Barbra Streisand Reveals the R-Rated Pickup Line She Used on James Brolin
"What else was I gonna say? 'Hello, my name is Barbra.' I mean, what?"
How do a famous TV and movie star and an Oscar-winning singer and actor kick off their relationship? With an insulting pickup line, of course. In a new interview, Barbra Streisand reminisced about meeting husband James Brolin for the first time in 1996 and how she broke the ice. As she tells it, her pickup line included both a curse word and a disparaging comment about Brolin's appearance. And it worked! The couple have now been married for 25 years.
Streisand recently opened up to CBS Sunday Morning about being set up with Brolin at a dinner party. "I walked by him, touched his hair, and said, 'Who [expletive] up your hair?' Because that was the truth," she said. "What else was I gonna say? Hello, my name is Barbra. I mean, what?"
Host Gayle King asked Brolin what he thought of Streisand's introduction. "Some people could've been turned off by that kind of directness. You were not. That was attractive to you, right?" King said. The Traffic star replied, "Very. It was instant. It was like a wand went, Bing. Uh, oh, you're screwed."
So, what was wrong with Brolin's hair, anyway? According to a 2022 interview with The Guardian, the Westworld actor had shaved his head, because he'd recently decided to grow out his natural gray rather than continue to dye it.
Prior to the dinner, a mutual friend had asked the actor's manager if he would be interested in a date with Streisand. "I'd seen her twice before, at a luncheon and at the Oscars, and went: 'Whoa!' She was different from what I expected, because we all have preconceptions about people. So I said: 'Yes, absolutely interested,'" Brolin recalled.
Then, that friend invited Brolin and Streisand to a dinner party where she delivered her memorable line. "Who [expletive] up your hair?" Brolin remembered his now-wife saying. "And that was it—I fell in love."
Streisand previously said that she had expected Brolin to look different in person. During a 2021 appearance on The Tonight Show, the Yentl star said, "I expected a guy with a brown beard and brown, wavy hair, like a mountain man. And I saw a guy that had all his hair cut off, no beard." So, she decided to point it out. She also said that while Brolin knew right away that he wanted to be with her, it "took [her] a few hours… no, a few days."
Streisand and Brolin went on to get married two years after they met, in 1998. Both actors had been married before. Brolin was married to Jane Cameron Agee from 1966 to 1984, and they welcomed two children. His second wife was Jan Smithers, to whom he was married from 1986 to 1995. They had one child together. As for Streisand, she was married to Elliott Gould from 1963 to 1971 and they had one child.
Streisand shared the secret to her and Brolin's long-lasting marriage in an interview with Variety in 2021. "The secret is to listen carefully," she said. "I think to be a good actor, you have to listen. To be a good person, you have to listen. To be a good marriage partner, you have to listen. Hear the other person. Agree to disagree."
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