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It's been years in the making! The Oprah Winfrey Show is kicking off its 20th season and anything can happen! The first surprise has taken years of plotting and planning! It's finally time to reveal the most elaborate makeover in Oprah Show history. Along with key Harpo experts, set designer Anton Goss spent two years dreaming up our brand new, state-of-the-art television theater.
Jennifer Aniston and Oprah

The first guest of our 20th season is the woman everybody wants to talk to: Jennifer Aniston. To congratulate Oprah on her anniversary show, Jennifer brings along a gift—champagne to christen the new set!

After a bit of the bubbly, Oprah and Jennifer get down to business. With her recent divorce displayed throughout the tabloids, Jen has barely gotten a moment's peace. "People were obsessed about your marriage [to Brad Pitt]," Oprah says to Jennifer, "and then your divorce. I think it's because you guys represented the picture on the wedding cake. So [if your relationship] doesn't work out, we think, 'Oh lord, I'm in trouble!'"

Jennifer feels strongly that she will not be defined by her divorce. "It's hard," she says, "when energetically you have all of [the media coverage] coming at you and you've moved on and you just want to say, 'Come on, people, turn a page!'"
Jennifer Aniston

Recently, Oprah, Jennifer and their close friends spent time getting to know each other at Oprah's house. "What I felt from your girls was such a bond—it was like you were all sisters. I have this guesthouse," Oprah explains, "and everybody has their own bedrooms—but at one in the morning I called to see if Jen was all right, and they were all in the same bed! I go, 'Those are real friends!' That must have been very helpful to you during trying times."

"I don't even know how to explain," Jennifer says, "to have girlfriends like that—who are your sisters and your mothers and your gurus and your mentors—they kind of just gather around. They hear the call, and they're right there. And I treasure it. They are fantastic."

Even in the confines of Oprah's California home, Jennifer can't hide from one constant in her life—the paparazzi. "I've been living in peace all this time," Oprah teases, "and then you show up [at my house] and I've got helicopters going around. How does it make you feel to have your every move tracked like that?"

"I [believe] the old saying, 'What you resist, persists," Jennifer says. "There are days, of course, when I don't want it. But it will die down eventually. I have come to some peace with it. It's like, 'So how many pictures are they going to get of [me] walking down the beach?' It's got to get boring."
Jennifer Aniston and Oprah

"You look great," Oprah tells Jennifer. "[We all] want to know you're doing well."

"I'm doing so well," Jennifer says. "Look what we have. Look what's happening in the world in other places and look what we have. This is great!"

Jennifer credits yoga with helping her maintain a serene outlook. "The other day I was doing yoga with my girlfriend. We finished and we were sitting there stretching and I looked over at her and said, 'You know what? I have to say I have a feeling I don't know if I've ever felt before—I don't want to be anywhere other than where I am right now sitting across from you.' And that means I'm not sitting somewhere dwelling on the past or obsessing about something in the future. … It was a feeling of total peace."
Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer's a busy woman with four movies coming out! Derailed, a psychological thriller co-starring Clive Owen, will be released in November, followed by Rumor Has It with Kevin Costner on Christmas Day, The Break Up with Vince Vaughn in February and Friends with Money in April.

It's no wonder, then, that Jennifer rarely finds time to sleep. "I wake up," she says, "and go, 'The sun's coming up soon and that means I get to have a cup of coffee and read the paper.'"

What are some other things you might not know about Jennifer? Even with a life played out on the pages of entertainment magazines, this superstar still has some secrets. Did you know that her favorite time of day is sunset? "I have a photo album," Jennifer says, "[and] it's the most boring photo album because all it is is 10 years of sunsets." Or that her favorite drink is a dirty martini? "Love a dirty martini!" She also loves to pig out on Mexican food!

Jennifer also puts to rest the rumors about kids. "Do I want babies?" Jennifer says. "Yes, I do. I always have."
Oprah Winfrey

For the first time, Oprah is talking about the much-reported incident at Hermès in Paris. "Just about 100 percent of everything you read was flat out wrong," Oprah says. "Shame on anybody for thinking that I was upset for not being able to get in to a closed store and buy a purse—please. I didn't get to be this old to be that stupid. I was not upset about not getting to buy a bag—I was upset because one person at the store was so rude—not the whole company."

"… There were reports that I was turned away because the store was closed. The store was in the process of being closed—the store was very active. … The doors were not locked. My friends and I were standing inside the doorway, and there was much discussion among the staff about whether or not to let me in. That's what was embarrassing. … I know the difference between a store being closed and a store being closed to me."

"Everybody's who has ever been snubbed because you were not chic enough or thin enough or the right class or the right color or whatever—I don't know what it was—you know that it is very humiliating."
Robert Chavez, President and CEO of Hermes United States

Hermès has since introduced sensitivity training, and Robert Chavez, the president and CEO of Hermès USA, is very sorry for the trouble and embarrassment Oprah experienced. "I'd like to say to you that we're really sorry," he says, "for all of those unfortunate circumstances that you encountered when you tried to visit our store in Paris. … We really try to service all of our clients all over the world. … It was an isolated incident. It is not who we are."
Oprah Winfrey

While in the Gulf States to report on the Katrina catastrophe, Oprah pledged to the survivors that she would not forget them—and she's keeping that promise in a big way. "I am personally today committing $10 million of my own money toward the rebuilding of peoples' lives."

"You can buy a toaster," Oprah says, "or [sponsor the building of] a whole house! I want everybody to give at the level that they can."
FROM: Oprah's 20th Anniversary Season Premiere
Published on September 19, 2005


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