Barbra Streisand thinks 2018’s A Star Is Born remake could’ve been more original when compared to her own 1976 version of the film. A Star Is Born has been remade three times after the original 1937 film starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March was released. 17 years later, Judy Garland starred opposite James Mason in another iteration of the classic story before Streisand’s 1976 film. The basic story behind each film sees a young ingenue fall in love with a seasoned industry professional wrestling with addiction and a declining career. This is only exacerbated by the ingenue’s rising star, who has been played by Gaynor, Garland, Streisand, and Lady Gaga in each of the films.
Released in 2018, the modern iteration of A Star Is Born saw Bradley Cooper take over directing duties and starring in the role of Jackson Maine, a singer-songwriter whose prime has passed. When he meets Ally Maine (Lady Gaga), he seems to find a second wind, helping her launch her own career. Eventually, her star surpasses his own, though, and he must wrestle with the fact that his career is waning while her star is on the rise. Gaga earned acclaim for her role as Ally, netting an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and scoring one trophy for hit single “Shallow” from the film.
Now, Streisand has come out and said that she was surprised by the similarities between her 1976 film and the 2018 film starring Gaga and Cooper. In an interview with Australian talk show The Sunday Project, the actress cites the original idea, which saw Will Smith and Beyoncé in place of Cooper and Gaga, as something that excited her. Ultimately, though, Streisand revealed that, despite the similarities, the fact that the film was a massive success helps it stand on its own. However, the actress does finish off by throwing some shade at the film, saying, “I don’t care so much about success as I do originality.” Read Streisand’s full statement below:
At first, when I heard it was going to be done again, it was supposed to be Will Smith and Beyoncé, and I thought, that’s interesting. 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. I don’t care so much about success as I do originality.
To be fair, there are some striking similarities between Streisand and Gaga’s films. Both Cooper and Kris Kristofferson (who plays the Jackson Maine figure in Streisand’s film) are singer-songwriter rock stars with addiction issues. There are several plot points that are similar, including a disastrous scene at the Grammy Awards and a moment where Streisand and Gaga’s characters are invited to sing onstage with their lovers. Even the endings are somewhat similar, with both Gaga and Streisand’s characters singing an emotional song in memory of their now-dead husbands.
While it’s hard to argue against Streisand’s points, it’s also hard to differentiate from the pattern of the story. As previously mentioned, A Star Is Born has been remade numerous times, each hitting similar plot-lines in service of the larger story of the rise and fall of industry legends. Gaga, who is a noted Streisand fan, likely took inspiration from the iconic performer’s character and while there are obvious similarities, A Star Is Born is not a wholly original concept to begin with and both films tell effective and heart-wrenching stories.
Source: The Sunday Project