Being aggressively nice on the daily, while asked to dance for selfies, is getting to Ellen DeGeneres.
The current reigning queen of daytime TV is considering ending her namesake talk show, revealing on Wednesday she was reluctant to sign a contract that would propel the series into 2020 and its 20th season.
In a candid new New York Times profile, the 32-time Emmy winner explains the fatigue she’s experienced as pop culture’s most likable person and why she’s anxious to branch out into new projects like her first comedy special in 15 years “Relatable.”
“There’s been times someone wants a picture, and while I’m doing a selfie, they’re like: ‘You’re not dancing!’ Of course, I’m not dancing. I’m walking down the street,” she told the outlet.
DeGeneres has since turned her attention to the Netflix stand-up special, which hits the streaming service Dec. 18., in part, to “show all of me” to fans who’ve become accustomed to her daytime personality.
“The talk show is me, but I’m also playing a character of a talk show host. There’s a tiny, tiny bit of difference,” she explained.
But it’s not the persistent rumors that she’s unkind to co-workers on the set of “The Ellen Show” compelling DeGeneres to look toward the future.
“That bugs me if someone is saying that because it’s an outright lie,” she said of the speculation “The first day I said: ‘The one thing I want is everyone here to be happy and proud of where they work, and if not, don’t work here.’ No one is going to raise their voice or not be grateful. That’s the rule to this day.”
While the 60-year-old is now locked into “The Ellen Show” until 2020, she’s been consulting with loved ones, including her brother and fellow comic Vance DeGeneres and wife Portia De Rossi, along the way.
Her brother says that DeGeneres “can’t stop” the long-running talk show; the “Arrested Development” alum has encouraged her to look beyond the world of daytime TV.
“I just think she’s such a brilliant actress and standup that it doesn’t have to be this talk show for her creativity. There are other things she could tackle.” No matter what happens, de Rossi told the outlet. “I don’t see the end of her show as her career ending,” she added.
De Rossi describes her wife as someone who is “a bit more complicated than she appears on the show” and possesses a range of emotions.
DeGeneres, for one, says she yearns to play “someone unappealing” ― apart from a short-lived “American Idol” judge ― in future projects.