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Ellen DeGeneres on Why She Almost Didn't Host the Oscars Again, Interest in More Dramatic Roles and More

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood February 28, 2014 at 12:03PM

Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres sat down with Parade Magazine days before the big show to discuss all things movies and Academy Awards, including why her initial reaction to hosting for a second time around was "no," on her decision to not dance on the Kodak stage, on being the inspiration for current Oscar nominee Sandra Bullock's 1999 hit "Miss Congeniality" and more. Interview highlights, below.
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Ellen DeGeneres

Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres sat down with Parade Magazine days before the big show to discuss all things movies and Academy Awards, including why her initial reaction to hosting for a second time around was "no," on her decision to not dance on the Kodak stage, on being the inspiration for current Oscar nominee Sandra Bullock's 1999 hit "Miss Congeniality" and more. Interview highlights, below.

On why she initially said no to hosting the Oscars again (her 2007 hosting earned her an Emmy nomination):

“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 said yes in the end:

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

On NOT dancing on Sunday's Oscars:

“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 beating out Jennifer Aniston for the supporting role in 1999's "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":

“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 maybe 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.”

This article is related to: Awards, Awards Season Roundup, Academy Awards, Awards, Oscars, Ellen DeGeneres


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.