Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Aniston may have taken vastly different career paths in Hollywood since their sitcom star days, but both collided in 1999 when auditioning to play a reality television producer in “EdTV,” and DeGeneres proudly declares in a new interview that she won that friendly battle.
“Jen Aniston is my friend and she recently reminded me that I beat her out of that,” DeGeneres told Parade. “I got the part and Jen Aniston didn’t! That’ll probably be the only time that happens.”
A year after stealing a role from Aniston, DeGeneres says she helped inspire one for another rising starlet: Oscar winner and current nominee, Sandra Bullock.
“‘Miss Congeniality’ was written based on me,” DeGeneres said. “When I was getting ready to cohost the Emmys, the writer saw me [on TV] learning how to walk in a dress and heels. My stylist at the time–a man–was teaching me, and it was hilarious. The ‘Miss Congeniality’ writer saw it and thought it was brilliant.”
DeGeneres, who co-hosted the the 46th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in 1994, rose to fame as a stand-up comic before scoring her own sitcom “Ellen,” which ended its 5-season run in 1998. In 2001, she returned to television with another sitcom, the short-lived “Ellen Show,” and then began to climb as the reigning queen of daytime talk when “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” premiered in 2003.
Fans of the daily variety show — and anyone who watched the Super Bowl this year — know DeGeneres loves to dance, and frequently busts a move alongside audience members or celebrity guests. That’s exactly why they may be surprised, and maybe even slightly disappointed, to learn that she won’t be gyrating her hips when she takes the Oscar stage on Sunday.
“I’m not going to be dancing,” DeGeneres said. “I dance on my show. I don’t think people need to see that every time I do anything.”
She does, however, anticipate being just as nervous as all of the nominees.
“It’s hard to not be nervous,” DeGeneres said. “There’s so many nerves in that room you get a contact high.”