Quips And Quotes 6

Quips And Quotes 6

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Bette’s Favorite Activity After A Concert:  “I like to come quietly home and read. I’d rather just go home with Charles Dickens or something.” (March 1979)

On Becoming A Movie Star As Opposed To A Concert Star: “lt’s so easy, it’s sooooo easy. You don’t have to get up there for four hours every night and sweat like a pig. They sort of come and get you when they need you.” (March 1979)

On Respect In The Movie Industry:  “I’ve also discovered in doing this film that people really do respect me. In rock-and-roll, if you’re not on the charts every minute of the day, you really feel you’re a failure, and it’s not like that in acting. If you do the scene well and they see the dailies, they’ll come to you and say: ‘You know, that’s a good piece of work you did.’ And people respect me because I’m full of ideas. There are a lot of people here with lots of experience in making movies, and they really respect me because I’m not making it with the gaffer and not making it with the sound man, though he’s cute, and they know I really love what I do. I’m ready for the work.” (March 1979)

What Part Of The Rose’s Character Comes Closest To Bette Midler:  “Rose wants to be looked at, while at the same time she doesn’t want to be looked at because she knows she’s not that attractive. There’s lots I’ve drawn on from myself.” (March 1979)

Bette Midler On Aaron Russo: “Many people think our relationship is unhealthy.  As a matter of fact, most of them do. But Aaron thinks I’m the greatest and he did when nobody else did.  I can quarrel with Aaron’s methods. I fight with him all the time. But some of our work has been very good work. We play pretty terrible games, but it’s a good relationship.” (March 1979)

Bette Midler On Her Parents: He (Fred Midler) finally saw me on the NBC special, and he said it wasn’t so bad. ‘lt wasn’t so bad,’ that’s what he said. They’ve actually been more supportive recently. They’re so far away,you know. My mother loves my success. She thinks show business is the greatest thing on earth.” (March 1979)

Bette Midler On Her Mom And Dad: “She’s (Ruth Midler) seen me live plenty, but my pop hasn’t because – well – he doesn’t like any bad language. He once said, ‘son of a bitch.’ Once, when someone stole his car. I never forgot it.” (March 1979)

Bette Midler On Australian Slang: “I’m entranced by it. Some Australians were over here the other day – two girls who were very funny and loose and one man.who was rigid and uptight. The fellow got angry when the girls started telling me to say things like ‘hooroodigger.’ Apparently the stuff they were telling me was real low-rent. He said never call anybody an ocker. But from what Iknow of Australians, their humour is brilliant. I’m looking forward so much to that part of the tour. So much of what I do is low-rent humour.” (October 1978)

On What Bette Midler Thinks Of Herself On The Road:  “I think of myself as a sort of tacky grand-dame,” she says. “I was calling people ‘dah-ling’ when I was in the sixth grade. I don’t know where I got it from. I must have seen too many movies or Noel Coward plays. The ‘Divine Miss M’ routine was a trademark for me in the beginning. In ‘The Women’ there was a wonderful character called The Contessa who’s very arch, very grand and very loud. She always says ‘l’amour, l’amour,’ and she runs off with a singing cowboy. That’s where the ‘DivineMiss M’ thing came from.” (October 1978)

On Finding Work In The Beginning Of Her Career:  “lt was 1966 and very hard to get a job in the legitimate theatre. Music was very big then and I saw there was a lot more excitement in the music world, so I crossed over. I’ve always been a speaker and a clown.” (October 1978)

On Where She Gets Her Energy On Stage: “I was always a speedy little person. I get it from my mother. She works at the highest level of energy. Sometimes it is tiring. But that’s OK, I don’t mind.” (October 1978)

Bette Midler On The Rose Character: “She’s a rock’n’roll character. There’s really not that much difference between one rock’n’roller and another. lt’s the last eight days of the girl’s life. So it’s quite serious – veddy heavy in fact.” (October 1978)

