‘Misery’ — I turned that down because I didn’t want to saw off someone’s foot, even though the role won an Oscar,”
Ms. Midler said of Kathy Bates’s turn in the adaptation of the Stephen King thriller. “It was stupid to say no to those pictures.”
“As an actor you’re supposed to take jobs that will challenge you or force fans to see you in a different light. By the ’90s I wasn’t really an actor anymore. I was someone who went on the road with these gigantic concerts. I got so far away from what they told you in acting class: Do something different. Producers kept offering me the ‘Sister Act’ movie, but I said, ‘My fans don’t want to see me in a wimple.’
She's a shit actress. Kathy Bates is a great one. It would have been terrible with Bette, and glad it put Kathy on the map.
"even though the role won an Oscar"
Wow, what a bitchy comment. The ROLE did not win the Oscar - THE ACTRESS WON THE OSCAR.
Now I see where all of the Bette-hatred emanates, what a colossal BITCH.
Ditto r1, just about to say that. I'm surprised they thought Bette could pull off Misery, she would've ruined it.
Oh Dear God, there is no way Midler could have done that role any justice. She would have played it all wrong, with loads of mugging and line shouting.
Could've, should've, would've.
She's a shitty actress anyway - she overacts to the point its ridiculous.
[quote] “It was stupid to say no to those pictures.”
"PictureS?" What other movies was she talking about?
It would have been a CAMP FEST. Considering that I laugh at some of the campiness of Kathy Bates in the role, I can only image what Midler would have brought to the table.
I bet she didn't get the role, but she's making it sound like she turned it down.
R8 she was offered the role. I read a book by the casting director of Misery. I forgot the title, but she writes about her career in casting, including offering the part in Misery to Bette.
She can always do "Misery:The Musical" (once she's finished with the tour of "R*chelle, R*chelle.)
I would watch Kathy Bates read the phone book, she's a homegrown great actress on par with the great Brit actresses, and I don't like most USA actresses at all. But Bates is a MASTER, I've seen her in other things and she's amazing in anything she does. I wish they'd employ her more.
Plus didn't Bette and James Caan absolutely loathe each other during filming of For the Boys? I got she feeling she never wanted to work with him again.
Patty Duke could have played that role!!
Wasn't Streisand offered the role first?
R14 Yes, after Lucille Ball, and, well you know the rest.
To be fair, R12, any woman who's ever worked with James Caan has loathed him.
I don't know, it seems like she has always said 'yes'.
Bette was heartbreaking in The Rose.She might have been good in Misery but Kathy Bates was excellent.I'm not sure if Bette would have won the oscar.
I'm glad she didn't make it. It was just another lets abuse a man movie.
She is incredibly bitter over losing the Oscar. She brings it up constantly.
Are you Whoopi Goldberg?And hey Daphne Zuniga!I like you as an actress but you were maybe a little young for Annie Wilkes back then.Hey Whoopi!What happened to your career since The Color Purple?You used to be an actress!Oh and by the way!An alcoholic Rabbi at a Three Stooges film-festival just called.He wants his stage-name back!
[quote] Bates is a MASTER, I've seen her in other things and she's amazing in anything she does. I wish they'd employ her more.
I've liked Bates in lots of things, but she was a wet blanket in ANNIE
When movie-lovers and critics compile a list of "people who should have won an Oscar but didn't": Bette Midler is not at the tip of their tongue.
Bitch needs to step back. She's the only one mourning her lost.
I have to agree that Kathy Bates wasn't very good in Annie but of course that movie could have been better,and the real wet-blanket was that Grace Farrell.Give me Ann Reinking any time.If they're going to remake a musical,remake HAIR or Mame or Cabaret.
Hey Dotty Loudon?Are you actually Dorothy Loudon?The original Miss Hannigan?I liked you on the record.The problem with Kathy Bates is that she seemd so nice you couldn't believe her going along with killing Annie and Carol Burnett was so messed-up you couldn't see her forgiving Annie for ripping up that check and trying to save her from Rooster.
Actually the movie she should have done was Sister Act because she could have camped it up and been all BETTE.
Misery? I think that would have summed up James Caan's experience had Bette done it.
