Siegel (introducing the piece): First of all, she surprised me.
You think of Barbra Streisand, superstar, bigger than life. But
she's small, even fragile looking. Another surprise: most actors
really aren't like the characters they play. Woody Allen, when he's
-- I'm going to blow this for him -- when he's not in character, his
voice is deeper, he's very forceful, he's a director. But Streisand
is very much like the character she plays, and we talked about that.
Siegel: Who is this woman you
play? Who is Rose?
Streisand: Someone who doesn't really believe in herself, except
for her intellect. I think she believes in her intellect, but she
doesn't believe in her womanliness, her sexuality, doesn't think
she's beautiful, was never told she was pretty, and grows up in --
within that kind of, you know, background as a child. So she's
conditioned by life and by experience to think of herself as a
certain kind of person. So until she changes her inner self, the
world will not change their viewpoint of her. Men won't look at her
in a different way. So it's an intriguing story of transformation.
Siegel: I have to ask, how much of Rose is you?
Barbra: Oh, a lot, probably. Probably a lot. But, of course,
for me to play a character, I have to believe her, I have to know
her, whether she's -- I mean, there's the part of me that is a -- as
a psychiatrist in Dr. Lowenstein. I could be a psychiatrist with all
the therapy I've had, though. And Rose, a teacher, my father went to
Columbia Teachers College. It meant a lot to me to work at Columbia
University. And part of me is like my father. I think I could be a
teacher. I'm passionate about what I talk about, you know, in that
class, about romance and love.
Siegel: (voice-over) But while Barbra searches for passion,
math professor Jeff Bridges seeks a totally platonic relationship.
Barbra's his solution -- smart, fun, and no physical attraction. It
all adds up, for Bridges.
Barbra: He says to her early on that, ‘What's great about
our relationship is that we're not in love. You won't get that
painful, sick feeling in your stomach.’ So it makes so much
sense logically. We'll have a relationship out of friendship and
respect and trust. It's not the full picture. I mean, he's so hurt
by sexuality and passion that he craves -- you know, he can't deal
with it, it screws up his life. So he decides to have a nonsexual
relationship. But that screws up your life. I mean, we're all
looking for a total experience, don't you think?
Siegel: Yes. But are we looking for something that you -- we
Barbra: I don't think so, no, I think we can find it. I think
it's there to be found, if you're open to it and ready for it.
Siegel: (voice-over) And there, "Mirror" mirrors Streisand's
off-screen life, a new relationship with actor James Brolin.
Barbra: Oh, we have a wonderful relationship. I don't want --
it's very private, and it's very -- I treasure it, you know, and
somehow I don't want to exploit it. But it's very powerful. And I
think in a sense we also can manifest what we want. You know, in a
way, I made this movie to sort of manifest something I needed in my
own life. I thought, it's about time to make an uplifting picture
about the positive aspects of love, to make a movie where there's a
happy ending, where the woman gets the guy, unlike "Prince of Tides"
or "The Way We Were" or "Funny Girl" or "Funny Lady," you know, so
many of the movies I've made, she doesn't get the guy. And I
thought, God, you know, we need happy endings in this world. You
know, there's enough.
Siegel: (voice-over) OK, remember she gave it away first.
Yes, there is a happy ending, but not without a bit of New York
angst. The ending, on the streets of New York. Those were real cars
zipping by and...
Barbra: Oh, yes, yes. Well, real cars, it's -- as a matter of
fact, at the end they're our taxis, and they wouldn't stop for us.
That was really true. Because I had said, you know -- we had a few
minutes to capture this ending, this dancing in the streets, and it
was about to rain, and the guy-- you know, the taxi drivers, the
stunt drivers, they'll never stop unless they're told to. And we're
improvising out there. This is not rehearsed. So it was so funny
that it worked so well, right, which is totally true to the story,
that we're dancing in the streets, and no taxi in New York's going
to stop for these nuts, you know. It was wonderful.
Siegel: (closing the piece) This is a wonderful film. She is
just terrific. She is smart. She's an artist. And she doesn't
apologize for being smart and talented.