More Barbra Dish

“Fame is a hollow trophy.  No matter who you are,
you can only eat one pastrami sandwich at a time.” 

Wise words from Barbra Streisand.

You all know that Barbra Streisand’s book is out.  And I know you know this, because the majority of e-mails I received last week are about it.  Since the book is only slightly longer than War and Peace, and the audiobook clocks in at 48 hours, I haven’t made my way through the whole thing.  But I know you’ll want some details that you won’t read elsewhere.  So I skipped to the chapter about her attempt at filming Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart.  At first, she was going to direct and star in it.  But there were numerous issues with Larry’s script, the casting, the money, and the studio.  After numerous roadblocks, Streisand stepped down as director in frustration.  Kramer asked George C. Wolfe to direct the film, in which Barbra would still act (alongside, we now learn, Ben Stiller).  But the difficulties continued.  Kramer criticized Barbra publicly, and the project eventually fell apart.

But Barbra never gave up on The Normal Heart, and actually put together a cast that would include Mark Ruffalo, Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts.  The sticking point was that nobody would pay Larry the one million dollars he wanted for his script.  While this was going on, Julia was making Eat Pray Love directed by Ryan Murphy.  Barbra explains, “The next thing I hear is that Ryan has written Larry a check for one million dollars and will be directing the movie for HBO with Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo.  Well, he didn’t get Bradley Cooper – then I would have had to kill myself!”  Throughout this chapter, Barbra speaks at length about her son Jason Gould.   “Jason really wanted me to make this movie, and I was looking forward to working with him on the film in some capacity.  It meant so much to me just as his mother.”  After critiquing Murphy’s version, she summed up by saying: “I’ll always regret I didn’t get to make The Normal Heart.  It’s my loss.  But I’m glad Larry finally got it made.”


Barbra also talks about many films she was asked to be in.  One surprise was Splash – the Ron Howard movie with Daryl Hannah as a mermaid.  Picture the climactic scene, where Tom Hanks finds Barbra with a mermaid tail in the bathtub!  I would have paid anything to hear him say, “So don’t just lay there, honey – swim something.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Copying content from is prohibited