Portia de Rossi may be best known for her roles on Ally McBeal, Arrested Development, and Better Off Ted, but it's her role as Mrs. Ellen DeGeneres that may make her mark. As Ellen's fame skyrockets as Judge Ellen on American Idol, Portia hopes she'll find a larger audience, too.
She talked to The Advocate about how she stumbled into her role as America's next gay-marriage spokesperson, and why she wouldn't have it any other way.
On her first acting role in Ally McBeal
“It was a very difficult dichotomy to live in. . . . Oh, I’m Portia. I’m fresh and new to Hollywood. I just found myself in Ally McBeal. Now I’m in my underwear and sleeping with my boss even though I don’t want to portray women in the workplace that way."
On her tussle over gay marriage with The View's Elisabeth Hasselbeck
"Just before I was scheduled to appear, the New York legislature voted on marriage and it failed. It was so disappointing to me. And I thought, if I’m going on The View and I have a viewpoint, I might as well talk about it. It’s more important than talking about a TV show.”
On becoming a spokesperson for gay marriage
“Ever since Ellen and I got together, I feel like I’ve been given an opportunity to actually — God, this sounds corny. . . . Well, I feel like my life can actually kind of stand for something. And I don’t mean that in a self-aggrandizing way, like, ‘Look at me, I can make a difference.’ But I feel like, maybe I get why I’m here.”
On acting vs. advocating gay marriage
“Maybe by sharing my life, I can make people more aware of how important gay marriage is. . . . My career is only a part of my life, and it’s certainly not what I think I was born to do.”
On being of no interest to the paparazzi
“To think that a married gay couple is considered boring and normal is fantastic."