Larry King Live

Broadcast December 15, 2010 (CNN)

Larry King interviews Barbra Streisand

Larry King was able to get Barbra Streisand to sit down for an interview during the last week his show aired on CNN. King and camera crew set up the interview in Streisand's Malibu home.

Streisand was getting ready to publish her book My Passion For Design, and King asked her about her designing talents. “Well, composition and graphics and order, symmetry, appeal to me,” Streisand said. “They satisfy my mind. My eyes. My heart. I don't know. Maybe it's because my mother — you know, we lived with slipcovers out of plastic ... It never appealed to me. I always thought it was so awful that I guess in rebellion for that, I don't know how I quite developed this sense of what seem to be beautiful to me.”

After a break, they discussed Streisand's perfectionism and her reputation for being tough.

KING: There are male directors who are tough. But when you were tough, it must have been — who was she to be tough?

STREISAND: Well, who says I was tough?

KING: I'm guessing you were tough.

STREISAND: No, because I mean the — one of my prized possessions is the cast of Yentl actually wrote a letter to the press that no one would print, and all of them signed it, and it was about how quietly I spoke on the set and that I smiled or — you know, I was very friendly, of course, with the crew.

I needed them desperately to be part of the dream of the film. And care, you know? So it is odd. You know, what is tough? Because you say, you know, the light should move a little to the left? You know if a man says that that's fine. I guess it's just we're still differentiated, you know? We are still different.

Streisand talks to King

KING: With all that you've done, do you ever say, I'm a little Jewish girl from Williamsburg, wow?

STREISAND: I always say it. Yes, I always find myself saying it. Isn't that funny? We went to kind of fundraiser for President Clinton's library — no, foundation I think it was — the other night. And I remember something my grandfather said about my father that I read about when my father had died, you know, many years before. But he said, he was so smart — about my father. He was so smart he could talk to presidents. And there I was, you know, talking to President Clinton. And I thought of it. Went through my mind, you know, that I'm talking to a president.

King talked more about Streisand growing up in Brooklyn and mentioned that she and Neil Diamond went to Erasmus High School. “Yes, but we didn't know each other,” Streisand stated. “I think he was a grade ahead of me.”

King sits with Streisand in her home

KING: Your bio says you're an actress, singer, director, writer, composer, producer, designer, author, photographer, activist. Is there any one thing of those that you identify with the most? What is — your driver's license would say what?

STREISAND: Self-employed?

Closeup of Streisand

KING: Why do you think you particular — so many people in your business are [politically] active. Why are you singled out more than most? The right winger radio hosts will often refer to Barbra Streisand. Why do you think?

STREISAND: Woman? Big mouth? I don't know. Speaks what she feels? Or if they feel I have any influence, which I don't know — I could be influencing one person, I don't know, you know?

After another commercial break, Streisand and King talked more politics, and Streisand mentioned her pet cause, women's heart health.

KING: Well said. How's you and Brolin work, huh?

STREISAND: It's been 14 years.

KING: What's the secret?

STREISAND: He does his thing in one room and I do mine in another. I don't know. You know, opposites attract.

KING: They're definitely opposite, right?

STREISAND: I think so. Yeah.

KING: He's more laid back than you.

STREISAND: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Much more laid back than me.

King wrapped up the interview, and Streisand, knowing that King was going off the air, told him: “I like you too, a lot. And I wish you well. I wish you well. We're going to miss you.”


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