Wednesday 13 December 2017

Midler reluctant to sing in role

Billy Crystal and Bette Midler sing a duet in Parental Guidance
Billy Crystal and Bette Midler sing a duet in Parental Guidance

Bette Midler has revealed she was reluctant to sing in her latest film Parental Guidance.

The US star of stage and screen stars with Billy Crystal in the comedy as a couple trying to bond with their grandchildren after they are left in their care.

And while Bette was delighted to be working with her old pal Billy on a family film project, the Oscar-nominated and Tony-winning star was reluctant to perform a sweet song-and-dance number with him in the film.

"The only time I ever had to wrestle her was on singing the song. She didn't want to do it," said Billy. "(She said,) 'No, then they'll say Bette Midler is singing a song.' And I say, 'No, we won't sing great. We'll sing good, but we'll sing like parents, and we'll sing together'."

Their rendition of the Monotones' 1958 doo-wop classic The Book Of Love turned out to be among the film's highlights.

"They kind of talked me into it, and I'm glad that we did it. It worked out," said Bette, 67. "It's wonderful music and maybe people will go look up the Monotones and see how fabulous they are."

The idea for the movie came from Billy's real-life experience caring for his own granddaughters.

Bette, who described herself as "just a player for hire" on Parental Guidance, said she admired Billy's sensibilities, and it was fun to finally work with her friend.

"I like to see people at their peak, people doing their best work and really working hard and bringing things to fruition. It's just fantastic," she said. "It's a hopeful picture, and I like that about him. I like the fact that he has that mentality. So to watch him in action is really a lot of fun."

:: Parental Guidance is in cinemas now.

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