Bette Midler On Her Personality:  “lt’s not hard for me to take things seriously. How I am depends on how I wake up. I think I’m schizo and I have vitamin deficiencies. Chemically, my body isn’t balanced properly so some days I’m very serious and sometimes I’m quite giddy. But I guess, on the whole, you could say I’m quite serious. I like to read, I like to study and I love to learn. I’ve met Lucille Ball,who is absolutely my favourite, she’s what I want to be as an actress – and she’s very serious.” (October 1978)

 On What Makes Her Laugh:The Monty Python group – they’re just staggering, they’re so wonderful. But I love all comedy. I’m a real fan of slapstick, of language comedy. As long as a comedian gets there, I don’t really care what they do.” (October 1978)

On Why She Doesn’t Claim To Be A Feminist Even Though Successful In Her Own Right: Because I don’t know very much about it. Audiences aren’t to blame, she says, if women are not always successful as stand-up comics. lt’s the girls – actually getting up onstage and doing it, it’s not the audience acceptance or resistance. A lot of girls just don’t like it. lt’s a very hard life being a stand-up comic and most women are not built for it. Most women are just not strong enough, physically or mentally, lt takes a terrible toll out of you – you have to be very pushy, you have to work like a dog. lt’s a very rough life, but if you’re committed to it, it can be rewarding.” (October 1978)

On Finding A Worm In Her Sandwich While Being Interviewed (She Flicked It Off): “Have you ever seen this happen to anybody, before?” she asked. “Well, maybe you have. But you’ve never seen anyone keep right on eating”. (1980)

On Book Signings:  “I love those events, especially when they feature me!” (1980)

On View From A Broad Book: “There’s a lot of the Divine in the book, and much less of me.  The bits about my home, my mom, those are all pretty much down to earth. But the rest of it, like when the Divine goes off and takes those silly trips, that’s totally Divine. I’ve always wanted to be Auntie Mame.” (1980)

On A View From A Broad Book: “It wasn’t very hard, because it’s not like speaking onstage. I just sat there at this little Remington that wasn’t even an electric typewriter, and I typed this stuff and it sounded like me.” (1980)

On Visiting West Germany During Her World Tour:  “Did 1 really believe that bygones should be bygones? It was a very dismal experience. ButI didn’t really want to put it down. I’m very timid about that kind of thing. I was personally very unhappy while I was there, but I didn’t want to come out and rip them to shreds because they didn’t do any harm to me.” (1980)

Describing The Audience In West Germany: “Sitting in my dressing room and listening to the clanking of metal as my audience came in, I thought I was about to perform for a chain-link fence.” (1980)

On Writing A View From A Broad: “I’d never done this before and I didn’t know what the ground rules were. It had a very arch tone when I first gave it to them. When people come to my show,they see a lot, almost too much. I just keep rattling things off, sad things, happy things, jolly things, really vulgar things.” (1980)

On Making Revisions To A View From A Broad: “They felt the first manuscript 1 gave them was a little too one-dimensional, that it wasn’t rounded like the show. So I rounded it out, and I liked it a lot better that way. They were right.” (1980)

On Getting Movie Scripts After The Rose: “I’ve seen a lot of scripts for romantic comcdies, and they’re not that funny, and I don’t really want to take the chancc. I love to act, and I really want to do more of it, but I gotta tell you, those scripts just don’t come in.” (1980)

Bette Midler On The Rose: “No, it’s not a thinly veiled movie about Janis Joplin. There will be drinks, drugs, love and destruction. It’s a composite of all kinds of people trying to survive that decade.  That period was so full of ideas and energy. I saw Jimi (Hendrix), Tina Turner, the (Rolling) Stones, Janis … it was fabulous. I used to tell people to slow down, but nobody ever listened. The ’70s have been singularly boring.” (1977)