You must be gay!She was great in that number.Much better than the boring lady in the remake!WE GOT ANN!
[quote]You must be gay!
Yes, I am indeed gay, you fucking idiot.
This is a gay forum--have you not noticed?
Can't stand her, one of the few celebrities I really detest. Thank god she didn't take the role in Misery and ruin the movie.
Kathy Bates caused me 3 sleepless nights after 'night Mother. That was the most nerve wracking, terrifying, emotionally draining play I've ever seen. The movie doesn't do much for me. Bates KILLED that role (pardon the pun).
[quote] Kathy Bates caused me 3 sleepless nights after 'night Mother.
Kathy received her first and only Tony nomination for that role.
Her luck she was up against Jessica Tandy (Foxfire) who walked off with the Tony Award.
For The Boys came out after Misery.
[R16] Kathy was actually pretty complimentary about James in her Oscar speech. Said she was his "biggest fan" in a nod to the Misery character.
Bette would have been a disaster in Misery.
Years earlier Bette turned down the Adrian role in Rocky!
Bette is delusional. She isn't a very good actress and would have turned Misery into a total campfest.
Such bullshit that Bette's not a good actress. She is and if you read the piece in the Times, you'd have read that she's sees how she has limited herself due to some internal inferiority complex. She's quite different in real life than what we often see in performance or on screen.
You do not have a career spanning The Rose, Big Business, For the Boys, Ruthless People, Beaches and more unless you're talented. Yes there aplenty of flops in there too, but every actor has flops.
You may not care for her performances on film, but she is talented.
I wish she had done Sister Act, but also think it would have simply become another Bette comedy in the vein of Ruthless People - a lot of mugging and snappy one-liners. Whoopi definitely brought something very different to a role originally intended for Bette.
I hope the new play goes well for her - 80-90 minutes alone on stage is not something many actors can do, let alone attempt.
This bitch needs to sit down. She was not messing with Queen Sally that year. If it were Places of the Heart then well...
Yes Bette is delusional and revisionist and holds a grudge.
Her fans would have loved Bette in "Sister Act", but her VANITY did not want to be seen in a wimple and thought she deserved better acting roles. That role is Bette Midler. Mouthy Moll forced to go in hiding as a nun, begrudgingly bringing girl group arrangements to the Sister's Choir. Her fans would have loved it, she knows it and is being disingenuous. She's famous for that.
For someone with such a persona of "Fuck em if they Can't take a Joke" Midler has proven time and time again to be humourless and lacking in insight about her career and her talents.
She does have talents, but sold out a long time ago. For twenty years she has been selling a cynical version of the outrageous, quirky, kick-ass broad and great raw musical cabaret style performer she once was. She was the only one who did what she did. But she wanted more.
Her recordings became attempts to prove that she was a good a singer as she was a performer and therefor lost what made her live reedy plaintive voice special. Her affectionate, joyful send-ups of thirties, forties and fifties music styles turned into some idea that she was a great vocalist from the past. She determinedly lost her way.
As an actress, what is there to say. Diana Ross in "Lady Sings the Blues" is forty years later, still the true knockout performance of a singer taking on a high wire acting and musical challenge and surpassing anyone's expectations. Truly memorable and Oscar worthy. Not the Rose.
Bette's films as tasteless as most of them are utilized her hammy and maudlin talents well and the Disney comedies are just fine for what they are. Sister Act would have been a step up.
She is no Kathy Bates. Kathy Bates is a great actress who played an over the top obsessed character with her own quirky madness. Her performance in Misery resembles none of her other performances. She is an actress.
Bette Midler in Misery would resemble Bette Midler's hair in "Beaches" and her performance in the Rose, Stella, The Stepford Wifes and Ruthless People.
I used to like her, and have been to many of her concerts and bought the t-shirt, but although I am twenty years younger than her I outgrew her a while ago.
Bette is not happy. She found love and wide appeal acceptance, got her mainstream hit records and films, brought warmth and irreverence and zing to every personal appearance, was once audacious and a true original, and was therefor respected and an event. She was a definite, people responded or didn't. Her fans and many other performers love her. She crossed generations too and not only with gay men. She has so many devoted fans still.
