Pop Culture

From 'Yentl' to 'Focker'

She may have given up singing in public, but Barbra Streisand hasn’t bowed out of the limelight altogether.

The 61-year-old performer is heading back to movie screens for the first time in eight years to play Ben Stiller’s mom in a sequel to the hit comedy “Meet the Parents.” A spokesman for Universal Pictures said Friday Streisand is in final negotiations for the role.

The sequel, “Meet the Fockers,” is set to go into production April 5 with Jay Roach back as director. The film is slated for release on Dec. 22, the studio spokesman said.

All the principal cast members from “Meet the Parents” — Stiller, Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner and Teri Polo — are returning for the sequel, along with Dustin Hoffman, who has been cast as Stiller’s father.

Stiller starred in the original 2000 box office hit film as accident-prone male nurse Greg Focker, who goes through hell when he visits the childhood home of his intended fiance, Pam Byrnes (Polo) to meet her mother (Danner) and father (De Niro), a no-nonsense former CIA agent with a lie-detector in the basement. Greg ultimately wins them over.

In the sequel, a clash of cultures ensues when the straight-laced, conservative Byrnes family meets the liberal, relaxed Fockers.

Streisand’s last movie performance was in the 1996 feature ”The Mirror Has Two Faces,” which she produced, directed and starred in opposite Jeff Bridges. Before that, she starred in, directed and produced the 1991 drama “The Prince of Tides,” with Nick Nolte.

The veteran entertainer won an Academy Award as best actress for her 1968 film debut as Fanny Brice in the musical ”Funny Girl,” tying the Oscar vote that year with Katharine Hepburn for “The Lion in Winter.” Streisand was nominated again for her role opposite Robert Redford in the bittersweet 1973 romantic drama “The Way We Were.”

Streisand bid farewell in September 2000 to her sell-out career as a public performer, though she emerged two years later to sing at a Hollywood fund-raiser for the Democratic Party. She released her 58th album, “The Movie Album,” last October.

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