Rosie O'Donnell Takes a View on Childhood, New Gig

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She may not be known as The Queen of Nice anymore, but Rosie O'Donnell was kind enough to sit and talk with Barbara

Walters about her new job as co-host of The View.

Rosie O'D Photo

The premiere episode with Rosie will be September 5, but Entertainment Tonight got a snippet of what Rosie had to say about the new gig and some harsh realities of life.

"When I started my show, I was so full of excitement about life," Rosie tells Barbara. "I had a brand-new baby. Then I met Kelli [Carpenter, her partner] in the middle of it and fell in love, and then, all of a sudden, my life changed and I had different priorities. I had achieved what I wanted to and I was tired. I needed to refuel. I have had four years of real life and I feel ready."

As far as taking over full hosting duties from Meredith Viera - who left to anchor Today once Katie Couric abandoned that post - Rosie also says to Barbara that she doesn't want to "drive the bus; I want to ride the bus."

"I was a kid who had no mom. We were five children, and my dad was struggling to keep us all fed. It was a hard childhood and I had to take control. I think a lot of my success was because I drove the bus, I made the rules and I told people what to do," she explains.

These days, however, O'Donnell is just happy to be a member of an ensemble of ladies, despite the controversial way she joined The View (and evil Star Jones left it).

It should help, at least, that Rosie has a long-time relationship with her other co-stars, having known Joy Behar since she was 20 years old.

"I started in comedy and Joy had already been a teacher," the Emmy-winning former talk-show host says. "I was the age of her students. She used to introduce me at Rascals Comedy Club in West Orange: 'And now, we've got a little girl from Long Island with big hair. Please welcome Rosie O'Donnell.'"

Elisabeth first met Rosie when the former Survivor guested on The Rosie O'Donnell Show.

"I love that her parents are hippies and she sort of leans to the right," Rosie says. "When she was first on my show, she gave me the hat - the one item she was allowed to bring [to the island on Survivor] - to auction off for charity. I can't wait to mix it up with her about some of her views, which are completely incorrect!"

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Rosie O'Donnell Biography

Rosie O'Donnell Pic Rosie O'Donnell used to be a host on The View. She's known for her liberal views on the world, but also for the unusual, obnoxious ways... More »
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Rosie O'Donnell
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