All of this with only a modicum of vocal ability and an acting style that disappeared with the talkies.
Old Songs for the New Depression, Ms. Midler.
Bette accepting an Emmy where she says she was 'pissed' (her words) on losing the Emmy for Gypsy, the last time she was nominated for an Emmy.
Jesus, r45, so much effort put into hating someone.
Midler can act when a director works well with her, but most of her work has been comedy that doesn't show it off. Even so, The Rose, much of For the Boys, even some moments in Stella, First Wives Club and Then She Found Me demonstrate how good she can be.
There is not a word of hate in my post. I wrote as fan who saw his first Bette Midler concert at 18 in 1983 and as a musician who is familiar with all of her recordings.
It is a critique of Midler and my younger tastes, a grown up perspective. It is pretty well presented too and gives Bette her due in my opinion.
I was taught at the Royal Conservatory to never defend a critique, but for you I make an acception.
[quote]The Rose, Big Business, For the Boys, Ruthless People, Beaches
Um, with the exception of the end of The Rose those are all the same performance - brash loudmouth.
[quote] I was taught at the Royal Conservatory to never defend a critique, but for you I make an acception.
Clearly an education at the Royal Conversatory isn't worth shit.
Bette is delusional and insufferable. I can't stand her "singing" (i.e., pitchy screeching) or "acting" (i.e., camp shitfests).
She's had a hell of a career, why not be grateful? No one reveres Streisand anymore either, and she could sing.
She probably wouldn't have won an Oscar for Misery if she did it...she'd have just chewed the scenery and yelled and never got the subtilties and menace and lonely desperation Bates got.
[quote] I wish they'd employ her more.
Bates hasn't stopped working since she won the Oscar.
Not counting opera she is one of the best live performers I have ever seen and I have ever seen, right up until her last MSG appearance.
SISTER ACT was written for her, and without her, the joke doesn't really make sense: a Jew in a nun's habit. It was Paul Rudnick's idea. Midler didn't get it. The joke with Whoopi Goldberg is less trenchant: a "ghetto" black women has to clean up her act. Not the same joke.
Midler can sell a song, but she's not much of an actor and she's never had much of a voice. Streisand can't really act, either, but she used to have a voice. Liza Minnelli is neither a singer nor an actor.
They're what we have. Or had.
Bronson Pinchot said Bette Midler was a huge cunt on the set of First Wives Club.
Hey, asshole, r57, the quote - if you must quote - is the following:
"Yes, because Bette Midler was such a bitch to him," the "him" in question being the director of *First Wives Club*, Hugh Wilson (who, by the way, is mostly a hack sitcom director, and it wouldn't surprise me if he was an uninspiring guy to work with).
Nowhere does Pinchot say "Midler was a huge cunt."
What the fuck is your problem? If somebody said Daniel Patrick Harris was a dick on the set of his TV show, would you translate that as, "DBH was a huge faggot on that show?"
I don't think you would.
Knock it the fuck off with the "cunt" stuff.
Who the hell is Daniel Patrick Harris, and who is DBH?
Misery is a movie worth seeing COMPLETELY unto Kathy Bates, not the role.
Bette would have RUINED the film - RUINED it with her broad playing of the part. She overacts terribly. Constantly playing to the CHEAP seats in the back....
This thread took a very exciting turn with R.45's response. Someone educated at the Royal Conservatory is posting, boys! As Gomer Pyle used to say, "Gol-ly!"
I think he meant Neil Patrick Harris.
WHO IS SO OVERRATED!
I think Bette would make a fabulous Lola Lasagna in the next Batman movie.
It might have been interesting. Instead of hobbling him she could have chewed his legs off after she was done with the scenery.
[quote] Liza Minnelli is neither a singer nor an actor.
Huh? Liza Minnelli is an excellent actress. She's weird and hard to cast, but in the right roles she has been universally appreciated. Check out The Sterile Cuckoo, her fairly recent episode of Law and Order (Where she played a crypto-Patsy Ramsay), or her hilarious appearances in Arrested Development even.
r59, I don't know what's wrong with my head today. I meant Neil Patrick Harris, yes. Oops.