Bette Midler On Today’s Audiences: “Audiences have lowered their expectations. Things have changed so that you don’t even have to sing in tune. It’s over. It’ll never be like it was. It’s the tenor of the times. Much of the mass audience is no longer knowlcdgable, has no idea what skills are required. And they don’t appreciate how much work it is.” (1994)

On The State Of Culture In America: “I’m a true professional. All they (music fans) ever get is this year’s music. There are people who don’t know who Judy Garland is or Maria Callas or Stephen Foster, George Gershwin, or Billie Holiday. And there is nothing in government or the schools to require they know. This should be part of spiritual and cultural education. All that stuff is the root of culture. Basically, you have anarchy without it. That’s what we have in this country now.” (1994)

On Her Age: “I’m ancient. But who cares? I’m a young ancient.” (1994)

On The Name “All Girl Productions” And Male Dominance In The Film Industry: “You know what they say about payback: It’s a bitch. We were there in the conference room, and we were all girls. We kind of liked that name because it had a certain arrogance to it that we felt we needed because we were so brand-new in this game. We really didn’t know how the game worked. We found out soon enough.  Also, we wanted a sense of humour, a little wit.  We didn’t want to be just ‘Gigantic Pictures’ or ‘Magnificent Pictures’. We didn’twant anything abstract. We wanted to let people know who we really were.” (1991)

On What Happened After Her Oscar Nomination For The Rose: “Nothing! I didn’t get any other pictures. I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t know if [producers] thought I was demented, that I really was that character and perhaps had died or if they thought that was the only part I could play. Whatever they felt, no other pictures came my way for a long, long time.” (1991)

Director Mark Rydell On Bette Midler: Hollywood failed her. When she appeared on the scene in The Rose, she stunned everybody into a kind of stupor of worship. But [the studios] didn’t know what to do with her. She is not a conventional beauty, not what is considered a normal movie star. She languished, she suffered, nothing happened for her. When Paul Mazursky asked me if she could play the part in Down and Out in Beverly Hills, I said, ‘She can play any part in anything; she’s the 800-pound gorilla!” (1991)

Bette Midler On How Life Changed After Having A Family: I let go of a lot of things. And I found some things that meant a lot to me. I looked up from my grindstone, and I discovered that there was a world out there. I met my husband, and I had a daughter. I sort of retreated into the comfort of my home.” (1991)

Bette Midler On Relating To Stella:  “I understand the maternal emotions now. I’ve become satisfied with my role as a wife and mother.” (Video, October 1990.)

Bette Midler On Love: I’m really a child of the media and I always believed those stories, those images in the movies and on TV. That s why I do what I do when I get involved with people, and it doesn’t seem to work. I figured all that stuff was drawn from life, and now I can t figure out why love isn’t like that. (1989)

Fred Midler (Bette’s Father) On Bette Midler: She liked to take charge of things, and she was always talking. Our Bette, she was always a yenta.” (1989)

On Being A Teenager:  Lots of people have identity crises in their teens but I didn’t. I knew who I was and I knew what I wanted.” (1989)

On Meeting Her Idol Bob Dylan: I met him after seven years, and 1 was in’shock. I had worshipped him. But he lives, he has flesh, he has these shirts…” (1989)

Bette Midler On The Baths:  “Just for the record, 1 never laid my eyes on a single penis, even though 1 was looking real hard.” (1989)

Bette Midler On Barry Manilow:It was two ambitious Jews in one room. Such bitchiness!” On occasions, Manilow threatened to choke Midler to death, claiming no jury would have convicted him. (1989)

On Trying To Shed Her Gay Fans:  “You heard I was trying to broaden my base?” Oh, please. My base is very broad. Trust me!” (1989)

On The Drama Of Jinxed With Ken Wahl: “Docs he make love to his dog?” Midler asked, innocently.“I was crumbling, drowning.” Midler says. “Sometimes, I’d wake up not able to breathe. I’d have to pound my chest to catch my breath.” She went to an analyst for help in facing the fact that, having chosen both director and co-star, she was largely to blame for what happened. (1989)

