When someone like Oprah does an amazing interview of someone like Rihanna for TV, it’s got to be really hard for the network not to want to tease all the good parts in advance. So, when we saw the clips of the Rih driving Oprah around her hometown in Barbados, spinning around like a little girl, crying openly about what happened between her and Chris Brown, we worried that maybe we’d seen all the juicy bits already. Not so. This episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter featured a good hour of heartfelt conversation/therapy, and a whole lot of it lived up to the promise of showing us a different side of the pop star. Here are the highlights of what we learned:
- Rihanna’s grandmother, who passed away in July, taught her about “forgiveness.” She also advised her to “Marry someone who loves me more than I love them.”
- It was actually Oprah’s question about Rihanna’s grandmother that prompted Rihanna to tear up and say, “I hate this part.” In the promos, that was totally edited to look like her reaction to a Chris Brown question. But it wasn’t totally dishonest because she teared up during that too.
- As passionate and quick to react as she can seem on Twitter, Rihanna can be really thoughtful and deep too, saying things you might never have thought of yourself but immediately know to be true. This is her describing why she hides her vulnerability: “I don’t want people to think I’m weak or think of me as a victim so I don’t like to tell people when I’m going through something because it’s human nature to always keep that in mind when you see the person. You can see them now and you always remember that problem that they went through.” And this is her talking about her feelings for Brown: “I thought I hated Chris and I realized it was love that was tarnished.”
- She confirmed that she and Brown have been “working on” their friendship since the restraining order against him was lifted. They are just friends, she said, but will always love each other. This quote about what it feels like to see him still makes us worry that they’ll be more than friends one day: “It’s awkward. My stomach drops and I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the outer part of me. I have to maintain that and suppress that and interpret it and understand that that is not going to go away.”
- But here’s where she sounds very aware of the dangers of getting back together with him: “We were very young. We ran free we ran wild. We were falling in love and going in a really rapid pace. We forgot about ourselves as individuals. We forgot about our personal discipline. We needed something to completely shut that off and show us what we were missing what we were taking for granted.”
- All of Rihanna’s feelings about Chris were confused with her feelings about her father, who abused her mother when she was a child but was a “great” father. When Rihanna healed her relationship with her dad, she was able to forgive Chris.
- But she totally understands if we don’t. “I can’t tell people how to feel about it. They’re entitled to feel angry because it was not a good thing that happened. But I have, and that’s my personal thing.”
- It must be really, really cool to be able to buy your mom a house.