Twenty Questions for Oprah
A: Rarely—unless it was something so fun that I want to feel it all over again, like the car giveaway show. We were all so absolutely high from the experience that about 20 of us came up to my office and watched it again. Same with our "Favorite Things" for teachers show. The joy for me is seeing grown people—mostly mothers who are used to taking care of everyone else—get so excited.
Q: Are there people who became friends with you as a result of their appearance on the show?
A: I used to say I have no celebrity friends. Then one day, I had a dinner party, and there was John Travolta and Julia Roberts at the table, and I was looking at my phone callback list, and there was Halle Berry, Stevie Wonder and Diane Sawyer all on the same day. I had a real aha moment: I guess I do have celebrity friends. When you're sitting around a table eating fried chicken with your fingers, nobody's thinking, "Oh, gee, we're celebrities." But, yes, all of those relationships started as TV interviews.
Q: Is it more difficult to interview a friend than somebody you don't know?
A: It's much harder for me to interview a friend, because with friends there are no boundaries. Television requires boundaries. So it's about finding the balance: defining that line between respecting our friendship while remaining spontaneous and truthful.
Q: How much time goes into figuring out hair and makeup and what you'll wear on each show? Do you ever coordinate with your guest?
A: I spend an hour in the morning getting ready. I wear what I feel like wearing; I never coordinate with the guest.
Q: Who haven't you interviewed that you'd love to sit down with?
A: I always wanted to interview Jackie Onassis and Elvis Presley, but there is no living person. What I really want to do is have an impact on major issues: putting child molesters away for life so that a person who's harmed a child will never have the chance to do it again, having free education available to every African child by 2010, using television as a channel for empowerment—telling stories from around the world about the plight of women and children who have no one to speak for them.