Barbra Streisand wouldn’t travel more than 45 minutes from her Malibu home to shoot The Guilt Trip, a comedy about a mother and son (Seth Rogen), who take a 3,000-mile cross road trip from New Jersey to San Francisco.
This is Streisand’s first starring role since The Mirror Has Two Faces in 1996. On Sunday, after a special screening 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.’”
Streisand and Rogen spent at least seven days in a car, but it was stationary. “We were almost never in a moving car,” said Rogen. And although they’re going cross country in the film, they didn’t go anywhere. “We didn’t leave Malibu, literally while making this movie. I’m not joking. We didn’t go on a road trip,” Rogen 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,” Streisand said. “I didn’t want to spend four hours in a car.”
“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. “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, adding that she told the producers, “Find a warehouse, build a set about 45 minutes from my house. 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 he seemed surprised to discover that she sees every movie that comes out every weekend. 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,” Rogen 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 where she got to stay home.
“I’m picking up the slack,” Rogen replied.
The Guilt Trip opens in theaters Dec. 19, 2012. It’s rated PG-13 for some language and risque material.