Oprah Talks to Shonda Rhimes
Oprah: Is it true that you're involved in choosing the show's score?
Shonda: Yes. It's the highlight of my job. I get a rush when I find exactly the right music for a scene. We do current stuff, older stuff, even stuff we've never heard before.
Oprah: Did you set out to elevate the country's consciousness in terms of racial diversity?
Shonda: I just wanted a world that looked like the one I know.
Oprah: I love the show—and I haven't followed a series since Mary Tyler Moore went off the air. I've missed entire decades of television. I once called up my best friend, Gayle, and said, "My producers want me to interview the actors from some show called Friends—ever heard of it?" Now I walk around thinking I sound like Cristina. I am Oprah Winfrey—and I think I sound like Cristina. You did that!
Shonda: I love it.
Oprah: I've heard that you're waiting on your own McDreamy.
Oprah: If he came along, which part of your singleness would you miss the most?
Shonda: The solitude. I actually like being alone. I spend most evenings reading and taking long baths.
Oprah: I love you. Bathing is my hobby.
Shonda: The bathtub is the most important thing in my new house. It took me weeks to pick that bathtub.
Oprah: Mine came from Italy. I spent months looking for the perfect tub, and I couldn't find the right shape and color. So I had one carved out of marble. When people come to my house, I go, "Would you like to see my tub?" But about your ideal man. Would he be a combination of McDreamy and Dr. Burke?
Shonda: Yes. The two are a mix of intelligence, patience, and vulnerability. They're also men who have their own interests. I've always wanted to have a relationship with someone who has his own thing—and I can't be that thing.
Oprah: You're the first woman I've ever heard say that. Many women want to be the man's main thing.
Shonda: I can't be. I'm busy. The perfect husband would live next door. He'd come over for dinner and hang out, and we'd have this great life. And then he'd go back home. Because he's not there every day, I'd appreciate him more.
Oprah: Women think they want roses and nonstop attention. But that gets old.
Shonda: All that fanfare makes me nervous and a little exhausted.
Oprah: Speaking of exhaustion, how do you balance motherhood with work?
Shonda: It's difficult. Harper has a playroom above stage one, where she rides her tricycle. But I want her to feel as if she has her own world away from here, so I don't like to bring her too much.