Oprah Talks to Christiane Amanpour
Oprah: You are one gusty, ballsy sister. Did you always know you wanted to be a foreign correspondent?
Christiane: Oh, yes. I knew when I went to college. I was old enough to understand the revolution in Iran and to know that I wanted to be part of that kind of earth-shattering world event.
Oprah: Were you brave as a child?
Christiane: I remember being very shy. I was also very curious—some people would say nosy. I always wanted to be around the grown-ups and listen to what they were saying. I rode horses from the age of 5. If I'm asked to trace my...
Christiane: I'd have to say it has something to do with falling off a very, very fast horse a lot. I was literally picked up and put back on the horse by the scruff of my neck. My riding teacher gave me no choice.
Oprah: Where were your parents?
Christiane: They were the kind who sat there and watched, and obviously, they wouldn't let their child be abused. But I was taught courage and sticking power. Then when you lose your country, when you lose everything important to you, when members of your family and friends are executed, when you go through a revolution, you survive with a certain fortitude.
Oprah: How old were you during Iran's revolution?
Christiane: That was in 1978, so I was 20 when it all started rumbling.
Oprah: How do you relax, for goodness' sake?
Christiane: Very easily. I have a great family structure and great friends. I've still got friends from childhood. I'm really proactive in the way I keep them around me. When I come back from the road, it's as if I've never gone. We go out to dinners, to movies. I have family lunches every week in London. I order out Persian food, and all ten of us gather.
Oprah: Wow. I would think that when you come home from such intensity, you'd need alone time to breathe.
Christiane: There's not much alone time when you have a kid. I put a lot of energy into being a good mother and wife. Life is fun, things are good, and I'm really lucky.
Oprah: Now that you have a child, do you take fewer physical risks?
Christiane: I'm more careful about wearing the bulletproof vest and availing myself of whatever security is available.
Oprah: When was the last time you were in Iraq?
Christiane: In January for the elections. I spent nearly three weeks there, which is a long time for me now.
Oprah: Even with the level of anxiety there, you still go?
Christiane: Yes. When I'm there, I turn off the fear switch. So I'm actually relaxed. Know what I mean?