Take Five with Whoopi Goldberg


GREAT BARRINGTON — Twelve performers have won the EGOT — or Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony — in competitive categories over the course of their careers. Whoopi Goldberg is one of them.

Her run of hardware began in 1986 when she won a Grammy for best comedy recording. The previous year, she starred in "The Color Purple," earning an Academy Award nomination for her performance as Celie Harris Johnson. She didn't win an Oscar, though, until 1991, when she won best supporting actress for her role in "Ghost." Her Tony came in 2002 for her production of "Thoroughly Modern Millie," and the Emmy arrived in 2009 for her talk-show hosting on "The View." Young audience members may know Goldberg best for her continuing role on the program, especially since her criticism of Donald Trump has recently made headlines. But Goldberg's career is a testament to her versatility; she'll demonstrate her off-screen prowess on Sunday night at the 2018 Mahaiwe Gala. During a phone interview before the event, The Eagle asked Goldberg about her live shows and more.

1 For audience members who haven't seen a Whoopi Goldberg show before, what are they in for?

 A very interesting time. I'm all over the place about oh-so-many things, and I'm fun. I'm a lot of fun. Sometimes, I can be deep. I don't tell people to expect me to be deep, but sometimes I am. Sometimes, I'm really irreverent. I curse up a blue streak, but it's all done lovingly.

2 What are some topics you plan to touch on?

A Why, after everything I do for myself, can I still not get my behind into the pants I bought. Why I am still arguing with my 4-year-old granddaughter about life. She's been here four years, and I actually get into these conversations with her, and I think, 'She just got here. Why am I having these conversations?' And [I'm] realizing that most people find themselves at a loss for words to explain things to kids. It's just really hard. People don't want to talk about sex. They don't want to talk about anything, but then they're surprised when people get pregnant. You have to kind of head that off. So, it's all about us as a human race and us as a really interesting group who were born at a certain time and what we thought we were going to get in the world. I think everyone thought that we would have Jetson cars and free weed by now.

3 What's your favorite part about performing live?

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 That it's live. I try to ask people not to bring recording devices because I feel like it's me and you in the house together just talking s---. That's what I want it to be. I want it to feel like we're just hanging out, and I'm talking too much. I'm talking for an hour. And then you get to talk because you get to ask me stuff for about 20 minutes.

4 So, you'll be taking questions from the crowd. I'm curious: What's the strangest question you've ever gotten from an audience member?

 You know what, they're pretty good, I have to say, especially because it comes after the show, so they have a little bit more information about the more private person. If people want to know who my favorite people, who my favorite actors were, who do I like least on the show. And I always say, 'Like I'm really going to tell you that in public.' I'm never going to tell you that. I'm never, ever going to tell you that. So, people just — they just ask regular stuff, nothing particularly weird.

5 What's a hobby of yours that the world doesn't know about yet?

 But if I tell you, then they'll know.

 I want to be the one to break the news.

 Oh, yeah, no, no, no. You're not getting me arrested there.

Benjamin Cassidy can be reached at bcassidy@berkshireeagle.com, at @bybencassidy on Twitter and 413-496-6251.


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