For all the attention to her horizontal life, Handler is at heart what she would call a girl’s girl, and she enjoys booking female guests on Lately. “I just love to have on great girls, really candid people,” she says, naming Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz and Reese Witherspoon as three of her favorites. “They’re girls who aren’t like, ‘I don’t want to talk about this, I don’t want to talk about that.’ I had LeAnn Rimes on the other night, and it was ballsy of her to even come on. I said, ‘You know I make fun of you all the time,’ and she said, ‘I totally know. I get it. I like it.’ That’s brave.”
What’s the opposite of a girl’s girl? “Probably Angelina Jolie,” says Handler, who, for the record, counts Jennifer Aniston among her close friends. “You just know as a woman when you see another woman if that’s a woman you can trust. She doesn’t strike me as someone I would have a close friendship with.”
What does Handler bring to the pajama party? “She is just so ridiculous,” Reese Witherspoon has said. “She always threatens to tape-record me when I go to the bathroom [during a program break], because I have a microphone on. She caught me singing a Rihanna song backstage.” Witherspoon has nonetheless described Handler as “a really great friend. She’s the kind of person who will cancel all her plans if you’re in a bad mood and you just want to sit on the couch and watch a movie. She’s really generous!
“We’re the most unlikely friends,” Witherspoon admitted, “like on Animal Planet where the giraffe and turtle make friends. That’s us.”
I note that while Handler doesn’t consider herself a feminist (“I feel that men and women are on an equal playing field now, and I’d like to keep it that way”), she seems to have really hit it off with Jane Fonda. Handler immediately lights up. “I fucking love Jane Fonda! She’s just kind of a funny, great, boozy girl like me. I mean, I would never refer to myself as a new Jane Fonda. But I too have a fuck-it attitude. When I said screw it [to the beauty pageant/actress image], I ended up gaining so much! If I am as vibrant as Jane Fonda at 74, I’ll be a lucky person!”
But that’s decades away, and right now it’s time to work out. Taking her leave, Handler chummily insists, “Finish that margarita! Get a little buzz going!” and off she goes, the hardest-working party girl in show business.
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