Ellen DeGeneres On Life, the Oscars and Finding True Love
02/21/2014 AT 06:00 PM EST
I'm hosting the Oscars – because it's a really terrifying thing to do.
I thought, why not challenge myself? I'm comfortable right now, and it's never good to be comfortable as a performer. In real life, I like to be comfortable. I go home and literally put pajamas on immediately. Creatively I need to push myself. Hosting the Oscars is pretty much the scariest thing you can do. This is up there with bungee jumping. It's a room full of energy, like this breathing, living organism. I'm very susceptible to energy, good and bad, and I have to become a part of it and at the same time control it like a conductor. It's such a delicate balance.
It's a great year to host – there are great movies nominated and fun people in the audience for me to play with. I'm not going to hurt anybody, but it will be fun. I kinda know everybody too: Julia is my friend, Meryl is lovely, Sandra's hilarious, Leo is fantastic, I did EDtv with Matthew, and I'll definitely have jokes with him. Portia's picked out her dress. I told my mom yesterday that she's going, and she's excited. My brother's writing with me. I'm not taking this lightly, and I want to do a good job.
After I came out, I went through a really tough time. And that's okay.
For whatever reason, it was a big deal for me to come out. To me, my coming out was the equivalent of if Liberace had come out. I didn't think it was going to be that much of a surprise. What hurt was this: Does that label, that word, change my talent, my kindness, my heart, my intention for entertaining people? I thought everyone knew me, and I didn't think that one little adjective was going to define me.