Friday, December 28, 2012


On December 23, 25, and 27, Piers Morgan's interview with Barbra Streisand aired on CNN. It was a fascinating hour, one of the more interesting conversations she's had with a journalist. I hadn't watched Morgan's show much before, and I was surprised by how intimate some of the questions were, and how openly Barbra answered them.
     Her hair reminiscent of "The Owl and the Pussycat" and her high-collar-and-tie outfit reminding Morgan of the suit Anshel wears in "Yentl,"Barbra was more relaxed than usual during press grillings--gone were the squinty-eyed, distrustful glares she often gives her interviewers. The fact that, as Morgan pointed out, they had been in e-mail contact for months (arguing politics) and had dinner at least once, probably eased Barbra's innate concerns about an inquisitor's intentions. She seemed to genuinely like Piers Morgan.
     He asked her how many time she had been in love. She pondered the question for a long time, then answered, "Five or six."
Morgan's question, "Would they mean anything to the public?" got lost as Barbra said something else, and she never answered the question. One has to assume her loves include Elliot Gould, Jon Peters and Jim Brolin. Who were the others? An early boyfriend, or Barry Dennen, or one of her string of beaux she has called "flings?" Perhaps someday we will know
     She spoke of her mother, saying they had reconciled before her death. She told a touching story of being unrecognized by her mother when Mrs. Kind was suffering from Alzheimers. She sang her a melody that her mother had sung as a girl and Diana responded to that.
     It was fascinating to watch Barbra watch film clips of herself. Invariably she would make a derogatory remark: "What am I wearing?!" as she watched a clip from the "Funny Girl to Funny Lady" special, or "Look at that beehive!" (I'm paraphrasing) and "That was before I learned what my good side is" when watching a clip from one of her earliest TV appearances. She admitted that she's very critical of herself whenever she watches herself on film
     She said she still hopes to reunite with Robert Redford on screen, and that if she could only do one thing for the rest of her life, it would be to direct.
     She told a great story about taking a road trip to the desert with Marlon Brando around 1973. He wanted to spend the night at a hotel (and share a bed), but "I was a nice Jewish Girl" and she insisted they return to L.A. She told the story about Marlon calling her up and asking her to sing, and said that they often talked for hours on the telephone.
     Piers went to a break saying he would ask Barbra if she had had any "guilt trips" in her life when they came back. He never did ask the question. Too bad, because the answer would I'm sure have been fascinating.
     He asked her why she had worked so hard to be a success. "I want to be remembered--'You existed, you were here'," she replied. 
(That mission has certainly been accomplished.)
     Throughout the interview, Morgan made it clear that he's a huge Barbra fan, and as he wrapped up the show, he said he had wanted to interview her for 47 years. "Forty seven years?!" Barbra exclaimed. "Since I was born," Piers said
     "You don't have to exaggerate!" Barbra replied with exasperation."Just tell the truth!"



1 comment:

  1. Apparently the interview was edited. There was a clip available online where Piers asked Barbra about who her guests would be at her ideal dinner party -- remember? And that segment did not air as part of the interview. I wonder whether there is a longer version online somewhere???