Oprah Talks to Rosie O'Donnell About Reentering the Spotlight
Rosie: I have, too. It's a great challenge for me. I have to be vulnerable and open myself up again. But that's a hugely life-affirming, fueling, spiritual thing, right?
Rosie: It would be very easy to live in my comfort zone and just stay in Nyack painting and doing crafts. But I already did that—for a whole decade. Now that I'm in Chicago, I've already felt a difference. Sometimes you go outside and get beat up by New York. The city accosts you. But being in the middle of Chicago, it's peaceful.
Oprah: Isn't it?
Rosie: The other day in Chicago, I went to Millennium Park, to a Broadway concert. I'm acting as if I'm allowed to live like this, and the people in the city are allowing me.
Oprah: That's exactly the way I've lived there for 25 years.
Rosie: I even had to wait for a table at Gino's East. I walked in, and they said, "Name?" I said, "Rosie." They said, "Hi, Rosie. Welcome to Chicago. Sit down, it'll be 20 minutes." It wasn't like there was a line outside—and there were empty tables, too! I thought, Well, this is going to take some getting used to, but it's a good lesson.
Oprah: The one thing you don't do when you're a celebrity is wait!
Rosie: Ever. When celebrities become unfamous, someone should teach them how to wait in line—and order from a menu! When you're famous and you go to a restaurant, the chef whips up whatever you feel like eating, even if it's not something they serve. Eventually, you're walking in anywhere—
Oprah: And expecting to get exactly what you want.
Rosie: You go into McDonald's and say, "Can I have a pizza?" You start to live that way. But you know, more is not always better. That took me a long time to find out. So being in Chicago is like a new beginning for me. For the first time in a long time, I'm excited.
Rosie: Yeah. The first night in Chicago, it was hard for me to sleep.
Oprah: Oh, that's good!
Rosie: I'm feeling rejuvenated. I'm nervous about starting the show, which is the greatest way to be. When you don't have that anticipation of wanting to do well, then you might as well not be doing it at all.