"When Beloved bombed at the box office, Oprah Winfrey was so bummed out, she went into a 'massive, depressive macaroni and
cheese-eating tailspin.' As in, she called her personal chef, ordered
some mac, and proceeding to eat 'about 30 lbs. worth. I'm not kidding.' "
That's what Gawker.com quoted Oprah Winfrey as saying in her upcoming interview with Piers Morgan on his new show "Piers Morgan Tonight" on CNN. s2smagazine.com said of the incident, "Oprah referred to the 1998 film flop as a low point of her life that
caused her to go into a depression and eat excessive quantities of the
cheesy side dish." Piers Morgan's new show is filling the very big shoes left by big-wig interviewer (and crackpot) Larry King after his recent retirement from CNN.
Piers is proud of the show and the fact that he got an interview with Oprah, who hardly ever talks to the press, as stated by Kitty Kelley in her biography of Oprah, Oprah: A Biography (which is being released in mass-market paperback next week Tuesday.)
Kitty Kelley enlightens us on the inner-workings of even trying to get an interview with Oprah: "Midway into my research, I finally received a call from Oprah's publicist, Lisa Halliday, who said, "Ms. Winfrey has asked me to tell you she declines to be interviewed." By then I had learned from Chicago reporters that Oprah had stopped giving interviews and responded to the press mostly through publicists rather than directly. If reporters persisted, as Cheryl Reed did when she was editor of the editorial page of the Chicago Sun-Times, Oprah's publicists provided a list of prepared questions and canned answers. "[Oprah is] always asked the same questions," the publicist told Ms. Reed. "[This is] how Miss Winfrey prefers to respond."
Piers Morgan explains his glee in landing his hook in Oprah's rather large mouth and reeling her in fast enough to do an interview: ""My guests have to have the three 'Fs' -- fabulous, fun and
fascinating. I genuinely think Oprah is the perfect guest for this show. She is not
only the biggest celebrity in the world, but she has an extraordinary
But obviously Piers hero-worship didn't stop him from squeezing that rather embarrassing fact out of Oprah. Oprah's depression was attributed to the fact of the failure of her movie Beloved, which believe me she publicized majorly, even enough to publish her "diary" as a book, about the day-to-day making of the movie. The book, like the movie, is a total letdown according to Kitty Kelley: "That same day launched publication of Journey to Beloved, by Oprah Winfrey, with photographs by Ken Regan--a forty-dollar coffee-table book of the daily
diary Oprah kept during the three months of filming, in which she also recorded her shock over the murder of the designer Gianni Versace in Miami and the startling death of the Princess of Wales in a Paris tunnel. But most of her entries concerned filming Beloved, which Oprah said was the only time in her life, other than filming The Color Purple, when she was truly happy. A few excerpts:
Tuesday, June 17, 1997: The tree [prosthetic scars] went on my back. I wept.
Could not but tried to stop myself. Couldn't. There's a tree on my back. Felt it. I pray to
be able to trust to go all the way there. To feel the depth, power of what it all means.
Tuesday, July 1, 1997: The morning was abuzz with talk of a meeting in my
trailer. Word was we needed a conference about me looking "too pretty." This is a first!
In all my days I have never been called too pretty or expected this to be a subject of
discussion. My teeth are too white. I'm too "luminescent." I need more sweat....Lord, it is
a new day.
Friday, September 12, 1997: It's a bittersweet time. My final day of shooting in
the summer of my dreams. A dream bigger than anything my heart can ever hold. It will
be a long time before I can take it all in. I can honestly say I embraced every moment, I
did it my way. I have no regrets."
If she had no regrets, then why, when this self-proposed "masterpiece, according to Oprah, did she rescind on the fact of its greatness and accept defeat, going so far as to eat 30 pounds of Macaroni and Cheese? If her statements of her film's greatness were true, she would have stood by them and not given in to the criticism of the public and the press. If, for example, I write a blog, and I love it, but everyone hates it and I get nasty comments, would I step back and say "oh, it wasn't that great"?
Oprah Winfrey may seem strong on TV, but she is a bit of a flake. She is continually second guessing herself, in public and in the press, and she is constantly making statements that both amuse and shock me. She has become this giant sage giver-of-wisdom, a public image I'm sure she is more than happy to have admitted to creating. No one feels like they can approach her anymore.
In the past, she was upbeat, happy and would talk to the press every day, if need be. Now she sits in her dark dungeon of Harpo Studios, planning world domination with OWN (short for The Oprah Winfrey Network), the new Oprah-owned cable channel that has been touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread.
What will she do if OWN fails, will she do the same thing she did with the failure of Beloved? Will she eat 75 hot dogs and call it a day saying "I knew it was too big of a gamble. I'm so sad it's over. I shouldn't have done that. *CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP*"
I, for one, feel that Oprah needs to get off her high-horse and accept that she is human, despite the public's perception of her. This new fact of Beloved's failure sending Oprah into a Macaroni and Cheese-eating frenzy is just another piece of evidence that Oprah cannot bottle up her feelings of smug, self-satisfaction anymore. Otherwise, God forbid, she'll just disappear forever in a cheesy cloud.