On Meeting Martin: I had been a hungry person who couldn’t get enough. But after 1 met Harry, everything changed.” (1989)

On Why She Took Down And Out In Beverly Hills: “The telephone just hadn’t been’ringing. I don’t know why. Even before Jinxed I wasn’t getting any offers.  Russo had kept her away from comedy parts because “he wanted me to start out as a great dramatic actress. I thought that was a terrific career move, cxcept that I could never follow it up. If you fall on your face you’ve got to pick yourself right up and get going again … because in Hollywood, you can’t wait around for someone to come by and pick you off the pavement. You could be down there on your face for a long lime.”  (1989)

To Reporters Who Asked If She Would Still Be Vulgar After Having A Family: “Do you mean am I going to remain vulgar and crass? Well, I’m going to put my baby in boarding school as soon as possible, in a far corner of England, no, Scotland, near the heather and the Highlands, so my baby will never hear any of this.” (1989)

On Her Life In General:Most people from the class of people I come from – I mean, I’m not a blue blood, I just come from the worst class – really like to see the bubble burst. They like to see that the emperor has no clothes. Of course, one of these days, somebody’s bound to say this empress is wearing no clothes, too.” (1989)

Bette Midler On Her Shortcomings:I always wished my chest was smaller, my hair was thicker, my eyes were bluer, my IQ higher.” (1980)

On Accidentally Trowing Herself Off The Stage In Delores Delago Segment: “I thought I was at Indianapolis. I touched the thing and it just went v-r-o-om! I was flung into the arms of a fellow in the front row. Well, I guess he didn’t know what to do. So he put me on the floor and I lay on my back and thought to myself, ‘What shall I do? Shall I have them cart me away and keep my eyes closed, or shall I get up and get back on the stage in this mermaid drag? It was awful. I couldn’t move. I insisted that the customers give me a boost back on to the stage. They lifted me up by the backside. And the audience roared. They thought it was part of the act. The schmucks!” (1980)

On Clothes: “Heck no, I’m not too proud to wear second-hand”? (1980)

On Being In Sydney For Promoting Divine Madness: “I’m basically a quiet, thinking person. But not this week. I’m in my raging state of mind. I’m in Sydney and I’ve been in Melbourne a few days. Somehow, Melbourne quiets you down. It’s time to break loose and Elton John is in the same hotel. We’re going to have a ball.” (1980)

On What She Did In Sydney One Night: “I read all night. A thriller, a mystery. Somebody sent it to me to read as a film. I was riveted. At six o’clock, I had a shot of brandy and passed out. No, I won’t tell you the name of the book.” (1980)

Bette Midler On Performing: “I don’t hate to perform. What I hate is being on the road. I hate the packing and the unpacking, the hanging of lights and all the business of getting used to a new theatre. “I just like to be in one place for a while.” (1980)

Bette Midler On Her Father: “He also hates bad language. I guess that rules him out at one of my performances. I would upset him. I wouldn’t take that chance. If he saw me on stage, he would yell at me. I don’t like being yelled at.” (1980)

Bette Midler On Her Father: “He’s supremely conservative. He’sthe only Jewish Republican on the block. He doesn’t like show business. He likes quiet. He doesn’t like anything to bother him. He has dinner at six in the evening and goes to bed at seven.” (1980)

Bette Midler On Her Father: “He did see me once. On television. But I guess it was kinda cleaned up. I think that may have surprised him. He said, ‘It wasn’t so bad.’ Gee, I guess he might have got a little more excited about his talented little daughter than that.” (1980)

Bette Midler On I’ll Eat You Last:  “I thought it was a fantastic experience. It was like being in a bubble, in a dream. It was completely out of body. I don’t know how I did it.” (2013)

Producer Scott Rudin On Bette Midler Returning To Broadway In Hello Dolly: “There has not been a new production in 50 years. Partly it was the difficulty of who could play Dolly. It had to be someone who could take it to a different level. Bette is the only one who can. Never has there been something more inevitable than her in this role.” (2016)

