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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Streisand happy shunning fame for life of leisure

By Nekesa Mumbi Moody
Associated Press

Barbra Streisand doesn't listen to most of today's pop music, likes to spend time tending to her rose garden, and isn't rushing to return to the silver screen.

While she may be the ultimate Hollywood diva, the 60-year-old singer isn't immersed in show business much these days — and she's loving that.

"I'm kind of content in my own life, and therefore I don't need work," Streisand said. "I'm very busy with my life and my family and stuff like that, and I try to have a good time without having to work."

Streisand hasn't made a movie since 1996's "The Mirror Has Two Faces," and her latest album, "Duets," released last month, contains only two new songs. The rest is duets from her long career, with singers ranging from Frank Sinatra to Donna Summer.

While some of the material dates to the early 1960s, Streisand says she doesn't really think about her past work much. "It's not something that I have great nostalgia about."

She does have fond memories of her duet with Judy Garland on "Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again" — "That was a very special thing to meet her, and to have her support, and to have her kind of cling on to me and feel protective of her."

Streisand plans to release new material sometime next year — an album of movie show tunes, from Shirley Temple songs to more recent soundtrack hits.

Yet the eight-time Grammy winner doesn't keep up with today's pop scene. In fact, she says: "I don't ever listen to it. I can't make it out."

She recently went to see Eminem's hit movie debut, "8 Mile," and had trouble following what the rapper was saying: "Most of the language I couldn't understand. It's like watching a foreign film."

However, she says, "this kid Eminem is really interesting. I can relate to the truth, and I can relate to emotion, and I can relate to him in some strange way. ... I was raised in the projects. I was born in Brooklyn. We were poor. I relate to that stuff because that's my roots, my heritage."

As far as her own movie career, the director and Academy Award-winning actress and composer is sifting through scripts, but not much interests her.

"I read things, but I feel very busy as a person, you know. I spend a lot of time with my garden. There's stuff that has to do with life, real life, and not fantasy life."

Besides, she says, "It's time. It's nice to pass the torch, let the younger generation take over and strut their stuff."

Her passion for politics hasn't waned. The Democratic booster says she spends much of her day watching political programs and reading articles, which she posts on her Web site, www.barbrastreisand.com.