Portia de Rossi knew her “quiet life” was over when she fell for Ellen DeGeneres. Now, with a new book and a passionate taste for politics, she’s ready to step forward as the first lady of our fight for marriage equality.
For the first time, de Rossi discusses her book – expected this fall - and her new role as a political activist.
On her upcoming book and battle with an eating disorder:
This is the first time she’s talked to a reporter about it [the book she is writing]. “I wanted to see what kind of book I was writing,” she says. “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,” she says, referring to her own battles with an eating disorder.
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 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 the Marriage Equality Fight:
“I think it’s up to us to save marriage,” [De Rossi] says. “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, 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 rumors. “Just write it already!”
Find the complete cover story, The Great de Rossi, at Advocate.com.