Within Barbra Streisand, there exists two personalities: one that is the legendary entertainer who’s confident, precise and ready to take charge — and another who’ll as soon concede that nothing she’s put out in the world is any good.
That “two different sides of personality,” she admitted, might be reason enough to revisit therapy.
“God, I have to go back to therapy, I think! But I’m not that interested in myself again, so,” she said, humorously speaking with NPR host Terry Gross on a Nov. 8 episode of “Fresh Air.”
“I love being interested in my grandchildren,” the 81-year-old concluded.
Streisand got particularly introspective on the matter while speaking with Gross, reflecting on her tough-love, overly critical mother and her “emotionally abusive” stepfather’s possible impact on her own self-worth.
“I don’t have a swelled head, my mother didn’t have to worry — I never got that swelled head. I believed her when she put me down,” Streisand said. She said she sees such dichotomies still existing today in her response to the acclaim surrounding her new memoir, “My Name Is Barbra.”
“My editor keeps saying to me, ‘The book is really good.’ I say, ‘Is it really?’ You know what I’m saying?” she said. “I have two sides of me, and one helps the other.”
That’s when the Hollywood icon and author admitted that going back therapy might do her some good.
Elsewhere in the interview, Streisand looked back to her early days in the 1960s performing at age 19 for audiences in New York nightclub The Bon Soir. Her mother, herself once an aspiring singer, was not all that supportive of the endeavor.
“She came the second night when I was at the Bon Soir, my mother. The first thing she said, I remember, was, ‘Your voice needs — you have to use a guggle muggle because your voice needs to be stronger,’” Streisand recalled. “She made hot chocolate and put a raw egg in it, which I could never swallow.”
To hear Streisand tell it, that night marked one of the only times her mother came to see her perform.
“My mother came twice, once to see me as a singer and once to see me as an actress,” she said. “When I came off the stage as an actress in my acting class, I put on a little show, her comment was, ‘Your arms are too skinny.’”
Paired with an absent stepfather who “never saw me, he never talked to me,” Streisand admitted that such treatment probably lead her to seek attention and affirmation by way of fame.
“I think my early upbringing did effect my wanting to be famous in some way or an actor, you know, because I wasn’t seen,” she told Gross. “What a way to be seen — you become an actress, I guess.”
Streisand previously spoke on her experience with therapy and how it helped her overcome her stage fright. Longtime husband James Brolin also told TMZ earlier this year that therapy has helped his relationship with Streisand over the years, advising other couples to “have a mediator you both are easy sitting with and resolving with, it solves it immediately — whether you pay the guy or a smart friend, learn to negotiate … You’ve got to stick with it.”
“My Name Is Barbra” is out from Viking Press now.