Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Friday, the Grammy-winner revealed that the election of President Donald Trump inspired her to get political on her new album Walls She felt particularly emboldened by Trump’s treatment of Queen Elizabeth during his visit to London in July.
“I couldn’t contain my emotions,” Streisand — who celebrated 20 years of marriage to husband James Brolin in the same month — told Good Morning Britain host Ross King. “I couldn’t contain my horror at this election and what kind of person that lacked grace and dignity and smarts and compassion,” she added, before wondering, “How did this happen?”
“To walk ahead of Queen Elizabeth, that was shocking,” she continued. “She’s 92 years old. Where are his manners? That’s what I’d like to know. Where are his manners? That kind of lack of dignity — [he] does not deserve to be President of the United States.”
Walls is Streisand’s biggest collection of original music since Guilty Pleasures in 2005. Its overtly political tone is conveyed through songs such as pop-inspired single “Don’t Lie to Me”, which includes the pointed lyrics “How do you sleep when the world keeps turning? / All that we built has come undone / How do you sleep when the world is burning? / Everyone answers to someone.”
Elsewhere, reworked versions of classics “Imagine,” ″What a Wonderful World,” and “What the World Needs Now” reveal Streisand’s hankering for what she views as calmer, pre-Trump days.
“The title song ‘Walls,’ which I think is, for me, not only about structural walls — like the wall he wants to spend $25 billion on. Think of how much that could do in this country for education and gun safety,” Streisand added on Good Morning Britain. “A wall that you just have to have a higher ladder to get over. I don’t understand it, but it’s symbolic to him. This song says, ‘There’ll be a better day when all the walls come tumbling down.’”
Aside from politics, Streisand was equally revealing about the new remake of A Star Is Born starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Notably, she confirmed that Elvis Presley was considered for one of the lead roles in the 1976 version in which she starred.
“We flew up there to see him. Because he was really going through that, he was gaining weight,” said Streisand, who admits she has only seen part of the remake. “I can’t remember why it didn’t happen. But it turned out for the better.” The role eventually went to Kris Kristofferson, with Streisand picking up an Academy Award for her song “Evergreen.”
“Bradley is wonderfully open,” added Streisand. “He’ll say, ‘Tell me anything you want to tell me. If you think of anything more, call me up. Tell me.’ It’s very nice.”
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As for Lady Gaga? Streisand thought it “very nice” that she wore a silver dress to the movie’s premiere, in homage to her — although it didn’t bring back completely fond memories.
“That silver dress I wore at the Grammys,” Streisand said to Good Morning Britain. “I got criticized because I did my own clothes in that movie, I just wore my own clothes from my closet. So in the credits that roll up at the end it said, ‘Miss Streisand’s clothes from her closet.’ That got a lot of bad press.”