EXCLUSIVE: By next month, Oscar nominations will be out and 2020 Presidential ambitions will be crystalizing and Oprah Winfrey is bringing some of the biggest names in both categories to Times Square for a chat.
A Star Is Born star and director Bradley Cooper, Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan, and Texas Senate candidate and potentially high office seeker Beto O’Rourke will join the Queen of Talk live one-on-one in NYC on February 5, I’ve learned. Melinda Gates and Time’s Up President and CEO Lisa Borders will also be part of the event at the Playstation Theater with more guests likely to be announced too.
Priced at $200 a pop, tickets go on sale next week on January 14 at 10 AM ET. Based on Oprah’s successful Emmy-winning SuperSoul Sunday series, the whole shindig will also be broadcast on OWN later this year and on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast for those who can’t make it to the Big Apple.
Picking some of the most vocal and brightest stars in the cultural constellation, OWN says the event “will discuss how each of the guests created an impact and shifted the conversation in their respective fields of entertainment, politics and culture in the last year.”
In terms of Cooper and Jordan, who also is an EP on the upcoming OWN series David Makes Man, the selection is obvious, as can be said of Gates and Borders. However, the inclusion of the admittedly charismatic O’Rourke signals a sturdy step by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton supporter Oprah back into White House politics.
Though the media mogul herself has ruled out a possible race against Donald Trump in two years, the former Lone Star state Congressman is already seen as a near frontrunner in some Democrat circles, despite coming up short in his effort last fall to unset Ted Cruz. An anointment of big stature legitimacy by Oprah could help push O’Rourke, who supposedly sat down with Obama privately in recent weeks, even further to the front of what looks to be a crowded Dems race to take out the former Celebrity Apprentice host.
We’ll see in February.