Bette Midler On Playing Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly: “I am looking forward to portraying one of the most beloved characters in all of American Musical Comedy, Dolly Levi, born Gallagher, in Hello, Dolly! I know I’m going to have the time of my life, and I am so glad to be under the wings of Scott Rudin as Producer and Jerry Zaks as Director. See you next year!” (2016)

Hello Dolly’s writer, Jerry Herman, On Bette Midler: “Many times through the years I’ve been asked about bringing back Hello, Dolly! – and it has always been, ‘Who would be my dream Dolly?’ – and though I’ve had literally dozens of names tossed at me, I knew that we needed more than just a wonderful singer or a wonderful actor, so I held on to the hope that she would also be a distinctly original persona. Who is out there that has the necessary stature, warmth, the incredible talent and ability, and especially the singular, outsized personality that I was looking for in a 21st Century Dolly? Only one person: Bette Midler. Only Bette could bring Dolly brilliantly back to ‘the lights of 14th Street!’” (2016)

Bette Midler On Hello Dolly: “It has an enormous amount of weight, and the score is irresistible. It’s a very American thing, with a joyous quality, a kind of can-do quality, and an incredible sweetness, and in these dire times, when the whole world seems to be on fire, it seems like something people would love to see.” (2016)

Bette Midler On I’ll Eat You Last: “Getting to the theater was a real chore. A couple of times, I had to get out of the car and run.” (2016)

Jerry Herman On Bette Midler Doing Hello Dolly: “There were so many suggestions of very talented women, but nobody pressed that button that made me say, ‘Wow,’ and then when I saw Bette on television doing a part of her Vegas act, it all happened. I said, ‘This is the lady who can do it.’ The time has come.” (2016)

Bette Midler on Hello Dolly: “The role is a big challenge. It’s going to be fun, and more than anything I like to have fun. It’s a lot — I’m no spring chicken — but I’m curious, and I love to do all the things this character is required to do. It keeps me thin, which I like, and it keeps me engaged.” (2016)

Bette Midler On Her Age And Preparing For Hello Dolly: “Everything you do in life gets harder” — but also noted that she had been touring last year and felt up for it. “I had a fabulous time,” she said. “It was not easy, but it was not as hard as I thought it was going to be.” (2016)

Jerry Herman On Bette Midler: “Bette is an original, and Dolly needs to be an original. It’s going to be beautiful, and it’s going to be exciting and colorful and handsome. Everything that the old girl (Dolly) deserves.” (2016)

What Advice Would Bette Midler Give To Others Seeking To Get In The Entertainment Business: “I’d tell them ‘Don’t bother,’ ” she’snapped. “The nature of the business eats you up. It eats you alive. Talent has nothing to do with it. It’s the qualities you have to have in order to succeed – great anxiety, violent insecurity. The very nature of the business breeds fear. Everywhere there is bitterness and jealousy. The worst part of having success is to try finding someone who is happy for you. You don’t really find that “not in this business.” What the success breeds is fear. One day you’re on top and the next day you’re in the gutter.”  (Salt Lake Tribune, March 5, 1976)

Bette Midler On Stage 1973: “Wa-a-a-a-l, I bet you’re wondering ‘Who is that slut on stage and who’ are those three cocktail waitresses with her?’ Honey, what you see here is Trash with Flash.  Real GAR-BAGE. And I’m glad to see that all the GAR-BAGE in Troy turned out for it.” (Bennington Banner, March 3, 1973)

Bette Midler On Caesars Palace 1976: “My one big ambition is to make as much money in Caesars nightclub as Jimmy Connors makes on its tennis court.” (Marietta Journal, December 2, 1976)

Bette Midler On Intuition: “I have no brains, but I have brilliant instincts.” (Plain Dealer, December 31, 1976)