The Today Show

Aired: December 5—9, 1983 on NBC

Barry Gibb and Streisand all in white

Barbra Streisand sat down with Today Show correspondent Gene Shalit for the week of December 5th and discussed her career and her new movie, Yentl. She wore a jumpsuit she had made in Rome, and a gorgeous deco choker.

On directing Yentl: “I do have a tendency to push people, you know? People who like working with me, I think, want to be pushed, want to be stretched. And people I imagine who don't like working with me don't. They want to settle.”

On whether she has a favorite song: “No. Well, I mean, they have a special place in my heart, I suppose. I mean, the last night of Funny Girl on the stage ... I used to eat big Chinese meals and jump on the stage and as soon as that show opened I went into catatonia. I thought, ‘Oh my God, now you have to just do this every night? ... Because I felt like I was in prison. I couldn't get out. I wanted to go with my friends, they were going out to dinner. And I couldn't, I had to be on stage. So then I got sick to my stomach, I couldn't eat till after the show. At midnight I could eat. So I thought, ‘I have no feeling about the song People anymore.’ It's like how many times can you sing People? But closing night of Funny Girl, I was standing on the stage singing People for the last time and I broke down. I was overwhelmed by emotion. I don't know where it came from. Somewhere deep in my unconscious and I realized how much feeling I had towards that song.”

On moving from thrift store clothes to designer clothes: “... When I bought Dior it was because I was doing the television specials and they sent me on a promotion tour and they gave me $20,000 at Dior. I was so thrilled, they bought these clothes for me I wouldn't have bought ... I saw the prices on the dress, you know, it was like $1,500 for a short dress ... I wouldn't have paid it, but they paid it, so I was thrilled. I don't throw anything out, it all comes back.”

Free Association ... On Marlon Brando: “The best. I just never saw anybody so ... using reality, using the moment, using himself, and he was extraordinarily beautiful, I mean his face ... I've never seen a face like that, his teeth, great teeth. I met Marlon Brando at a party once and I had just seen him in Bedtime Story, which was the only picture I didn't think he was wonderful in, and he had different teeth and I thought, 'My God! Are you kidding?' He turned around and the first thing I said to him was, 'Did you have your teeth capped?' and he said, 'As a matter of fact, I did. This one.' You know, one of his front teeth. I said, 'Oh, okay.' I would love him to play, I'm interested in doing the classics now and one of the plays I would like to do is Caesar and Cleopatra by Shaw and I'd love him to be Caesar. Yeah, maybe I can convince him.”

Free Association ... On Robert Redford: “Yogurt. When we were making The Way We Were I got a yogurt machine. I was just fooling around with it. I made homemade yogurt that he loved, so we would always have yogurt practically every day with fresh strawberries or raspberries. Very fattening with real cream.”

What would Barbra's last meal be? “Okay, Renata's potato pancakes with applesauce with cinnamon, a tongue sandwich with Russian dressing, cole slaw on rye bread, canneles ... Pike mousse — No, no, no, not gefilte fish. That is not one of my favorites. This is a French dish, Gene. Um, maybe angel's hair spaghetti with a pesto sauce or tomato and basil sauce, lobster done with oregano and bread crumbs and garlic. How much do I get to eat at this meal?”


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