“I thought it was the wrong idea,” the 79-year-old icon said in a Sunday appearance on Australian talk show, The Sunday Project. “Look, it was a big success. I can’t argue with success. But I don’t care so much about success as I do originality.”
A Star Is Born originated as a 1937 film from David O. Selznick, starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. Moss Hart adapted it in 1954, with Judy Garland and James Mason starring, with a third version, directed by Frank Pierson, released in 1976.
Streisand was, of course, personally invested in A Star Is Born, given that she starred alongside Kris Kristofferson in the most recent adaptation, prior to Cooper’s.
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The actress and singer recalled on The Sunday Project that when she first heard that the film was getting another remake, “it was supposed to be Will Smith and Beyoncé” who would star. (Beyoncé was attached around 2011, when Clint Eastwood was looking to direct.)
“I thought…that’s interesting. You know, really make it different again—a different kind of music, integrated actors. I thought that was a great idea,” Streisand said. “So, I was surprised when I saw how alike it was to the version that I did in 1976.”
Streisand added that the idea of finding a new approach to classic material proved key, in working on her version of the film. “When I did A Star Is Born…Judy Garland was so great in it, I thought, ‘Oh my God, how am I going to do this?” she recalled. “‘I have to change it. I’ll become a guitar-playing singer-songwriter, and Kris Kristofferson is already a singer-songwriter, and we’ll change the story a bit.’”
Warner Bros.’ 2018 A Star Is Born pic is similar, in terms of plot, to every version of the film made to date, following a hard-drinking musician (Cooper) who discovers and falls in love with a young singer (Lady Gaga). Cooper also produced and directed the film, in his feature debut. The romantic drama grossed more than $436 million worldwide, winning the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Streisand first made her thoughts on A Star Is Born known around the time of the remake’s release. Check out her appearance on The Sunday Project above.