Ellen DeGeneres graces Good Housekeeping's October cover, and in the interview, the TV star and author talks about her tough childhood, the choice she made that unlocked her joy, and where you’ll find her on weekends.
On the accomplishment she is most proud of:
“I’m glad I’m funny. I’m glad I make people happy, because that’s very important. But I’m proud to be known as a kind person.”
On comedy as a source of comfort, after a tough childhood:
“I was quiet as a kid and wasn’t funny until I was a little older. Then I remember being funny, because I remember people laughing. But I was more of the sensitive type, taking care of injured animals I found. But I was aware of all the stuff nobody in my family was talking about. Everything was fine all the time. I was like, Really? It doesn’t seem like it. I watch people’s behavior and notice things. I think that’s why I became a comedian.”
On her relationship with her mother:
“My mom had some really bad things happen in her life, and she’s a trouper. She’s tougher than I am, I’d say. When my parents divorced, it was my mother and me, by ourselves in an apartment. At that point, we kind of became roommates. I was 13 years old. She’d been married for almost 20 years, and I watched her go through a tough time, trying to date, trying to figure things out. She dated some horrible men whom I had to kick out of the house. So, at 13, I kind of became an adult and was taking care of…watching her struggle. It made me go, Oh, you’re my mom, but you’re just a human being. I saw her in a different role all of a sudden.”
On her positive attitude:
“Well, I’m definitely happier than I’ve ever been. I assume tomorrow I’ll be happier than today, because things are great. I have a great career and I have wonderful fans who really are supportive and loyal—because I’m not hiding anything from them. So, on the spectrum of happiness, I’m pretty high up there.”
This issue of Good Housekeeping hits newsstands September 13th.