Oprah Winfrey on the Question She Asked Sally Field About Burt Reynolds That Makes Her 'Cringe' Today
"I even say now, I cringe to even think that I asked that question," Oprah Winfrey said on the Literally! with Rob Lowe podcast
Oprah Winfrey says there's one interview question that still haunts her.
Winfrey, 67, appeared as a guest on Rob Lowe's Literally! podcast on Wednesday, where she looked back on asking actress Sally Field an uncomfortable question about the now 74-year-old's former partner Burt Reynolds during a sit-down years ago.
"This is when I was younger and I was not living from the point of view of the surrogate," Winfrey explained to Lowe, 57, adding that she "did feel a responsibility" at the time to ask Field about Reynolds. (The pair dated for several years in the late 70s; Reynolds died in September 2018 at the age of 82.)
"I asked her, 'Does Burt sleep with his toupee on?' " Winfrey recalled.
As Lowe expressed his shock at Winfrey's question, the Wrinkle in Time actress admitted, "I even say now, I cringe to even think that I asked that question."
"But I asked it because the producers are like, 'You have to ask, you have to ask, you have to ask. That's what everybody wants to know,' " added Winfrey. "And so I asked it and she went cold on me. She shut down and I could not get in again. I could not."
Lowe then gave his own two cents on Field, having worked with the famed actress on the ABC family drama series Brothers & Sisters.
"She's one of the most amazing actors I've ever known, but when Sally goes cold, it's like Khrushchev in the Cold War," said Lowe. "She will bury you."
Winfrey again reiterated that the question about Reynolds' hair was likely a step too far. "It was like, 'Whoa, Sally went cold on me on live TV,' " she told Lowe. "I deserved it, I deserved it, I deserved it, 'cause that is such an inappropriate question."
"Meanwhile I still want to know," Lowe said with a laugh.
"She certainly didn't answer it. And then it didn't matter what else I said," Winfrey said.
Winfrey previously reflected on asking Field the pointed question back in 2005 during a wide-ranging interview with Today's Billy Bush.
"It was a bad question," Winfrey said. "I wouldn't do it today."