Star Is Born - A Lost Opportunity or Con?
Nigel Patterson, 2002)
Elvis lore there considerable attention is given to the lost
opportunities during Elvis's lifetime. Notable examples are
the Colonel turning down huge offers for Elvis to tour England,
Europe, Japan and Australasia.
incident is Barbra Streisand (and her boyfriend manager, Jon
Peters) offering Elvis the co-starring role in her movie,
A Star Is Born, a movie the eventual lead, country singer-songwriter,
Kris Kristofferson went on to garner an Golden Globe nomination
as Best Actor.
the Colonel stymie this offer or was there another reason
or reasons that also stymied Elvis ever appearing in A Star
his absorbing book, The Agency (William Morris and the Hidden Story
of Show Business), Frank Rose, recounts what occurred when Barbra
Streisand met Elvis backstage in his Vegas dressing room:
was the perfect role for him - a defeated rock idol, victim of the
machinery - but most important it was a real role, with a real costar
in a real movie, not just an excuse to sing lame songs while some
floozy jiggled her assets. Elvis was so excited, he accepted on
the spot. For a short while it all came back to him, the freshness
and the enthusiasm, almost like he was a kid and starting over.
But Streisand went away shocked by his appearance, and Colonel Parker
wasn't happy at the idea of anyone approaching his boy directly.
When he demanded $1 million - Elvis's customary fee - and Elvis's
name alone above the title, the project went away.'
there is another, quite different slant on the 'A Star Is Born'
saga, one given by Elvis's friend and prominent Memphis Mafia member,
Joe Esposito. In his entertaining book, Good Rockin' Tonight, Joe
suggests that Barbra Steisand may never have been serious about
offering Elvis the part.
is that she was getting back at Elvis for 'constructive' criticism
he had made about her show several months earlier. Joe states: Then
Elvis proceeded to offer Barbra "constructive" criticism on her
show. Her hand movements were obscuring her face, he told her. It
was a sincere but tactless effort to help make her show even greater.
Barbra just stood there; she didn't utter a word. Joe then says
in reference to Elvis not co-starring with Streisand:
the time we figured that Barbra never intended to use Elvis anyway,
that she was really getting back at him for the incident that had
taken place at Caesar's. Joe adds: But now I think she and Peters
had come up with an inspired casting choice, and that the role might
have been the one to showcase Elvis's talent.
there we have it, three quite different explanations of why Elvis
never co-starred with Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born. Which
one of these provides the real answer? We will probably never really
know and in reality it may well have been a combination of all three
factors that meant Elvis was never destined to realise his ambition
to be a dramatic actor.
to comment on this article