Oprah: Did the Idol people come to you, or did you approach them?
Ellen: They came to me, and it was a total surprise. I like to try new things because I get bored so easily. And I like the show, so I thought it was a great idea.
Oprah: Okay. So when you're at home, you're not dancing, are you?
Ellen: I'll dance if there's music on. I like dancing.
Oprah: I should have said, when you're home and not shooting covers with me. Speaking of which, how did you come up with this whole get-on-the-cover-of- O idea, anyway?
Ellen: It got started because I was in a CoverGirl ad that was on the inside cover of your magazine. I held it up on my show and said, "I'm on the cover of O ! I'm on the inside cover, but I'm on the cover!" And that rolled into, "Well, if I'm that close, I might as well be on the cover cover!" and I started the campaign. And I guess you felt so guilty about putting Michelle Obama on the cover that you decided you had to put me on the cover, too.
Oprah: No, this is what happened. We had already planned the cover with Michelle. And then you started your campaign, and I was like, "Well, is she really serious?" So we waited a couple of weeks, and I decided you were.
Ellen: I was not serious, though, because I didn't think it was going to happen! No one had ever been on the cover with you, so I really thought it was just a joke. But then once the Michelle Obama cover came along, that's when I really started going after it. And I was shocked and thrilled when you actually went for it.
Oprah: It was fun. Tell me, are you having as much fun as you appear to be having?
Ellen: It's a lot of work to put a brand-new monologue and a brand-new show on the air and find comedy every single day. It's challenging and it's the hardest thing I have ever done, but it's the best-suited thing for me. The more relaxed I get and the more confident I feel, the more I get to play and be myself and say whatever I feel like saying and not worry about whether I'm being a good interviewer. Although sometimes, I admit, you're talking to people and you're like, "Oh please, have something to say!" But in general I'm just more and more confident that if I'm myself, people are going to enjoy it more.
Oprah: You get paid for being yourself.
Ellen: It's amazing. It's crazy.
Oprah: That's what happens when you tell the truth. You open that door for that bird to fly out.
Ellen: It's so weird because I love you so much, and to come to this place and do a photo shoot with you—I'm not surprised I had a brightness in my eyes.
Oprah: Well, I'm happy to be able to call you my friend. But I know you have to get back to work, so either I'm going to have you up to my house for dinner, or you guys are going to have me down to yours.
Ellen: You have an open invitation.
View the ideas Ellen had for her O cover!