February 28, 2014

Ellen DeGeneres: On Her Favorite Films...and Stealing a Role from Jennifer Aniston

Ellen DeGeneres, who hosts the Oscar ceremony for the second time on Sunday, shares her favorite movie memories with Parade. She recalls that the lion cub drama Born Free and Best Picture winner Oliver! helped ignite life-long passions for animals and musicals. And it was Woody Allen and Steve Martin’s early work, including Take the Money and Run and The Jerk, that would inform her rambling, deadpan humor.

But she also says that two ‘80s movies, The World According to Garp and Out of Africa, remain favorites. “I love stories that are inspirational yet have a lot of heartache, because I think that’s what life is.” Other excerpts from the story follow:

On why she initially said no to hosting the Oscar broadcast again (she earned an Emmy nomination for her emceeing duties in 2007):

“Everybody who works with me thought I was crazy. But the person who lives with me—Portia—was on my side. She thought, ‘I don’t need to go through this, either. She’s gonna be stressed.’”

On why she ultimately agreed to do it:

“I thought, ‘All right, let me scare myself again.’ It’s good to do something that scares you.”

On her commitment NOT to do her trademark dancing on Sunday’s Oscar broadcast:

“I’m not going to be dancing. I dance on my show. I don’t think people need to see that every time I do anything.”

On the pride she takes in her supporting role in the 1999 comedy EDtv:

“Jen Aniston is my friend and she recently reminded me that I beat her out of that. I got the part and Jen Aniston didn’t! That’ll probably be the only time that happens.”

On being the inspiration for the film Miss Congeniality, in which Sandra Bullock starred:

“Miss Congeniality was written based on me. When I was getting ready to cohost the Emmys, the writer saw me [on TV] learning how to walk in a dress and heels. My stylist at the time—a man—was teaching me, and it was hilarious. The Miss Congeniality writer saw it and thought it was brilliant.”

On perhaps following Oprah’s lead and taking on an occasional dramatic film role:

“Okay, I’ll do that. Put that I’m available for small roles. If they give me the right one, I promise I’ll be nominated for an Oscar, if not win… You know what? I can tell people that on Oscar night.”

On Parade.com, DeGeneres continues the conversation. When asked if she remembers the first movie she and wife Portia de Rossi saw together, she admits, "No, I don't. We were probably making out or something!"

For more from Ellen, including what movies she would take with her to a desert island, go to Parade.com: http://bit.ly/1h7z0rg

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