Bette Midler

  • Aired:  05/06/14
  •  | Views: 12,310

Bette Midler chats about the reissue of her memoir, "A View From a Broad," growing up in Hawaii and making a successful career out of being "divine." (7:04)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A SHOWBUSINESS LEGEND.

I'LL MAKE HER APOLOGIZE FOR HOWMUCH I CRIED AT THE END OF

"BEACHES."

PLEASE WELCOME BETTE MIDLER.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

MISS MIDLER, THANK YOU SO MUCHFOR COMING.

WHAT A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU ONHERE.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> Stephen: SINGER, ACTRESS-->> COMIC.

>> Stephen: COMEDIENNE--WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DESCRIBE

YOURSELF.

>> SMALL, VERY THIN, ELDERLY,BUT I LOOK FABULOUS.

WHAT CAN I SAY?

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

>> Stephen: YOU DO.

YOU'VE WON-- YOU'VE WON THREEGRAMMIES, FOUR GOLDEN GLOBES,

THREE EMMYS AND A TONY.

AND YOU'RE HERE WITH ANINTERESTING PROJECT.

IT'S A RE-ISSUE OF A BOOK THATYOU ORIGINALLY WROTE AND PUT OUT

IN 1980 CALLED "A VIEW FROM ABROAD."

>> UH-HUH, UH-HUH, UH-HUH.

THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: WHY-- WHYRE-ISSUE A BOOK FROM ALMOST 35

YEARS AGO?

AND CAN I DO THAT, TOO?

>> , OF COURSE, YOU CAN.

IF YOU HAVE A BOOK YOU MAYRE-ISSUE.

EVERYBODY RE-ISSUES STUFFNOWADAYS.

THEY RE-ISSUE THEIR GREAT ALBUM,THEIR GREAT MOVIE.

THE 40th ANNIVERSARY OF"BEACHES," OR WHATEVER THE HECK.

SO I HAVE HAD-- IT WAS IN THEPILE.

YOU KNOW HOW YOU HAVE THE LITTLEPILES ALL OVER THE HOUSE?

>> Stephen: SURE.

>> AND YOU START TO TRY TO KEEPTHEM IN ORDER EVERY NOW AND

AGAIN.

SO FOUND THIS IN THE PILE AND IREAD IT, AND-- BUT THE VOICE OF

IT IS SO DISARMING AND SO SWEET,NOT LIKE I AM NOWADAYS.

I'M COVERED IN BARNICLES, I'M ACRONE.

IT WAS NICE-- I THOUGHT IT WOULDBE A NICE YET IDEA-- THERE ARE

TWO GENERATIONS BETWEEN THAT ANDTHIS AND THEY DON'T KNOW ME AT

ALL.

I THOUGHT, MAYBE YOU KNOW, MAYBETHEY'LL GET INTO-- I'M NOT JUST

WINNIE FROM HOCUS-POCUS.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )>> Stephen: WHEN YOU WENT

BACK AND INTERESTED AND HEARDTHAT VOICE OF THE YOUNGER YOU,

WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF YOURSELF?

>> YOU KNOW, I WAS SO-- THEREWAS A SWEETNESS TO ME AND A

NAIVETE, AND IT'S ALSO VERY,VERY FUNNY.

I WAS FUNNY IN A VERY EFFORTLESSWAY, AND I REALLY LIKE THAT

VOICE.

I REALLY LIKE-- THERE'S A LITTLEEDGE OF CYNICISM, BUT IT'S

ALSO-- THERE ARE SO MANY LIES INIT!

>> Stephen: REALLY.

>> IT'S SO FULL OF LIES THAT I--IT'S A CONFECTION --

>> Stephen: HAVE YOU THOUGHTABOUT ANNOTATING IT WITH JUST

THE WORD "( BLEEP )" AT THEBOTTOM OF EACH PAGE.

>> THAT'S A GREAT IDEA.

THAT'S WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE.

>> Stephen: YOU SHOULD PUTOUT A TEACHER'S EDITION.

THIS IS DESCRIBING A TOUR, AWORLD TOUR YOU DID IN 1978.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: WERE THEREGROUPIES?

>> FOR WOMEN THERE ARE NOGROUPIES.

>> Stephen: REALLY, NO?

>> YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE SOUNDCREW OR LIGHTING CREW.

YOU GET YOUR PICK OF THEM.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

>> SOMETIMES IF YOU'RE REALLY--

>> Stephen: DID YOU PARADETHEM BY.

>> YOU CAN SEE HOW I PICKED MYBAND.

I MADE THEM DROP TROU.

THOSE DAYS ARE OVER, OF COURSE,.

>> Stephen: THEY DON'T HAVETO BE.

I HAVE A LOVELY CREW HERE.

ANY OF THESE GUYS WOULD BEHONORED.

THERE IT IS.

THERE IS A PICTURE-->> HOW I CHOOSE MY BAND.

>> Stephen: THAT'S ACTUALLYYOUR BAND WITHOUT ANY PANTS ON.

>> Stephen: WHAT WOULD YOUSAY TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF NOW IF

YOU COULD TALK TO HER?

>> I WOULD SAY HANG ON.

IT'S GOING TO BE A HELL OF ARIDE.

THAT'S WHAT I WOULD SAY.

>> Stephen: WOULD SHE SAYANYTHING TO YOU?

IS IT A TWO-WAY STREET, WHEN YOURECAPTURE THAT VOICE BY READING

ABOUT YOURSELF WHAT, DO YOUTHINK SHE WOULD SAY TO YOU?

>> SHE WOULD PROBABLY SAY I'MTOUGH I CAN MAKE IT.

INDEED, I DID.

BUT IN A CAREER YOU HAVE YOURUPS AND YOUR DOWNS.

