Barbra Streisand wouldn’t travel more than 45 minutes from her Malibu home to shoot The Guilt Trip, a comedy about a Jewish mother and her inventor son (Seth Rogen), who take a 3,000-mile cross road trip together from New Jersey to San Francisco.
This is Streisand’s first starring role since "The Mirror has Two Faces" in 1996.
After special Sunday screenings at about 20 AMC theaters in cities across the country, including Chicago, Miami and Century City, Streisand and Rogen spoke to Time writer Joel Stein in a Q&A that was streamed life via satellite from L.A.
Streisand said she decided to make The Guilt Trip after a friend told her, "'You’re an actress so you should act.' Cause I was thinking, ‘Nah, I don’t want to do this.’ The movies I did were like six days (Meet the Fockers),” Streisand said. “Then I read it out loud with my son, and he thought I should do it. And Anne, the director Anne Fletcher (The Proposal), really pursued me, which was nice.”
When asked if she’d seen Rogen’s movies before, Streisand replied, “I’d seen a few of them. I was a little shocked because I’m sort of a prude. He just said that? He showed that? Oh my God! But I thought he’s really cool. So I thought, ‘Yeah, good. Two different generations put together.”
They spent at least seven days in a car but it was stationary. “We were almost never in a moving car,” said Rogen. And although it's a road film they never went anywhere. “We didn’t leave Malibu, literally while making this movie. I’m not joking."
Streisand said, “I’ll just do a little set up with the fact that I didn’t want to schlep to Paramount, which was a long way from Malibu. I didn’t want to spend four hours in a car.”
Although in the movie she has scenes where she drives in real life Streisand said she once drove up the wrong way on a ramp on the highway and thought, "Who do I call?" She no longer drives.
“We didn’t go on an actual road trip, which is what we should have done,” Rogen laughed. “First it’s like ‘We’re not leaving California.’ Then it’s like ‘We’re not leaving West Hollywood’,” Rogen said of Streisand's demands. “And then it’s, ‘I’m not leaving Malibu.’ And there’s like a snowstorm in the movie. It’s all a fake movie. It’s all done within 10 minutes of Barbra’s house.”
“No, it’s 45 minutes.” Streisand said. She told the producers, “Find a warehouse, build a set about 45 minutes from my house is fine. I wasn’t ready to do a full-length movie. You know what I mean? So I made it very hard for them to hire me.”
During the entire time they were in a car together, Rogen said Streisand never sang. But she did regale him with stories, like the time she smoking pot with actor Peter Sellers and the day Marlon Brandon took her on a short road trip to the dessert to admire the wildlife. When he asked her to spend the night, she demurred, that she didn't know him well enough. Streisand said she was saving these movie star memories for her book.
The "Knocked Up" actor said they often talked about movies; he was surprised to discover that she sees every movie that comes out. They were shooting through the summer, so he would ask her, “What did you think of ‘Captain America?' She sees literally every movie that comes out," he said.
“Because I’m in the film business,” Streisand explained.
When asked about their holiday plans, Rogen said, “I’m going to promote this movie.”
Streisand responded. ”You have to go to New York. See, he’ll go to New York. I won’t go to New York. Put New York here.” She explained she was doing television simulcasts and programs from her home in Malibu.
“I’m picking up the slack,” Rogen replied.
"The Guilt Trip" opens December 19.