Ellen DeGeneres Gets Punk Haircut, Is No Longer “Nice”

She says she doesn’t want to be just “nice” anymore.

Ellen DeGeneres
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The couple that gets punky new haircuts together stays together: Earlier this week, on their way into a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi showed off their coordinating takes on a shaved undercut style. DeGeneres kept most of her signature platinum pixie cut intact, simply buzzing off the sides, while de Rossi’s own blonde locks still fall past her shoulders, with the edgy shaved underside only visible when she sports a deep side part, as she did while accompanying her wife on Monday.

If you’re wondering how an edgy new undercut jibes with the image of America’s dancing, smiling, Pixar-voicing, gift-giving, daytime talk show–hosting sweetheart, that means DeGeneres has succeeded. As she revealed in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday, shortly after the haircut’s debut, she’s itching to move away from that “nice” image, starting by releasing her “irreverent” new Netflix comedy special and culminating, if necessary, in walking away from her long-running talk show. “I wanted to show all of me,” DeGeneres said of her decision to return to stand-up after 15 years. “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.”

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DeGeneres reportedly recently extended her contract for The Ellen DeGeneres Show until 2020, though she was “close to declining,” per the Times, and changes her mind about leaving “all the time.” De Rossi, for one, is rooting for a fresh start. “She’s just a bit more complicated than she appears on the show. There’s more range of emotion,” she said of her wife’s new special. “I just think she’s such a brilliant actress and stand-up that it doesn’t have to be this talk show for her creativity. There are other things she could tackle.” She added, “I don’t see the end of her show as her career ending.”

Whatever DeGeneres ultimately decides in 2020, she’s already started distancing herself from that squeaky-clean onscreen persona in one very significant way: by nixing all that dancing. “There’s been times someone wants a picture, and while I’m doing a selfie, they’re like: ‘You’re not dancing!'” she said. “Of course I’m not dancing. I’m walking down the street.”

And no matter how far away the 60-year-old moves from her “nice” image, that certainly doesn’t mean she’s going to not be nice. In fact, she made a point in her conversations with the Times to shut down the pervasive tabloid rumors that she mistreats her show’s staff. “That bugs me if someone is saying that because it’s an outright lie,” she said. “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.”

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