Both Patty Duke, or Sally Field would also have been excellent in "Misery".
R56/58 time to quit licking Midler's shit stained panties you festering cunt. Now go kick your mom in the cooze for not getting the wire hanger up far enough when she had the chance.
r66, OMG, she is EXHAUSTING in THE STERILE CUCKOO. Have you seen it lately? All she does is tremble. When she's not trembling, she's quailing.
r68, neither Sally Field nor Patty Duke (what were you thinking?) is 1/8th as talented as Kathy Bates.
r69, I think you very efficiently prove my point that DL is packed with women-haters.
Reading some of the comments about Bette, Liza, and Barbra, I was reminded of what Pauline Kael wrote many years ago about Funny Lady: "There is a danger now for any woman music-comedy star that she will begin to give her screaming fans what they want, not realizing how much malice and how much bad taste are mixed with their worship. On the way out of the theater, the same young men who had shouted 'Bravo' after her musical assaults were exchanging spiteful remarks about how she looked."
No R71 you proved that like Midler you are a cunt.
None of you have any idea what "Misery" with Bette Midler would be like. There is a thing called a director and that was Rob Reiner, not some novice who would have let her run slipshod over him. It's very likely he could have gotten a great performance out of her and if he wasn't happy, he would have fired her.
[quote]Misery’ — I turned that down because I didn’t want to saw off someone’s foot, even though the role won an Oscar,”
Oh. Screw Bette Midler. Kathy Bates earned that Oscar, the role didn't. Kathy Bates is just a truly gifted character actress and she sure as hell proved it with "Misery."
I was raised over in Tennessee. The Tennessee triumvirate of actresses is (the late) Patricia Neal, Cherry Jones, and Kathy Bates. Bette Midler can't touch any of them so fuck her.
Did the original script have the foot sawing? Or was the "hobbling" scene for the film always intended to be the sledgehammer?
It wasn't sawing at all.
She used an axe and then took a torch to the stump to cauterize the bleeding.
I highly doubt the book version would ever have made it into the film.
r73, Silverman isn't funny or charming or smart in that video. You totally need to get some therapy, motherfucker. Your hatred of women is hurting you.
I cannot stand Bette Midler and her over acting self. She has an inferiority complex? Gee, I wonder why? Has anyone seen her spawn Sophie? Not to be too Eugenicy, but the results of that breeding experiment should provide a caution to other appearance challenged wannbe breeders.
She ought to bow down and kiss the ground every day that she had the career which she had. She was a case of "right character right time" back in her days at The Baths.
I think it speaks volumes that she even voiced this opinion publicly. Most actors have the class to NOT mention roles which they turned down, being well aware that it is a slap in the face to the actor who did play accept the part.
I always think of Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct" when this sort of thing happens. She was admittedly around the 8th choice to play Ms Crotch Shot. And for what it's worth, for a brief time, that role pole vaulted her to the A list.
"Bette is delusional. She isn't a very good actress and would have turned Misery into a total campfest."
Heard during their fight scene towards the end:
Paul Sheldon: Miss Wilkes you've got no tits and a tight box.
Annie Wilkes: Paul Sheldon get off my back!
Bette is the greatest live performer I've ever seen.
Misery might have been interesting with her in the role, who knows? She is definitely very talented. Her acting chops were really only explored in the The Rose, and that was probably just the tip of the iceberg. Now, we'll never know unless she experiences some kind of Renaissance late in life.
Big BM has always seemed insecure about her acting talent. I respect Jodie Foster for saying that she doesn't like when actors talk about roles they were offered, because it does a disservice to the actor that ended up getting and successfully playing the role. Misery could have been a giant critical and box office flop with hambone Midler. Give some respect to Kathy Bates, bitch.
"By the ’90s I wasn’t really an actor anymore. I was someone who went on the road with these gigantic concerts."
Just to get caught up, this woman is bat-shit crazy, right?
FOR THE BOYS is one of the worst films ever made.
Nonetheless, she totally sells that John Lennon song.
Does she get her social security checks delivered to the theater?
