Exclusive: Rosie Perez on Meeting President Obama: 'Oh My God, You've Seen My T**s!'

by Emily Krauser 2:35 PM PDT, September 24, 2015
Playing Exclusive: Rosie Perez on Meeting President Obama: 'Oh My God, You've Seen My T**s!'

You can take the girl out of Brooklyn, but you can't take Brooklyn out of the girl!

Rosie Perez was interviewed for the PBS documentary, American Masters: The Women's List, and in an exclusive outtake shared with ET, we get to see what can only be described as Rosie being Rosie.

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The 51-year-old actress recalled the time she met Barack Obama, before he became President of the United States of America. She was getting a medal from the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, and after waiting in line to meet him, Rosie stuck out her hand to say hello. But there was no need to introduce herself -- Obama knew exactly who she was.

"He went, 'Rosie Perez!' Oh my goodness, you know who I am!" a giddy Rosie exclaimed. "And he goes, 'Yeah, Do the Right Thing.'"

Rosie's face drops when she recalls the first thing that crossed her mind when Obama mentioned the 1989 movie. "The only thought in my head was, 'Oh my god, you've seen my t**s.' I was dying inside."

The New York native may have been freaking out, but she held her cool, simply smiling and nodding to the soon-to-be President. She has now been down to the White House a few times, as she was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS in 2010, and she is just as happy to see POTUS now as she was then.

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"In all do respect to Michelle Obama, the president is fine," she says.

Even trips to Washington, D.C., can't rid Rosie of her roots, as evidenced by every greeting the former View co-host tries to give to people working in our nation's capital.

"I'm pathetically happy. I say hello to everybody, but yet, I'm still Brooklyn, and if you don't say hello back to me, then you're going to get a little Brooklyn attitude from me… I see the White House staff members and I'm like, 'Hello? Hi! Alright, you have a good day,'" she admits.

Even Spike Lee witnessed that 'tude -- which is what got her cast in Do the Right Thing, after she got into an argument with the director the very first time she met him. "He was having a butt contest to see which black woman had the biggest ass in the night club, and I found it appalling, so what I did was I jumped on the stage to make a mockery of the whole situation," she recalls. "A bouncer came and took me off, and they brought me over to Spike Lee, and he said, 'This is fate.'"

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After Rosie tried to brush Spike off, he explained that he wanted her to be in his movie, but she replied that she wasn't an actress. "He said, 'Yes, you are.' This little man, Spike Lee, and he helped changed my destiny, or he helped change what I perceived that my destiny was supposed to be."

Fate, indeed!

American Masters: The Women's List premieres on Friday, Sept. 25, at 9 pm ET/PT on PBS, and features 14 other trailblazers, including Madeline Albright, Margaret Cho, Alicia Keys and Shonda Rhimes.