Oprah Talks to Bette Midler
Bette: Sometimes you have to make your own opportunities, and that's why I'm on TV. I wasn't going to sit around anymore, waiting for the damn phone to ring. I had to create my own place—I've always done that. That is why the Divine Miss M is so divine. She's always scheming. I call her the end-run queen. People put barriers up in your path, and one of those barriers is age. They tell you, "You're too old. You don't photograph so well anymore." I know I don't photograph so well anymore, so what can I do? I can do something different, where it doesn't matter as much how I look.
Oprah: TV! And you can be yourself there, too.
Bette: On television, they're happy to have me! Why do I want to join a club that doesn't want me?
Oprah: Were you depressed because people weren't coming to you with movie roles anymore?
Bette: Not even for a second.
Oprah: Were you depressed after you were nominated for an Academy Award for The Rose—
Bette: And didn't win? I was livid!
Oprah: But there's something validating about getting nominated—
Bette: Spoken like a true Oscar winner!
Oprah: I never won!
Bette: Didn't you win for The Color Purple?
Bette: That's the Oscars for ya—you remember who was nominated, but you don't remember who won!
Oprah: I never expected to win—I was just thrilled to be in the movie.
Bette: Remember, I came from the middle of the Pacific, so I didn't know how hard it was to win an award. When I was nominated for my first Grammy, I expected to get it—why wouldn't I? I had never lost before. In Hawaii, I was a big deal!
Oprah: Even back in the days when you worked at a pineapple cannery? How long were you there?
Bette: Three summers. I had a ball.
Oprah: Chunking pineapples?
Bette: I would put the pineapples in cans, but I would do it the lazy way. You were supposed to pick the pineapple up and take the bad ends off. I used to just grab the three good slices from the middle and put them in the can. To hell with sorting.