Barbra Streisand only wanted one man to perform opposite her in the romance classic, The Way We Were, and that man was Robert Redford. She was so keen for him to take the role, that she asked him more than once, and even had the script changed to accommodate his ideas.
I mean, I get it. Robert Redford is, without a doubt, one of the best actors to ever grace the big screen. He instantly improves any film he is in and has been involved in some of the best movies of all time. Essentially, you get Redford on board, and you’re going to have a winner on your hands.
When it comes to The Way They Were, one of the best romance movies of all time, Streisand was so eager for Redford to be her co-star that she and director Sydney Pollack went to great lengths to give him what he wanted.
On Redford’s appeal, Streisand told Vanity Fair: “What intrigued me most about Bob was his complexity. You never quite know what he’s thinking, and that makes him fascinating to watch onscreen. Like the greatest movie stars, Bob understands the power of restraint. You’re never going to get it all, and that’s the mystery… that’s what makes you want to keep looking at him.”
Streisand was desperate for Redford to play her onscreen husband, Hubbell, but he initially turned down the opportunity. That did not deter Streisand or her director, Pollack. “I have to give Sydney credit. He was as persistent as I was, because we both felt that only Redford would make the picture work. It’s like playing tennis… I knew my own game would go up when I was opposite a strong player.”
Redford apparently had concerns that his character was “shallow and one-dimensional,” there to offer little more than to be a trophy husband, of sorts. So, the script was altered. Streisand recalls how she told Pollack to “Give him anything he wants. Write more scenes to strengthen his character. Make it equal.”
That still didn’t cut it, though. Despite Redford again rejecting the part, and Streisand being “heartbroken,” she persevered. The negotiations “went down to the wire,” but eventually, Streisand got her man and admitted that the “tough” process resulted in a “richer, more interesting character” for Redford to play.
It just goes to show you should never compromise when you know something is right. Streisand got what she wanted, and so could you! Speaking of things you might want, we’ve got everything you need to know about new movies coming up, like Avatar 3 and the Captain America 4 release date. Remember when Robert Redford was in the Captain America cast? That was cool.