Although the 1973 romance-drama “The Way We Were” was a hit, Robert Redford was apparently hesitant to star alongside his female lead, Barbra Streisand.
In Robert Hofler’s upcoming book, “The Way They Were: How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen,” Redford’s initial reasoning on not wanting to work with the Grammy-award winner is detailed.
“She will direct herself. It’ll never work,” Redford — who reportedly thought Streisand had a “controlling” reputation — told the late director Sydney Pollack, according to Hofler’s book via the New York Post.
Redford also raised concerns on whether Streisand would sing during the film.
“She’s not going to sing, is she?” he asked, Hofler wrote in the book which is an oral history of the movie. “I [don’t] want her to sing in the middle of the movie.”
JOSH BROLIN SHARES CUTE PICTURE OF NEWBORN DAUGHTER AND HIS STEP-MOTHER BARBRA STREISAND
Per Hofler, Pollack also reportedly once said, “Barbra had never worked with a really strong leading man.”
“She has a tendency to take over a picture, just by the size of her talent and larger-than-life presence. It’s hard for a co-star to stay in the same ring with her,” Pollack, who died in 2008, said.
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Holfer’s book explains that he believed only Redford would have been able to work with Streisand.
“In acting, you have to sense that there’s a reserve somewhere, that you’re seeing the top of the iceberg,” Pollack explained.
The director continued: “Redford makes you come to him as a performer. He holds his ground, and you either enter his turf or you don’t get it. Period. He will not court you … I spent literally eight months beating him to death in order to get him to do it. I would not let him off the hook.”
After the first film’s success, a sequel was proposed to both stars. However, Redford was not willing to reprise his role.
“I didn’t, but Barbra did,” he said of returning to his role, per Hofler’s book.
Streisand recently spoke to the Guardian about her long list of iconic roles and how she still gets frustrated when people mispronounce her last name.
She explained her last name is “Strei-sand,” not “Strei-zand.”
“It’s the funniest thing to me that people still can’t seem to get my name right,” she shared with the outlet. “Even today, I had to correct my new assistant.”