NOT FOR YOU, NOT FOR YOU.

>> Stephen: IT'S BEEN ONEROCKET RIDE TO HEAVEN.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

>> I HAVE TO ADMIT, IT'S TRUE.

I HAVE FOLLOWED YOU, AND IT ISTRUE.

I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU DO IT.

I SWEAR TO GOD.

THE REST OF US HIT SNAGS ALLTIME, BUT NOT YOU.

>> Stephen: WHAT'S IT LIKE TOBE DIVINE?

YOU ARE THE DIVINE MISS M..

AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT MEANSWHEN IT'S APPLIED TO YOU, "THE

DIVINE?">> WELL, YOU KNOW, IT'S SO ODD--

YOU CAN TAKE IT IN TWO WAYS.

I THOUGHT-- YOU KNOW WHEN I WASA GIRL, I USED TO READ ALL THESE

SORT OF VARIOUS GOSSIPY BOOKSAND PEOPLE WOULD GO AROUND

SAYING,"YOU'RE SO DIVINE,DARLING.

YOU'RE DIVINE."

AND I THOUGHT THAT SOUNDS LIKEFUN, BE DIVINE.

I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE GOD-LIKEQUALITY OF IT, I DIDN'T

UNDERSTAND THE REFERENCE TO THESPIRITUALITY OF IT.

AND REALLY THE TRUTH IS, IF YOUSAY YOU'RE DIVINE ENOUGH, YOU

ACTUALLY DO BECOME RATHERGOD-LIKE, BUT IN FACT --

>> Stephen: ISN'T THAT ABURDEN?

>> NO, NOT FOR ME.

NOT FOR ME.

( LAUGHTER )I'M ALWAYS STRUGGLING TO BE ONE

WITH GOD.

I'M ALWAYS STRUGGLING.

YES, I AM, IT'S TRUE.

IN FACT I TOLD MY DAUGHTER ANDHUSBAND I WAS A MESSIAH.

AND THEY BELIEVED ME.

>> Stephen: THAT STORY OFTENENDS, YOU KNOW, KIND OF ROUGH.

>> VERY BADLY.

( LAUGHTER ).

>> Stephen: IT HAS A HAPPYENDING, BUT IN BETWEEN, THERE'S

A TROUGH.

>> YES, YES.

I DO-- I'VE SEEN THE PICTURE.

I SAW THE MOVIE.

>> Stephen: YOU DESCRIBEDYOURSELF AS SOMETHING OF A

MISFIT.

EVERYBODY LIKES YOU.

HOW COULD YOU BE A MISFIT?

>> I WAS BORN IN HAWAII, AND IWAS BORN IN HAWAII IN THE MIDDLE

OF THE LAST CENTURY-- I'M NOTGOING TO TELL YOU WHEN.

I WAS BORN IN HAWAII, AND INTHOSE DAYS, THE DAYS THAT I WAS

GROWING UP, WHITE PEOPLE WERECONSIDERED THE ENEMY.

AND IF YOU WERE WHITE THEYCALLED YOU THINGS LIKE HOLLY

CRAB OR ( BLEEP ) OR THIS ORTHAT.

>> Stephen: WHAT DOES HOWLYMEAN?

>> WHITE PERSON.

FOLLOW ALONG, HONEY, FOLLOWALONG.

WHITE, WHITE.

>> Stephen: I DON'T SPEAKALOHA.

>> HAWLEY MEANS A FOREIGNER ANDIT REFERS TO PEOPLE WHO ARE

WHITE.

>> Stephen: DID YOU HAVE TODEVELOP A CHARACTER?

>> I DID, I REALLY DID.

I DEVELOPED A LOT OF ARMOR INTHOSE DAYS.

IT WAS OKAY.

IT REALLY WAS OKAY.

WHEN I DISCOVERED THAT IACTUALLY COULD MAKE THOSE PEOPLE

WHO WERE NOT HAPPY WITH MELAUGH, THIS WAS A BIG STEP

FORWARD FOR ME.

AND, REALLY, I NEVER LOOKED BACKFROM THAT.

THINGS CHANGED FOR ME ONE ILEARNED THAT I COULD MAKE PEOPLE

LAUGH.

AND THEN ONCE I WENT TO A HIGHSCHOOL WHERE THERE HAPPENED TO

BE A FEW MORE WHITE PEOPLE THANME, SO I KNOW ABOUT

DISCRIMINATION.

I KNOW ABOUT THAT.

BECAUSE I FELT IT.

I KNOW WHAT THAT'S ABOUT.

AND MY DAD WAS FANTASTIC.

MY DAD WAS LIKE EVERYBODY'SSWELL.

EVERYBODY'S GREAT.

IT DIDN'T MATTER WHAT COLORYOU WERE.

IT DIDN'T MATTER WHAT COLOR YOUWERE.

HE WAS THE MOST TOLERANT MAN IEVER MET AND I THINK I GOT A LOT

OF THAT FROM HIM.

>> Stephen: HOW LONG DID YOUDO THIS CHARACTER THE DIVINE

MIS"M"?

>> I'M STILL DOING IT.

I SHOWED UP HERE, DIDN'T I?

I HAVE BEEN DIVINE FOR ABOUT-- ISTARTED OUT, I THINK SINCE 1967.

I CLAIMED MYSELF DIVINE IN 1967,

AND I NEVER CHANGED MY TUNE.

>> Stephen: SO YOU CAN MAKEAN ENTIRE CAREER OF PLAYING A

CHARACTER OF YOURSELF.

( LAUGHTER )( APPLAUSE )

( CHEERS )BETTE MIDLER, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> MY PLEASURE.

>> Stephen: BETTE MIDLER, THEBOOK IS "A VIEW FROM A BROAD."

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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