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Barbra Streisand on Judy, Gypsy, and Being Babs

Barbra Streisand on Judy, Gypsy, and Being Babs

barbra streisand judy garland

Judy's advice to Barbra: "Don’t let them do to you what they did to me."

Babs Streisand--biggest EGO in the business since that Tony is non-competitive--has ruled entertainment with an impeccably-manicured iron fist for the past six decades, and she's gearing up for yet another duets album and mini-tour. She recently opened up to The New York Times on what it's like being Barbra Streisand and in short, it's exhausting.

The 74-year-old legend discusses her earliest showbiz memories, including the iconic duet she had with Judy Garland in 1963. Just two big-voiced divas, one on the come-up, one on a slow and painful decline. Later, Judy shared some words of wisdom with the young Streisand:

"Afterward, she used to visit me and give me advice," Ms. Streisand says. "She came to my apartment in New York, and she said to me, 'Don't let them do to you what they did to me.' I didn't know what she meant then. I was just getting started."

But while Judy Garland was the product, and the casualty, of Hollywood's merciless studio system, Streisand has always been in full control of herself, her image, and her career. Ruthlessly so. This dedication to detail is on dispaly in Streisand's New England-style Malibu home, which inspired the greatest book and play about socially-acceptable craziness ever:

Ms. Streisand has written a book about the creation of this private Xanadu, My Passion for Design, which became the unlikely basis for a play about her, Jonathan Tolins's Buyer & Cellar. No, she hasn't seen it. One of the first things she says to me, chummily, is "I understand you've seen Buyer & Cellar; well, now you can see the real thing."

Though Babs is busy with her latest project, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, and the subsequent 9-city tour, "The Music ... the Mem'ries ... the Magic!," she's still got her eye on her great white whale: Gypsy.

Related | Barbra Streisand Wants Lady Gaga for Her Gypsy Remake, Confirms John Travolta

Streisand's been trying to drag Gypsy to the big screen for years, with her as Mama Rose (naturally), but getting a film made is no easy feat, not even for Barbra Fucking Streisand.

"I'm at their mercy," she told The Times. "One day you're going to do Gypsy, the next day it's off. And then this is the only place--writing a book, making a record or doing a tour--where I can do what I have to do, my work."

Ugh, where are your priorities, Hollywood? Here's Babs Streisand practically throwing Oscars at you and yet Gypsy isn't even scheduled for a Christmas release yet? Thank god Judy's not alive to see this.

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