by Zach Johnson | Tue., Jun. 13, 2017 5:05 AM
Oprah Winfrey has zero political ambitions.
The TV titan host denied any speculation to the contrary in an interview on The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast. "I will never run for public office," said Winfrey, who was promoting HBO's drama The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. "That's a pretty definitive thing."
Theoretically, does Winfrey think she could defeat President Donald Trump if he sought a second term in 2020? "I don't know. I don't the answer to that," the 63-year-old talk show host said. "But I'll never have to know the answer to that, because I will never run for public office."
Trump said in 2009 that Winfrey would be his ideal running mate, predicting that the hypothetical ticket would "win easily." Winfrey supported Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton.
At the current moment, Winfrey is focused on her acting career. "I love this acting thing," she told Scott Feinberg. "I find that it opens me up and stimulates me in a way that absolutely nothing else does, because you get to not just read about a character—you actually get to explore the nature of another human being. So, that's really fascinating. But I haven't had the training. You know, you just get better with stuff when you do it, whether you're sweeping a floor or playing basketball or learning to play pool or Scrabble. Whatever you do and you do more of it, you get better at it. How many films have I done? Five? Six, including The Color Purple. Every time I do it there's a level of anxiety and fear I have to wrestle with for myself."
She's also crossed one item off her to-do list. "I'm not feeling Broadway anymore. I went to see Bette Midler and I realized I can't do that," Winfrey revealed. "Eight shows a week, that's a lot."
Many years ago, Winfrey's late friend Maya Angelou told her, "You have no idea what your legacy will be, because your legacy is every life you touch." That may be true, but Winfrey has some idea of her impact on the world. "I learned early on, in the process of interviewing other people, that what really connects you to another human being is your willingness to open up and be vulnerable. Before people researched it and studied it, I had come to know that naturally, that vulnerability is your greatest power. I would say that that's been my greatest gift in connecting to the audience," she said. "Just being open and willing to continually be myself."