‘Beaches’ Cast, Producers on Why They Remade ’80s Classic

TCA 2017: “There’s a whole young generation of kids who have not seen ‘Beaches,'” Idina Menzel says

The cast and filmmakers of Lifetime’s “Beaches” remake addressed why they decided to shoot a new version of Garry Marshall’s classic 1988 movie that starred Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey.

“This is like phenomenal, raw art now, compared to what women get to do on the screen presently,” director Alison Anders said of the first time she saw the original film, while presenting her remake at the Television Critics’ Association’s press tour on Friday.

“It was completely female-driven… and the friendship was so messy, I was shocked, watching it, even all these years later,” Anders said. “It was like, ‘Oh my God, she didn’t do that did she? And they’re saying what to each other?’ I was in. I was daunted by the task, we were all daunted because of our admiration for it, but we were willing to go for it and honor it.”

For Idina Menzel, who plays Midler role of CC to Nia Long as Hershey’s character, Hillary, the goal was to introduce the story to a new generation.

“I have a niece who actually said, ‘Julia Roberts? Who?’ and I was like, ‘You’ve gotta be f—ing kidding me,'” the actress said. “When I realized that, there’s a whole young generation of kids who have not seen ‘Beaches,’ and yes you can send it to them, but if Nia and I can bring it to people in a way — it’s a reminder, it’s an homage.

“And it can open a new discussion, this time, about where women are, how we balance and navigate these passions that we have, our careers and our families. It’s similar but I think things have changed. It’s another way to start a conversation.”

And how many times did Menzel have to sing “The Wind Beneath My Wings” for the remake’s soundtrack?

“Five times in, I felt like I was hitting things I really wanted to hit,” she said.

“Beaches” airs on Lifetime on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. ET.