Australia | Ellen DeGeneres | News | Tracy Grimshaw

Ellen Reflects on Coming Out, Career in Major Australian Interview: VIDEO


Ellen DeGeneres gave a lengthy interview to Tracy Grimshaw from Australia's A Current Affair about coming out, her show's success, and how being gay has shaped her life.

Said Ellen:

"I think what saved me is me being honest. I think I somewhow had the courage to do something and say something that I knew would possibly end my career. Instead of making business more important I made my soul and my life more important.And I think by being truthful, and being honest, that saved me."

She added that coming out also put her through a range of emotions and financial situations:

I was furious at the time because…I just felt like it was my fault...I was so mad that I lost my show, and not just my show but for three years I didn’t have any offers. I mean literally, the phone did not ring for three years and I had no money....All of a sudden just because of one revelation (gay) I was the joke. I was the punchline of every late night talk show, I was made fun of in a magazine, and it felt horrible at the time. Now I look back on it and I am thankful because it gave me a chance to examine myself and say who are you without fame, who are you without success, who are you without money?”

Ellen also talked about what it was like growing up in the racist South and how that shaped her perspective. She also talks about her upcoming trip to Australia, Finding Nemo, bullying, Joan Rivers, and her dancing.

Watch the excellent interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Bless her.

    Posted by: Lars | Feb 28, 2013 9:17:07 AM

  2. What a great human...

    Posted by: David | Feb 28, 2013 9:43:43 AM

  3. What a great human...

    Posted by: David | Feb 28, 2013 9:43:44 AM

  4. I think it is so important that she mentions the race issue. It has shaped the way I feel and how I approach homophobia, I am so much stronger for being aware of the civil right struggle of African American's.

    Posted by: Rees Cramer | Feb 28, 2013 10:25:07 AM

  5. Very Nice!

    Posted by: Jim | Feb 28, 2013 10:50:28 AM

  6. Being knocked down a peg can frequently make someone a better person, despite how painful it might be.

    For myself, I had a great professional career early on - colleagues called it "meteoric" - then I had some emotional problems that killed my professional life. It was devastating. But I look back and see that I was a self-centered, arrogant guy.

    I am now much more empathetic of others and, I hope, a nicer person. As basic as it sounds, I truly try to treat others as I would like to be treated. So, as usual, by being honest, Ellen has touched people in a very intimate way.

    Posted by: Gr8guyca | Feb 28, 2013 12:10:50 PM

  7. Thank you Towleroad for all this stuff you post that I would never have time to find on my own.

    Posted by: Donny with a "D" | Feb 28, 2013 12:40:47 PM

  8. I am a little too pressed for time to watch the interview, but I wonder if the magazine Ellen referred to was "Spy" (which, according to Wikipedia, ended in 1998). An issue of the magazine that must have been some time between Ellen's coming out in April 1997, and Princess Di's death in August 1997, had the phrase "Di, Ellen" on the cover. It was a pun, but basically said, "Die, Ellen."

    I'd like to return the sentiment back to the people at "Spy."

    In contrast to the vile folks at "Spy," Ellen is a national/international treasure.

    Posted by: bill jay | Feb 28, 2013 1:21:46 PM

  9. She is a goddess

    Posted by: Carmen | Feb 28, 2013 2:09:29 PM

  10. Without Ellen we wouldn't have had so many safe, light and superficial interviews with so many celebrities. She's played softball with the best. It's great how you learn less than you knew before they were guests. Ellen starting out was the best. Very brave before Cover Girl.

    Posted by: GB | Feb 28, 2013 3:19:49 PM

  11. New study concludes Pessimists 'live longer'...

    Posted by: GB | Feb 28, 2013 4:56:39 PM

  12. New study concludes assholes are still assholes even if they wipe...

    Posted by: AladinSane | Feb 28, 2013 11:31:50 PM

  13. Love you, Ellen!!!

    Posted by: nikko | Mar 1, 2013 2:14:03 AM

  14. They confused "Ellen" (her groundbreaking 90's sitcom) with "The Ellen Show" (her short-lived 2001-2002 sitcom).

    Posted by: DetroitGuy76 | Mar 1, 2013 10:26:46 AM

  15. Ellen's 1997 coming out was unnecessary. She had already been out for years then and was often seen at gay events.

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Mar 2, 2013 4:22:49 PM

  16. Ellen is such an amazing soul! I definitely agree with her that her honesty about herself really paved the way for her to become the person she is today. Her genuine spirit can be seen every single day while watching her talk show, and that is why I make a point to never miss an episode! Even when I get sidetracked in my office at DISH and end up staying later than intended, I still manage to watch it live on the bus ride to my house. I’m just lucky that I’m able to access my TV channels like this even when I’m not home with DISH Anywhere. This handy app allows my phone to connect to my Hopper DVR’s live and recorded TV content, which automatically turns any place I’m at into my living room! It’s the only way a busy lady like me can stay up to date on all my favorite shows, like Ellen!

    Posted by: betsy | Mar 7, 2013 1:51:53 PM

  17. such a wonderful free spirited woman and i love her honesty, down to earth life. i love you ellen

    Posted by: jessica lawrence | Apr 14, 2013 5:20:39 AM

  18. such a wonderful free spirited woman and i love her honesty, down to earth life. i love you ellen

    Posted by: jessica lawrence | Apr 14, 2013 5:20:49 AM

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