Rosie O'Donnell: I make 'more money than any human should'
Rosie O'Donnell says she works hard for the money.
The 49-year-old comedienne and actress recently premiered her new talk program, "The Rosie Show," which airs on Oprah Winfrey's new cable network, OWN, marks O'Donnell's big TV comeback.
"It's 12-hour days, minimum," she told OnTheRedCarpet.com host Chris Balish and other reporters in a recent satellite interview. "I'm not complaining, because in this economy, I'm lucky to have a job and I'm in the one percent. I am one of those extremely fortunate people who makes more money than any human should. So I'm not complaining about the hours."
"But it is a lot more work than people imagine," she added. "To do that kind of work when you're in your 30s is very different than to do when you're about 50. Literally, my hips hurt. I go home, I'm tired. I want to take a nap in the day."
O'Donnell did not disclose her salary. She told Howard Stern on his Sirius XM satellite radio show earlier this month, when asked if she earned $15 million a year: "That's very in the vicinity. If we were on 'Price is Right,' you'd probably get a second guess for that. you're very close to the number. It's not a bad gig. It's no $100 million dollar deal, honey, but beleive me, it's going to take care of everything I need."
She also added that network executives gave her a jet to use to fly between her hometown of New York City and Chicago, where "The Rosie Show" is taped.
O'Donnell hosted an Emmy-winning daytime talk series, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," between 1996 and 2002 and later joined the panel of the ABC morning program "The View." O'Donnell, who has expressed liberal views, left the series in 2007 after butting heads with right-leaning co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck.
'YOU WANNA WATCH MOMMY IN 'THE FLINTSTONES?''
Despite her busy work schedule, O'Donnell finds time to spend with her kids. She and ex-girlfriend Kelli Carpenter have four children. Their oldest, Parker, is 16 and is away in military school. Their 14-year-old daughter Chelsea lives with O'Donnell, while youngest kids Blake, 12 and Vivienne, 8, reside half the time with the talk show host.
"I can't really get them very interested in me, as an entertainer," O'Donnell said about her children. "I have tried. We have Family Friday Movie Night and I always say to them, 'You wanna watch Mommy in 'The Flintstones?' They're like, 'No.' 'You wanna watch Mommy play baseball?' 'No, we wanna see a real movie.' I'm like, 'Oh, Lord.' So I can't really convince them to be interested in my career in any capacity."
O'Donnell played Betty in the 1994 movie adaptation of "The Flintstones," which starred Rick Moranis as her husband, Barney and John Goodman as main character Fred Flintstone. O'Donnell also starred opposite Madonna and Geena Davis in the 1992 baseball film "A League of Our Own."
O'Donnell's current talk show airs weeknights at 7 p.m. ET on OWN. It has already featured celebrity guests such as British funnyman Russell Brand. Children are welcome to attend tapings, O'Donnell said, although precautions had to be taken for them to be allowed to do so.
"They asked if children will be allowed in because there was an '18 and over' rule for 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,'" O'Donnell said. "I said, 'Yeah, you can let kids in, at any age.' " "We had a few test shows and I got a call from the legal department saying, 'You realize you said two curses in the practice show,'" she said. "I'm like, 'Oh, but they're not airing.' (They said) 'but there were children in there. I was like, 'Okay, let's put up a sign outside - 'The chances are the host may curse during the commercial breaks.'"
Additional reporting by Chris Balish, co-host of KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).