What's wrong with being a good comedian? Bette made Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Ruthless People, Big Business, and (that horrid turd) Hocus Pocus.
^^Agreed, Bette's In My Life is much better than Lennon's.
Why are people so hateful anymore on here?
What's crazy about that R83? Her tours were huge - up until her last one, Kiss My Brass, the sets were enormous. And she still acted in the 90s but yeah, nothing that compared to her stuff in the 80s, other than First Wives Club maybe.
Midler is effective in comedies playing one kind of role. Herself, basically. Or, a version of the stage persona she's created of the years.
She's an entertainer, certainly. A very entertaining one. But a great actress? No. She has no range or depth and could never do the kinds of roles Streep, Close, Bates, ... et al do. THOSE are actresses.
That's not to take away from Midler. She's great at what she does. But she's always been too ambitious. She's always thought she was an artist. A lot of entertainers make the same mistake in thinking they can branch out (see Madonna).
Now Cher, on the other hand, somehow made it work. She's not a great singer or actress, but she's good at both (in certain roles, at least) But she also doesn't seem to take the whole thing too seriously, which is what makes her appealing. She understands her limitations and works around them.
I've only seen that scene from The Rose with Midler in the phonebox. I was really taken aback - her performance, in that scene at least, was very real.
R78 why don't you eat the corn out of Midler's shit. You aren't a woman you're a cunt. While you are at it, dig up Andrea Dworkin and eat what's left of her snatch out.
Part of the reason Kathy Bates was sensational in, and won the Oscar for, [italic]Misery[/italic] is because she gave it some moments of humanity.
Her Annie Wilkes was sadly absorbed in those novels that they were, for her, [italic]life[/italic]. Another example is when she tells James Caan's Paul that there is no need for the profanity in his recent novel.
The viewing audience I was with laughed at that rather mockingly; but at that time, those who felt profanity had become unnecessary, that the words were deliberately stressed, should have been able to get it. (That was still fresh back then.) Annie basically spelled it out for Paul -- that she and no one else goes to buy hamburger and phrases it as, "I'd like a pound of that goddamn ground chuck." (Okay not exactly the quote.)
Bates was unique in that part. She earned her 1990 best-actress Oscar. Had Bette Midler been cast, her performance of Annie would not have been on the Academy's radar.
The only people who should be sorry Bette Midler didn't play Annie in [italic]Misery[/italic] are the two women who were perceived as frontrunners for the statue: Anjelica Huston ([italic]The Grifters[/italic]) and Joanne Woodward ([italic]Mr. and Mrs. Bridge[/italic]).
Joanne Woodward couldn't give a flip about the competition for the Oscar. She didn't even show up for the ceremonies that year.
Congratulations for deliberately missing the point, R94!
Joanne Woodward wasn't sorry about Bette Midler and Misery, because she didn't care about the Oscars that year.
I auditioned for Misery, then that bitch Hepburn stole it out from under me. Then she died- HA! Then they gave it to that fat girl...
Miss Lucille Ball
I'm guessing her last movie, Parental Guidance, was not very good.
I SAY YES TO MISERY EVERYDAY!!!!
I didn't go either. The only showI missed. I was pregnant with one of the girls (not Mamie one of the other ones)
I've always liked Bette. She's a great performer and quite interesting in an interview.
However, saying that "the (Misery) role won an Oscar" was rather callous and bitchy of Bette. Kathy Bates won the Oscar for her portrayal of the character in Misery. "The role" didn't win. Was that an intentionally bitchy thing for Bette to say, or did Bette just misspeak?
[quote]Did the original script have the foot sawing? Or was the "hobbling" scene for the film always intended to be the sledgehammer?
William Goldman, the screenwriter, included the foot sawing and fought like hell to keep it in the movie. He later admitted that the director was right to change the scene.
Here I am playing the great Jacqueline Susann! Why didn't I get an Oscar for this- WHYYY?!!
Bette would have made that role a Razzie award winner
Bates absolutely brought a humanity to Annie Wilkes. Plus, James Caan always comes off as a shithead, so there are moments where you feel for her.
Plus, it helps that Bates was more unknown. If it was Midler, you would have been thinking, "oh look Ce Ce Bloom has become a psycho murderer."
