Bette Midler, arriving like she was some Eastern potentate, showed up at the Fox studio for what was billed as a
“press conference” to announce her first movie. She will star in something called The Rose which will begin shooting next March.
She was guarded by a platoon of producers, managers, agents, press agents, songwriters and unidentified flying
people. Most had long hair and flab.
She was dressed in what the lady next to me described as “71 Contemporary Punk Rock Chic” – frizzy strawberry blonde hair, herringbone jacket, jeans tucked into black boots. The lady next to me said the fashion was popular in Paris two years ago, “but took longer to cross the Atlantic than Columbus.”
The story of Ms. Midler’s first movie, The Rose, as one of the men with her described it, obviously parallels the sad life of Janis Joplin. But, of course, they are careful to say it is all fiction and not Janis Joplin’s life at all.
The men with her were apparently there for the express purpose of intercepting Ms. Midler’s answers. One of them,
her manager Aaron Russo, jumped in on virtually every question aimed at her. Which was unfortunate, because Bette
appeared to be perfectly capable of holding her own. In fact, when she was given a chance by Russo and the others she
was very witty.
When asked about the story of The Rose, she said that it was set in the ’60s. “The ’60s were exhausting,” she said.
“The ’70s are singularly boring, because people my age are still catching their breath from the ’60s.”
Then later someone asked the inevitable question, about did she feel she was being compared to Streisand and how did she like the comparison. “It’s fabulous,” she said “It can’t hurt me – it might hurt them, but it can’t hurt me ”