in “The Guilt Trip
”: Paramount PicturesBarbra Streisand
didn’t mince words when Robert Rodriguez
interviewed her at the Tribeca Film Festival this past weekend —of course, we wouldn’t have it any other way. The famously outspoken megastar had some choice words about how women directors are treated in Hollywood and how little things have changed since she made her own directorial debut with 1983’s “Yentl
,” a story about a woman (Streisand) posing as a man in order to study the Torah.
According to Variety, Streisand spoke candidly about her lack of directing Oscar nods for “Yentl
” and 1991’s “Prince of Tides.” She believes sexism from both men and women stopped her from receiving recognition from the Academy. “There were a lot of older people. They don’t want to see a woman director,” she told Rodriguez. “I don’t know how many women wanted to see a woman director.”
Streisand’s lack of directing nominations does seem like a blatant snub, as both “Yentl
” and the romance “Prince of Tides” racked up a bunch of other nods. “Prince of Tides” in particular was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, which often go hand-in-hand with a directing nod.
As Streisand revealed, her work on Sydney Pollack
’s 1973 romantic drama “The Way We Were
” was the catalyst for her directing career. She disagreed with Pollack’s vision and was “horrified” when he cut “scenes that [Streisand] felt illustrated why her on-screen relationship with Robert Redford
’s character ultimately disintegrated,” Variety details. Her lack of creative control is what drove her to helm her own movies.
“I directed because I couldn’t be heard,” Streisand emphasized.
While she wouldn’t be credited as a director until 1983, Streisand first demonstrated her artistic vision on the 1976 drama “A Star Is Born
.” The film, which sees Streisand as a rising music star in a doomed relationship with past-his-prime rock star Kris Kristofferson
, was directed by Frank Pierson
. But Streisand told Rodriguez that she had the final cut. “That was tough because I was blackmailed into hiring [Pierson],” she said, per Deadline. “I hired him to write and he said he wouldn’t do it unless he directed. I had final cut rights. I told him he could have all the credit, but that he had to allow my vision to be there. He would agree, but then I’d show up and the cameras would be in [the wrong places].”
The “Funny Girl
” star also brushed off Rodriguez’s suggestion that her work as a director “shattered a glass ceiling for other female filmmakers,” Variety notes. Acknowledging how few opportunities female directors receive in Hollywood, Streisand responded, “Not enough women are directing now.” In other words, the glass ceiling might have a crack or two, but it’s still very much intact.
Among Streisand’s other directing credits are the 1996 feature “The Mirror Has Two Faces
” and three documentaries of her concert performances. She is also set to direct an untitled film about the affair between photographer Margaret Bourke-White and author Erskine Caldwell
. She has received two Oscars: one for her performance in “Funny Girl
” and another for Best Original Song for “A Star Is Born
Fittingly, Streisand was the person who presented Kathryn Bigelow
the Oscar for Best Director in 2010 for “The Hurt Locker
.” After opening the envelope with the winner’s name, Streisand said, “Well, the time has come,” in reference to the fact that a woman had never received the award before. To date, Bigelow remains the only woman to have won the Academy Award for Best Director.
Streisand was last seen in Anne Fletcher
’s 2012 mother-son comedy “The Guilt Trip
Started Directing Because She “Couldn’t Be Heard” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.