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Portia De Rossi talks about Ellen Degeneres, Eating Disorder, Arrested Development in The Advocate

Portia Talks About Ellen, Eating Disorders and Equal Rights

Australian actress Portia de Rossi appears on the cover of gay magazine The Advocate in a Great Gatsby-esque pose and she looks absolutely divine. Portia (the former Mandy Rogers from Melbourne) talks about falling in love with Ellen DeGeneres, the book she's writing, her eating disorder and the fight for marriage equality.

On her upcoming book :
“It will deal with all the secrets that nearly killed me.” Approached by an agent at William Morris to write about eating disorders, De Rossi wasn’t sure she could do it. Nevertheless, she’s writing it from a firsthand perspective without the typical celebrity-assist ghostwriter. “Nobody can really get inside the anorexic’s mind like the anorexic.”

On her eating disorder and her sexuality:
The story starts in 1997 (when her acting career took off) and goes through 2004 (when she began dating DeGeneres), with flashbacks to her childhood. “I abused my body. I had bulimia. I would use [diet drug] fen-phen. I wanted to talk about all that. But obviously I can’t do that without talking about my sexuality. And although you can’t really talk about one without the other, it still felt like two stories. The only thing that linked the two of them was me.”

On talking to Oprah about her wedding to Ellen:
“Being on Oprah was a very surreal moment—to go from being so closeted and so afraid to talk about my sexuality to sitting with my wife, talking about my wedding and how much I love her. To look out at that audience and see most of the audience crying—Oprah was crying! Life can take so many twists and turns. You can’t ever count yourself out. Even if you’re really afraid at some point, you can’t think that there’s no room for you to grow and do something good with your life.”

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On being gay in Hollywood:
“People say, ‘There are lots of openly gay actors.’ And I’m like, who? If everybody I knew that was gay and not being open about it came out, it would make a huge difference to people coming up as young actors in Hollywood. Huge. To producers, to people in casting.”

On the Marriage Equality Fight:
“I think it’s up to us to save marriage. Up to gay people across the country, seeing as though we’re fighting for it so vehemently.” De Rossi has an impressive ability to marry the personal and political: “This whole thing has been a wave of excitement and hope, and then it gently falls back into despair. And then it picks us up again. Unfortunately, we’re the ones who have to suffer this—this humiliation, really. There’s kind of a dignity that’s been stripped from us. Gay people are the ones who have to suffer through it—but without it, it won’t change.”

On an Arrested Development Movie:
Since escaping Ally [McBeal], she’s played unusually complex women on TV, especially the hilariously dysfunctional sister, Lindsay Bluth Fünke, on Arrested Development. “We all want a movie to happen,” she says of the persistent development rumours. “Just write it already!”

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