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Oprah: Tell me about your husband, Jim. I read that after you met him, you went home feeling hopeful.

Barbra: Yes. I remember being in a supermarket around that time. I was at the checkout counter and read the headline of one of those tabloids that said an astrologer predicted I would marry again that year, but I hadn't met anyone special. I thought it was crazy.

Oprah: And you've been together for ten years, right?

Barbra: Ten together, eight married. Time goes so fast. It's hard to understand where all the years go.

Oprah: How did you meet?

Barbra: At a dinner party, a blind date. I walked in and saw him with a buzz cut. No hair! It wasn't pretty. I went and played with the children, but eventually I had to come back to the table and sit next to him. We started talking about architecture, because I was building things and his father was a contractor. Then I touched his head, which I'd normally never do, but because I was in director mode—I was working on The Mirror Has Two Faces —and dealing with male actors all day, I was much freer. So I said, "Who fucked up your hair?" He now says that's when he fell in love with me—because I told him the truth.

Oprah: Does his presence make you calmer?

Barbra: Yes. My husband is much more easygoing than me. He'll live to be 100! [Laughs] The night we met, he wouldn't let me go back to editing my movie. Before the dinner, I'd told the crew, "I'll be back." But he took me home. I was a nervous wreck in the car. Dating is the worst.

Oprah: What is it about him that made you say yes?

Barbra: He's the yin to my yang. I wanted a companion in my life. My husband and I still have to work at our marriage every day. Relationships are about kindness. You have to constantly watch what you say and how you say it.

Oprah: Tone of voice is so powerful. You and James seem easy together, but I'm sure it's not because you're easy.

Barbra: Neither is he. He has a lot of quirks. I like things in their places. He doesn't.

Oprah: Do you have a lot of quirks?

Barbra: Probably. I'm just not aware of them as quirks.

Oprah: Tell me about your relationship with your son [Jason Gould, whose father, actor Elliott Gould, was Barbra's first husband].

Barbra: It's really good. He's a kind, thoughtful, intelligent person. I am so proud of him. It's hard for a child of famous parents. But as Jason has grown older—he turns 40 this year—he has understood how many people go through challenging childhoods. Who has it perfect? Very few. And sometimes difficulty builds character. As we become more conscious and less angry, we become more grateful.

Oprah: That's right. What matters most to you in your life?

Barbra: The happiness of my son, my relationship with my husband and friends, and the state of the world. The unconditional love a mother has for her child is amazing and rare. My puppy, Sammie, has that kind of unconditional love for me, and it's so satisfying. She's happy every time I walk into a room. Jim made the perfect choice for me.

Oprah: And you're perfect for her. Are you looking forward to your tour?

Barbra: I'm looking forward to the challenge.

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