Q&A with CMT GIANT, Reba McEntire

11/08/06



On Thursday, October 26, CMT taped the first CMT GIANTS honoring Reba McEntire before a live audience at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Reba McEntire has been the leading lady of country music for over 20 years and for one special night, the stars of music, film and television paid tribute to their favorite redhead. The two and a half-hour special features performances by Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Kelly Clarkson, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, LeAnn Rimes, Megan Mullally, Wynonna and Dolly Parton with special appearances by James Denton, Dakota Fanning, Andie MacDowell, Beau Bridges, Barbara Mandrell, Melissa Peterman and Christopher Rich. CMT GIANTS: REBA premieres Saturday, November 18 at 8:00 p.m., ET/PT.

Fresh off recording this special, Reba McEntire sat down for an interview and here’s what she said:

Reba on…her favorite moment from CMT GIANTS:

"That would be very hard for me to say, because the whole thing to me, top to bottom was total entertainment, so much fun for me – the greatest part I’d have to say is that my girlfriends were there, my friends from TV and music were in the audience and my family was there. That was just so special of a night; I really couldn’t pick out one thing."

Reba on…if she could walk from the music biz, like her buddy Barbara Mandrell:

"When Barbara called me she said, “Reba I’ve got to tell you something. Tomorrow I’m going to announce that I’m retiring from the business” and I said “What’s the punch line?” “No I’m serious.” I said “Barbara you can’t do that! I’ve got so much more to learn from you.” Of course it was all about me at that point, I was totally selfish on my thinking, but golly I think everybody in the world was saying, “Barbara, why?” But no, I don’t think I could and Dolly and I have talked about that. I think Barbara is totally happy with it – she’s totally content. But no, I love what I’m doing, I love the entertainment business, all facets of it, so I don’t think I could, Dolly said she couldn’t and I don’t think I could either."

Reba on…Reba impersonators:

"Well, I always thought imitation is the highest form of flattery. And when I saw the first Reba it was at a fan club get together after one of my concerts and my tour manager kind of braced me for it and he said, ‘now there’s a guy here dressed up just like you,’ I said, ‘what do you mean dressed up just like me?’ he said, ‘he’s got the red Reba fancy dress on with the red wig’ and I said, ‘ok’ and so I was trying to check out to see how he did his makeup and how he did his hair and who made the dress, and all that kind of stuff but it was very flattering – he did pretty good, too….matter of fact we took one Reba impersonator on the road with us one time to help us with a gag on stage – he toured with us the whole year."

Reba on… imitating Reba:

"I think it’s pretty easy – my mannerisms are kind of over the top and I do the same ones all the time so it’s pretty easy to copy me."

Reba on… becoming the first CMT GIANT:

"Well, at first I said, ‘no, you all are kidding, that’s funny, no thank you’ because I don’t feel like a giant and then they kept coming back and I said, ‘you’re serious?’ and they said, ‘yeah’ and I said, ‘well, ok’ I was very flattered and very honored – I didn’t know how I could live up to it but I sure did have a good time."

Reba on…upcoming projects:

"I’ve got a bedding line coming out in March of next year in Dillard’s and we’re working on other things. It’s just stuff that keeps Narvel and myself very busy, and the only thing we could ask for and the only thing that I could whine about if there’s one thing I could whine about is just more hours in the day."

Reba on…her favorite project that she has done:

"Oh, I do love TV. Because I get to work with such wonderful people, I love that being on that live stage with my band and my crew I just love them to pieces. I loved Broadway – oh my gosh, that was so much fun being a character other than yourself. So you know, all of it is so much fun – the clothing line is so creative and although you are dealing with clothes – every month I have to come up with 16 to 32 different silhouettes and items to send out it’s just a challenge and I think that’s what I like best in life is just a challenge."

Reba on…keeping her Oklahoma roots alive:

"Well, when I talk the twang’s still there. When I do the clothes, I put some things that I would wear on stage into my clothing line. On the TV show, I act just like myself so I haven’t ventured very far from being the country girl I was born and raised to be from Oklahoma."

Reba on…her upcoming album:

"Right now we’re working on a duets album. I’ve gotten so far Kelly Clarkson and Ronnie Dunn to sing with me, and Faith Hill we’re working together the last of this month. And then, whenever we can find time to work together Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Don Henley, Justin Timberlake, LeAnn Rimes and Rascal Flatts – we’re trying to find time in the studio."

Reba on…"Reba" the television series:

"Well, we’re right now into our ninth episode of the sixth season and we’re waiting on the CW to tell us when we’re going to be put on the air – they tell us it’s going to be soon. We were picked up as a mid-season replacement so right now we’re waiting to see if we’re going to come in November on the CW channel or wait until the first of the year in 2007."

Reba on…her involvement with Habitat for Humanity:

"In the mid ‘90s, they were doing a women’s build in Nashville and Narvel and I wanted to finance it. So we did and when I walked down and gave the keys to the lady, her name was Gail, and when I gave her the keys to her house and saw her kids so excited – she was a single mom – I was hooked. It was totally a women’s build. And when I saw the ladies so excited to see the house finished and that lady accept those keys and we cut the ribbon, I was hooked. And any time you say Habitat for Humanity around me my eyes twinkle and my smile gets bigger because it’s such a great feeling to be part of such a wonderful organization. I’m the spokesperson; I don’t pick up a hammer. They’ve made me promise because I might hurt somebody or myself. I can’t even hang a picture, what are you talking about?!"

Reba on…doing Broadway again:

"I’d love to. If we find the right script and we can get the time I’d sure love to go back to Broadway. Absolutely."

Reba on…how her look has changed through the years:

"Oh my gosh! It’s funny, it’s hysterical, my gosh what was I thinking?! Those type of things. It’s always ‘oh my gosh’ – it was over the top usually, and sometimes it wasn’t really Reba. For the last two or three years I’ve really dressed the way I want to dress. I’ve gotten the confidence now to approve what I wear and go with what I like. And it’s a tough, sexy look is what I like to call it with my boots and my jeans – a tougher look because I am a rodeo cowgirl born and raised on a working cattle ranch in Oklahoma and that’s more me than the frilly stuff."

Reba on…toning done what was once a theatrical stage show:

"Yes, I have pared it down because I’m too old for that and I don’t want to be crawling through tunnels and falling into a trunk and disappearing and having to be crammed into a little box, taken to the other end of the stage and come up there or fly across the stage. I’m just too old for that. I’m 51 years old and I want to stay on the stage and not do 15 clothes changes. I want to stay out there with the fans and sing my songs and tell them stories about what got me to where I am today and funny little stuff like that instead of the theatrics. Although I did enjoy that tremendously, I just think it’s time for something else."

Reba on…being honored with a roast:

"I’d love it. I’d absolutely love it."

Reba on…who would make good guests for such a roast:

"Oh, Dolly Parton comes to mind. Terri Clark comes to mind. All my buddies could pull some pretty good jabs at me. Vince Gill, Ronnie Dunn, Kix Brooks, oh my gosh, yeah, there you go. So my buds that I’ve worked with throughout these years. They could really pull some good ones on me."

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