2015 was quite the year (these 50 pop culture moments are proof of that)—and according to Barbara Walters' annual The 10 Most Fascinating People special, these are the celebrities, politicians, and even UFC fighters who helped make it so. Read on to see who made Walters' 2015 list and why (and for her not-super-surprising No. 1 pick—any guesses?).
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The comedienne covered all the bases with Walters, literally (there was even a sexual portion too raunchy for America's—and Walters'—ears). Schumer gave us an amazing body image mantra: "I'm not a model, and I don't feel apologetic about that. I feel good naked...I feel like when I take my clothes off saying, 'You're welcome.'" She touched on her father's MS (he was diagnosed when she was nine years old): "He's not good," Schumer revealed candidly. "Some days he's really good and he's with it and we're joking around, and some days I go visit my dad and it's so painful I can't even believe it." And she spoke out about the shooting that occurred at a showing of her movie Trainwreck: "Knowing that it was my movie, I did feel some distant sense of responsibility." But the best line, hands down, from her interview came when Walters asked Schumer to pick between being very famous, very rich, or very gorgeous: "I'm doing all of that." LOVE!
Walters said at the beginning of the show that there were "no bad guys allowed" on her annual list, but controversial was OK—and "controversy sticks to this man like hairspray," she said accurately. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump claimed during his interview that he was not, in fact, a bigot ("probably the least of all you've ever met") and that he is often armed ("a lot of the time...I have a right to carry"). In fact, he wants more people to start carrying guns like him. "If you look at California, no one had guns except the bad people," he said. "If you had people like me in that room...I guarantee, we're going down shooting." Trump's ego also was on display during his time with Walters, and he stated he believed he would have no problem winning the presidential election if it came down to him and Hillary Clinton. "I think I will beat Hillary very easily," he said. "She was a terrible Secretary of State and the world blew up around her." And if he makes it to the White House, Trump wants his legacy to be remembered with this one word: "victory."
The lowest point for Tracy Morgan after his devastating accident in June 2014? "Sitting home...when I wasn't at the 40th anniversary
The "trailblazer in a tutu," as Walters calls her, has the perfect answer for critics who think she has the wrong body for ballet: "I think it's something that people say when they don't want to say you have the wrong skin color for ballet." But as American Ballet Theatre's first African American principal dancer, Copeland told Walters she was proud to be part of changing that belief. "I think that for a very long time, people put African American dancers in a box that they weren't capable of doing classical ballet," she says. "They just didn't fit the mold, and I think that I have changed that perception for a lot of people."
Ronda Rousey is not worried about her recent shocking loss to Holly Holm. "All of the best things in my life have happened as a direct result of the worst things that have ever happened," she told Walters. Rousey also spoke about her father's suicide when she was just eight years old ("It's still very hard for me to talk about—it's still an open wound") and her trip to the 2008 Olympics in judo ("Missing out on Olympic gold is what keeps me motivated"). And just like she kicks ass in the ring, she's fierce IRL. Prime example: For all of those who criticize her body, she says, "Just because my body was developed for a purpose doesn't mean it's masculine...my body is badass as f—k...because I'm not a do-nothing bitch." Well then.
Donna Karan isn't just one of Walters most fascinating people of the year, she's also the first fashion designer to ever appear on the list in its 23-year history—and it comes in the year she decided to step down from her eponymous brand. "Right now, I'm looking at the next phase, but I'm also looking at myself and what do I want," she told Walters. But at one point in her life, Karan never wanted to be a working mom. "My father died when I was three years old and my mother being a working woman, I felt very lonely," she told Walters. "I promised myself I would never have a child and work." Instead, she went on to have both a career and a family, and now? "I feel much more centered, much more grounded, and much clearer."
The second presidential hopeful on Walters list is not, surprisingly, Hillary—it's her competitor, Bernie Sanders. "I woke up one day and said we need a political revolution," he told Walters about his decision to run. "We need to demand that the government represents all of us, not just the wealthiest in this country." His policy advocating for the middle class has been shaped by his own upbringing, he shared with Walters. "When you don't have a lot of money, your family lives under a lot of stress," Sanders said. "That is happening all over America today. He's on the opposite spectrum as Trump when it comes to immigrants and Muslims in America ("I'm very concerned that people are taking out their anger against fellow Americans who happen to be Muslim") and his plan for destroying ISIS involves partnering with Muslim nations to put troops on the ground. "I do not want us getting sucked into what ISIS wants us to get sucked into—a war of civilizations," he said. And if Sanders does become president, what does he want to be known for? "Compassion."
Quite simply, the Amazon king has finally made Barbara's list (after 20-plus years of Amazon) for "figuring out how to give us what we want" when we want it.
Take it easy, Babs: When Bradley Cooper revealed to Walters that he was getting passed over for roles for being "unf—kable," she let him know that she strongly disagrees with that assessment. Walters got Cooper to share his worst quality ("I can be obsessive") and to open up on his decision to stop drinking in his late twenties ("I would never be sitting here with you because I would have never been able to have access to myself"). But the most touching moment came when Cooper spoke about his father (who passed away in 2011): "Thank God he was alive for so many of the successes, but the Clint Eastwood thing...that was one of his heroes," he told Walters.
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And the most fascinating person of the year goes to...CAITLYN JENNER.
Not a huge surprise here, if we're being totally honest—but Walters' top pick certainly makes sense: "Famous and familiar, she raised awareness and acceptance of transgender people," Walters said. "Through her own transformation, Caitlyn Jenner transformed society this year—and that for us makes her the most fascinating person of 2015."
Well, there you have it! What do you think of Walters' 2015 list?
Topicsamy schumerbarbara waltersbernie sandersbradley cooperdonald trumpdonna karanmisty copelandtracy morgantv