ARTS & CULTURE

Ellen DeGeneres Reveals She Was The Inspiration For 'Miss Congeniality'

03/01/2014 01:56 pm ET
Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP

The writers of the 2000 hit comedy "Miss Congeniality" received inspiration for the Sandra Bullock flick from an unusual place: Ellen DeGeneres. The Oscar host revealed in a new interview with Parade that her attempt to waltz around in a dress and heels prompted the tale of Gracie Hart, the FBI agent who goes undercover at a beauty pageant to stifle a bomb threat.

“'Miss Congeniality' was written based on me,” DeGeneres said. “When I was getting ready to co-host the Emmys, the writer saw me [on TV] learning how to walk in a dress and heels. My stylist at the time -- a man -- was teaching me, and it was hilarious. The 'Miss Congeniality' writer saw it and thought it was brilliant.”

In addition to revealing that Bullock's character is basically a DeGeneres derivation, the talk-show host noted that she once beat out Jennifer Aniston for a role. Her supporting part in the 1999 Ron Howard comedy "EDtv," starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, finds her playing a TV producer who's responsible for an early iteration of reality programming -- but the role could have belonged to the "Friends" star instead.

“Jen Aniston is my friend and she recently ­reminded me that I beat her out of that,” DeGeneres said. “I got the part and Jen Aniston didn’t! That’ll probably be the only time that happens.”

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