Whenever you hear actors talk about roles they passed up, it is ALWAYS added that whoever got the role was great and was the right choice. Or, they explain a specific reason they turned it down, such as Michelle Pheiffer saying she thought Silence of the Lambs was too violent FOR HER.
Bette Midler saying that a specific role is responsible for an Oscar is the height of cuntiness. I hope someone calls her out on it. I used to be a fan, but the brashness that was funny when she was younger now comes off as bitterness to put it politely.
I agree r106 and r89.
Anti-establishment brashness to self-parody bitterness. Bette as Vickie Edie.
Cher did do all this much better. She may not be as bright or as talented as Midler, but she knows her strengths, makes fun of her limitations, appreciates her fans, and gives them what they want. umm, she does have an Oscar, though.
Bette Midler would have won an Oscar in Moonstruck too of course, because it comes with the role? I take it back, Cher is brighter and more talented of an actress than Midler.
[quote]Was that an intentionally bitchy thing for Bette to say, or did Bette just misspeak?
I don't think she meant it as a slight against Kath. I imagine she was just meaning she regretted turning down a part/role that would later win someone an Oscar. I doubt that phrasing was deliberate. Then again, she IS a raging cunt...
[quote]Bette's In My Life is much better than Lennon's.
Oh please. That's perhaps the best of all Beatles songs.
Her version is fine - notable for the performance on Carson(?) - but she's hardly this brilliant interpretive singer or anything. Johnny Cash also did a bang up version as did others, but the original will always remain supreme.
Why why why why why why why why why why why why why WHY
Why do you motherfuckers have to use the word "cunt" whenever you talk about women?
The word "cunt" does not show up when you are trying to trash men.
You think women are contemptible and you think the worst thing you can compare someone to is a vagina.
You disgust me.
Agree r108. I don't think she meant it as a swipe against K at all.
Seriously, you need therapy, you women-haters. It's a problem for you.
Cunty is as cunty does.
This is a Bette Midler thread, so what do you expect misogyny troll. Everyone gets called a cunt, regardless of gender so cunt off you fucking cunt! What a freak.
Faggoty assed faggot.
Do you like that?
R109...Actually, Bette has called herself a cunt many times in the past.
It wasn't until she started shitting all over the idea of gay marriage and amped up her homophobia, that I started to oblige the cunt.
Bette has hardly 'amped up her homophobia'. That is as ridiculous a statement as I've ever heard.
Sophie Midler Von Hasselhoff is at Yale drama. (I stopped my alumni donations in protest....I thought Mamie's acting career was a joke but this is just beyond ridiculous)
R116, she essentially said that gay men are too promiscuous to ever be in a stable, loving marriage.
If that ain't homophobia...then I don't know what is.
Midler is a C-U-N-T
She said that being gay is all about the hunt and getting as many men as possible. Yucky old bitch.
She just gave another interview, and again talks about turning down Misery
She lamented turning down Misery – “I said who would go see that? (Kathy Bates) won the Academy Award and I’m just a jerk”
I never did like this bitch. She overacts in everything she does.
what a bitter lot,so she wants an Oscar,shes the only actor honest enough to say it,she said to Katie couric that Kathy bates nailed that role,and she was too self conscious to do it,ps bette beat Kathy at the golden globes in 1992 for,for the boys, best actress catergory, so apples and oranges, and when will [im gay] the self righteous gays ,stop claiming female entertainers as their property and have to agree with their point of view,they are not gay men,and don't have to agree with any of us,the misgony is disgusting, especially from those who shriek for sensitivity and equality,yet slam her because she didn't live up to their expectations! like homophobic parents treat their gay kids.
She would have won the Oscar had she played that part!
R123 is a loon.
I would pay to see some drag queen do a Bette Midler version of Misery ....pay, I tell you !!
She is CRAZY .... she would've totally changed that movie and it would've been a camp classic.
"I should've taken that cockadoodie role, Mr. Man !!"
It is pure MISERY listening to her sing "The Wind Beneath My Wings."
R127 I agree. Sheena Easton did a WAAAAAAY better job singing it (and did it years before Bette).