Oprah: You're on TV now, too, so we're both the exceptions! Can we talk a little about fame? My theory is that when you're famous, you're no different from anybody else—it's just that more people know your name.

Bette: Once again, it involves parallel universes. There's the media-driven universe, in which the public perceives you in a superficial way. Then there's the universe that you actually inhabit, where you have to get up even if you didn't sleep so well, and you feel like crap and your face is swollen.

Oprah: Or your face is still in another city.

Bette: Right. Sometimes, when I wake up, my soul is in another city! I have to wait a week for it to catch up. I wake up feeling hollow.

Oprah: That hasn't happened to me yet.

Bette: That's real jet lag! You leave your whole personality in another place. It's deep. Just wait until you're menopausal, too. You have these out-of-body experiences.

Oprah: Oh, Lord.

Bette: The real you is over there watching while your body moves in space.

Oprah: No!

Bette: Oh yes. Then you go online and have menopausal chats with other women who are having out-of-body experiences.

Oprah: Don't scare me.

Bette: It's not scary—it's fabulous! I have no fear.

Oprah: None?

Bette: I did have night sweats and hot flashes at first. Then I did this soy–and–primrose oil thing, which helped tremendously. I don't suggest that anyone obsess over menopause or aging. Still, it is true that in this culture, they throw you out when you get older. I see it all the time, especially in my business. At my age, you're playing somebody's mother—and there aren't even a lot of those roles!

Oprah: Is that unfair?

Bette: No—it's the law of the jungle, the way of the world. Life is not fair. And you have to choose your battles, because there are some that you cannot win. If you're passionate about something, then you should pick up your flag and run with it. But I'm running with enough flags right now, you know?


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