“I didn’t want to shlep to Paramount,” Streisand explained, “which was a long way from Malibu. I didn’t want to spend four hours a day in a car.”
“First it was like, ‘I’m not leaving California.’ Then it’s, ‘I’m not going to West Hollywood.’ Then it’s, ‘I’m not leaving Malibu.’ And there’s a snow storm in the movie. It’s all fake, literally, all done within ten minutes of Barbra’s house.”
“45 minutes! I said you have to find a warehouse and build the sets. 45 minutes from my house is fine. But I wasn’t ready to do a full-length movie. I made it very difficult to hire me, and they hired me anyway.”
Streisand noted that today you can do anything with CGI, which apparently helped in accommodating her. But in one part of the movie, practical effects were used instead. Her character is tasked with eating one of those enormous steaks where you get the thing free and win a t-shirt if you do so under an hour. She told the crowd that CGI could have been used, “But then I would have had to act more.”
“I had three days where I had to eat that,” she elaborated. “I don’t love steak. I’m afraid I’m going to choke on it. I love the first bite, and then yuck. It starts to get disgusting. But because it really happened to [screenwriter Dan Fogelman‘s] mom, I said okay. At times we had to substitute burnt watermelon and make it look like steak. That was like a scene in Hello Dolly. I had to have an eating scene, and that was pretty disgusting. Some white crap.”
Both stars discussed what drew them to the movie, the script for which might have literally made Rogen cry. He found the fresh idea of a buddy road comedy between a mother and son to be very interesting, and he was also drawn to the idea of playing a character who looked liked he’d never smoked pot. “That might be the hardest acting I’ve ever done in my life.”
For Streisand, all it took was a read-through with her own son (Jason Gould), who convinced her. “I didn’t want to do this long movie,” she remembered. “The movie I did before this was like six days.”
“I like to call this a different kind of love story,” she added. “It really is an experience of a mother and son who live apart, across the United States from each other, and have had problems in their relationship. But actually they’re more alike than not alike, as they’ve found on this trip. The heartache of love in her life and in his life. Just being together and really getting to know each other changes the whole dynamic for the better. It’s a journey that’s nice to take.”
But while she could relate to much of the material, she didn’t see much of Jason in Seth. “Jason’s very quiet,” she said of their difference. “You both have curly hair.”
“They’re both Jewish ladies,” Rogen noted about the comparison between Streisand and his own mother. “That’s a lot of common ground. My mom was more hippy-ish. My mom is more like her character in Meet the Fockers, I realized. She’s a social worker, talks about sex way too much. She’ll literally post on her Facebook about pap smears that she’s gotten. It’s terrible.”
These quotes clearly show that it was a candid and amusing Q&A, and Paramount likely got a lot of good out of doing it. Could we see more of these happening, possibly to even more theaters and for a fee (or just included in the ticket price) during a film’s opening weekend?
It wouldn’t be a bad idea for the movie business to give the people a little something extra. It’s like having a DVD bonus feature during your theatrical experience. Is that something you’d be interested in, especially if you live out in the middle of nowhere, not New York or Los Angeles or Austin or anywhere else the stars make in-person appearances?
The Guilt Trip opens everywhere on December 19th.