Barbra Streisand asked Robert Redford to do ‘take after take’ of sex scene in ‘The Way We Were,’ book claims

The first sex scene in Barbra Streisand’s epic romantic drama “The Way We Were” with Robert Redford reportedly took two days to film – much to the dismay of producer Ray Stark.

This claim was made by Robert Hoefler, who wrote a book titled the 1973 film. “The Way They Were: How Epic Beatles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen.”

The book, marking the 50th anniversary of the film’s release, explores how the instant classic was “a nightmare, with a difficult cast, a convoluted plot about mismatched partners, countless delays and rewrites, the on-set tension between everyone involved, the difficulties at every step of the production, the sky-high demands of Ms. Streisand, a leading man who happily premiered on both coasts and mixed critical reviews.”

“The Way They Were: How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen” was published in January.

Reps for Redford, 86, and Streisand, 80, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Robert Redford Didn’t Want to Star in ‘The Way We Were’ With Barbra Streisand: The Book

“Streisand asked Redford to pick her up after she took him over,” Hoefler said. “There’s no reason a scene like this should take two days. That’s how long it took. The film was already running over budget and over schedule. Ray Stark was particularly worried about putting it in the film. It took days. I can only think of one thing. In terms of why it took two days to film because Barbra Streisand wanted to do take after take. Redford doesn’t do anything in that scene. He’s just sleeping there and a chance. But, he moves up, kisses her neck and falls. Sleeping.”

But there may be a good reason why the scene dragged into filming. In the book, Hoeffler alleged that Streisand was “helpful” and “slutty” with her co-star, who was playing a “cane doll”, as described by Redford herself.

Despite their on-screen chemistry, Robert Redford was reportedly reluctant to work with Barbra Streisand.

Despite their on-screen chemistry, Robert Redford was reportedly reluctant to work with Barbra Streisand.
(Photos/Getty Images)

“Various people on set told me that Streisand had a crush on Redford, and in previous interviews, both [director] Sidney Pollock and [writer] Arthur Laurents said the same thing,” Hoeffler explained.” It was obvious to everyone that she loved him. One thing I did in the book is I talked about all the actresses who acted with him, who also admitted to having crushes on him. Meryl Streep admits she has a crush on him. He once said, ‘Robert Redford is the best kisser in Hollywood.’ Now, she has already done several films with some good looking guys. Even Natalie Wood thought he was a handsome man.”

“But by the time Redford worked with Streisand, he was a happily married man with four children,” Hoefler shared. “He was never one of those people who you hear about, even on the grapevine, having affairs. He kept things very professional. And he didn’t even want to meet Barbara in the first place. When it came to her films, she wanted everything to be spontaneous… It was also well known in Hollywood that Barbara had affairs with her leading men, though not all of them, she in ‘Hello Dolly’. Walter hated Matthau. They hated each other.”

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“But when it came to that love scene, Barbara asked to take it after the take,” Hoefler insists. ” Robert finally took a look. [director] Sidney Pollock – One who said, ‘I’ve had enough.’

For the love scene, Redford wore "two athletic pros".  As for Streisand, she opted for a bikini.

For the love scene, Redford wore “two athletic pros”. As for Streisand, she opted for a bikini.
(Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

According to the book, Redford wore “two athletic supports to protect herself in more ways than one,” while Streisand “chose to don a bikini.”

“He didn’t use it to protect her from that,” Hoefler clarified. “Nowadays, you’d have an intimate coach… I did a book called ‘Sexplosion,’ about the movies and novels that broke sexual taboos between 1968 and 1973. Jon Voight’s gold. In the room scene, they stick something on his crotch.

“But there were all kinds of intimate things that the actors did,” he shared. “When it comes to filming these kinds of scenes, there’s some material that people used to protect themselves from each other, privately. I once interviewed a very young actress. She had never done a love scene before. There was a very famous actor – I won’t tell you who – but he told her, ‘Don’t be angry if I wake up, and if I wake up. If not, don’t be angry.’

Robert Redford wears two pairs of undies in ‘The Way We Were’: The Book

According to sources, Streisand had a "crazy crush" on her co-star.

According to sources, Streisand had a “crazy crush” on her co-star.
(Courtesy of Columbia Pictures International/Getty Images)

“But in the case of Redford and Streisand, the pro was just an intimate thing, even though Redford denied it. But if you look at the scene, she might have been wearing armor… and I thought it was Streisand. is kind of clever… a very closed set. I talked to a couple of people there, and they just kept talking about it.”

Redford would later joke to a Newsweek reporter that the only thing he wore on set was Estée Lauder fragrance for men. Hoeffler pointed out that the laugh mimicked what Marilyn Monroe said when asked about her nude calendar photos that ended up in Playboy. “I had nothing but the radio,” the blonde bombshell teased.

During their second love scene, Redford reportedly refused to say the line, “It’ll be better this time.” It is believed that the actor assumed that the audience would think he was bad in bed.

Redford reportedly refused to say the line, “It’ll be better this time.”
(Getty Images)

“Through an email exchange, I asked him why he refused to say the line and Redford did not answer my question, although he did answer several other questions,” Hoefler said. said “Again, Ray Stark was furious and wanted the scene reshot, clearly saying, ‘It’ll be better this time,’ which the producers thought was ‘chief.’ . [the character] Hubble. But by then Pollack had taken Redford’s position on the line, saying it was overkill. Earlier, Pollock considered the line important. Laurents also considered it important and was alarmed in a memo about Redford’s refusal to say it.

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Pollock was said to be too “exhausted” to shoot about a week after filming began. Although the chemistry between Streisand and Redford was undeniable, Redford had concerns about working with his leading lady from the beginning.

“Streisand had a habit of calling Pollock every night to tell her what had happened that day and what she was going to do the next day,” Hofler explained. “He talked a lot about Streisand, but he thought, ‘Can you relax?’… and there was a little tug-of-war between Redford and Streisand. She was reluctant to work with him. was reluctant. He didn’t think so. She was tested as a dramatic actress. He also worried that she would be too controlling and direct the film. He just didn’t want the film to be Barbara. Be turned into a Streisand musical.”

Redford reportedly did not want Streisand’s character in “The Way We Were” to show any of her gray hair. He even deleted the line from the script.
(Art Zelen/Getty Images)

“I knew an actor from ‘Funny Girl’ who played the delivery boy who gives Streisand a bouquet at the train station before she sings ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade,'” Hoefler shared. . “He said it took three days of filming for her to come and give him a bouquet of roses… He said he’s never seen anyone as proud on set as Barbra Streisand.”

Another memorable scene involved Redford’s second objection.

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“At the very end of the film in front of the Plaza Hotel, when Streisand pushes back the bandage on Redford’s forehead for the fourth and final time, Redford has to say ‘gray,'” Hoefler said. “But the word was clearly crossed.”

"The Way We Were" was a box office success and is still revered by film fans today.

“The Way We Were” was a box office success and is still revered by film fans today.
(Getty Images)

“One can imagine that if Redford was never bad in bed, he was never going to be ‘grey,'” he added.

“The Way We Were” became one of the most popular films of the year. Made for around $5 million, it grossed 10 times the box office. It is ranked number 6 on the American Film Institute’s list of top romantic films. The title song, produced by Streisand, was Billboard’s top single of 1974.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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