Barbra Streisand Wanted to See Beyonce and Will Smith in ‘A Star Is Born,’ Not Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Barbra Streisand, who famously starred in a remake of A Star Is Born in 1976, initially gave Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's iteration of the film her seal of approval in 2018. However, it appears that the icon would have preferred to see a much different retelling of the classic film.
During an appearance on an Australian talk series called The Sunday Project, Streisand shared some candid opinions about the successful remake. Chiefly, she revealed that she wished the film's story differed more from the version she starred in.
How was a film that had already been made three times before 2018 supposed to be different? Apparently, Streisand thinks some modified casting decisions would have shaken things up a bit.
"At first, when I heard it was going to be done again, it was supposed to be Will Smith and Beyonce, and I thought, that's interesting," she said. "Really make it different again, different kind of music, integrated actors. I thought that was a great idea. So, I was surprised when I saw how alike it was to the version that I did in 1976."
Streisand recognized the film's overwhelming commercial and critical success, but added that she "thought it was the wrong idea."
Though her opinion will likely be polarizing, Streisand is correct about the casting considerations. At one point, both Beyonce and Will Smith were tied to the project. According to a handy timeline created by Vulture, the Lemonade singer was first associated with the remake in early 2010. At the time it was rumored that she would appear alongside Will Smith. Other hopefuls at the time for the female lead included Alicia Keys and Rihanna.
Both Beyonce and Smith were still allegedly in the running the following year. Then came a bit of a shake-up: Clint Eastwood entered the running as the film's director. Subsequently, according to A Star Is Born producer Bill Gerber, Beyonce's pregnancy threw a wrench in plans.
“I’m sitting there thinking, ‘I’m watching something historic about to happen,’ and then it didn’t. It’s just the movie business,” Eastwood told The Hollywood Reporter about the almost-iconic casting that unfortunately didn't work out.
Despite the changes in casting, A Star Is Born pulled incredible numbers. According to People, it grossed $436 million worldwide and landed Gaga her first Academy Award. Her song "Shallow" won in the Best Original Song category. The hit-maker was also in the running for Best Actress in a Leading Role.