And then this show came along and it just kind of took off.”
4. She doesn’t care about what other people think about her as much anymore. “I used to care if people liked me. I want people to like me, but now I know I have no control over it. I just can be myself. … I’m a good person, I’m a kind person, I’m a gentle person. I live my life in a kind way and that’s all I can do.”
5. People come to her show to dance. “It doesn’t really matter whose on the show. They come here to dance and be free. … We grow up and we get so serious and we stop playing and we stop dancing. … To me dancing represents just freedom and letting go and having fun and being a kid again.”
6. She doesn’t think it’s funny to put other people down. “When I tell a joke, when I’m talking about something, I think about someone in the audience or someone at home watching and experiencing that thing, if it would be mean-spirited or directed at someone. I don’t ever want anyone to get hurt by what I’m saying. People should laugh to feel better and forget about stuff that’s going on in the world.”
7. Ellen’s scared of Joan Rivers. “That’s the antithesis of who I am.”
8. She just started working out. “I’ve been feeling so much better about myself and it’s only been a couple weeks!”
9. She’s not quitting anytime soon. “I hope I can do this for a long, long, long time.”
Did you learn anything about Ellen from this interview?