BootLeg Betty

BetteBack: Director Mark Rydell Wanted Bette Midler For Film, “Nuts”

Mister D: The part eventually went to Barbra Streisand

The Register Wed.,
Feb. 13, 1985

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Director Mark Rydell is working ’round the clock on “Nuts,” frantically trying to finish the script of the stark drama before the beginning of next month — when a Writers Guild strike could deal a crippling blow to the industry.

“Nuts’ ‘ — based on the play about a woman who had been the victim of her father’s lust — has been in development for several years, but seems to become more and more timely as newspapers banner horror stories about incest and child abuse.

If Rydell finishes the screenplay before the threatened WGA walkout (over a profit percentage from video cassettes), shooting of “Nuts” will get under way in New York in early summer. And if he finds the leading lady he’s seeking — and that should be no problem. I’m told he’s been swamped with calls from the biggest actresses in the business who are eager to sign on for what will undoubtedly be a tour de force.

Rydell has said he’d love to see “Nuts’ ‘ headlined by Bette Midler — whom he steered to an Oscar nomination in “The Rose.” However, she’s now signed to make Disney’s “Jerry Saved From Drowning” in mid-May. And so the “Nuts” search continues — by the filmmaker who has the distinction of having directed four films that placed six stars in the Oscar sweepstakes. In addition to “The Rose,” there was “Cinderella Liberty,” for which Marsha Mason was a Best Actress nominee; “On Golden Pond,” which earned Oscars for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda and a nomination for Jane Fonda. And his current “The River,” which has Sissy Spacek in the running for Best Actress.

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