Portia de Rossi is well known for her role as the sensual Nell Porter in the television hit Ally McBeal and Lindsay Bluth Fünke in Arrested Development. Now she is not only an actress and wife to Ellen DeGeneres, but an author as well. Her book “Unbearable Lightness” released in stores on November 1st, the same day she bravely went on Oprah to reveal the horrible truth about her battle with anorexia and being a closeted actress.
The book and the interview revealed very graphic details about Portia’s obsession of being thin. She admitted to Oprah: “I was down to 300 calories a day….I was proud that I was 82 pounds.”
At that point she was still acting in Ally McBeal. Even when she was a spokeswoman for L’Oreal, she struggled with her body image!
“I had just gotten a beauty contract with L’Oreal. And I was going to be fitted for a commercial. [It was a] huge moment. I went into the dressing room and tried on jackets and skirts as they were handing them to me. Not one of them fit…Everyone knew what was going on, I was unprofessional and I didn’t deserve that campaign…That was the start to the battle that had led to anorexia.”
On Christmas Day her brother and mother confronted her about her eating disorder, telling her that she was going to die. The confrontations helped open her eyes and she began the slow process of recovery.
The blonde beauty, opened up to Oprah about her experiences hiding her sexuality; in 1998 there was only one celebrity, Ellen DeGeneres, who had come out as gay. When asked if she was afraid of being found out because of her star status, she admitted:
“Of course. I would never do a talk show because I was so terrified, especially late night male hosts, that they would ask me if I had a boyfriend. Because I didn’t know how to answer that. Hiding your sexuality is the most horrible way to live.”
Finally, when asked how Ellen saved her, Portia replied simply that “Love saves you. It really does.”
“Unbearable Lightness” is available now in hardcover and Ebook formats.
Photos courtsey of Fame Pictures and the Oprah Show