Ellen DeGeneres says her whole life has been inspired by movies, with comedies like Woody Allen’s Take the Money and Run and Steve Martin in The Jerk informing her trademark rambling comedy, and others like Oliver! and Born Free turning her on to musicals and a love of animals.
But when it came to a repeat performance – she hosted in 2007 – at the Academy Awards, “Everybody who works with me thought I was crazy,” DeGeneres, 56, says in the interview.
She discussed a possible second go-round at the helm of the lengthy and much-watched Oscar broadcast with her wife, Portia de Rossi. “The person who lives with me – Portia – was on my side,” DeGeneres says. “She thought, ‘I don’t need to go through this either. She’s gonna be stressed.’ ”
But ultimately, DeGeneres decided she was motivated by the sheer challenge of taking on one of Hollywood’s toughest gigs. “I thought ‘All right, let me scare myself again.’ It’s good to do something that scares you.”
DeGeneres says she may follow Oprah‘s lead by moving from reigning TV talk-show queen to dramatic film roles. “I’ll do that,” DeGeneres says. “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.”
So what can viewers expect on Oscar Night? Well, DeGeneres says what she won’t do: “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.”
The 86th Annual Academy Awards air live Sunday (7 p.m. ET) on ABC.