(NEW YORK) — Actress Nia Long said that remaking the classic 1988 film Beaches was “very intimidating” while discussing her role in the upcoming Lifetime TV movie in an interview with Good Morning America anchor Lara Spencer that aired today.
“I grew up watching the film,” Long said. “I’m such a huge fan of Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey. They’re powerful women. They’re iconic.”
In the remake, Long plays Hillary, a lawyer who puts her career on hold when she gets married. The role was made famous by Hershey in 1988. Long stars alongside Idina Menzel, who will play the role of C.C., originally played by Midler in the 1988 original.
“When this opportunity came along, I was very nervous,” Long said. “But Lifetime has such a way of celebrating women.”
Long said that in many ways the new film is different from the original.
“Obviously, I’m an African-American woman,” Long said, adding that there were things about her character that she wanted to play, “a little closer to home.”
Long said that making the movie was “so emotional.”
“I think everybody knows the ending to Beaches,” Long said, “which makes it tricky.”
The actress called her co-star Menzel as “amazing” and “strong.”
“I fell in love with her when she was doing Wicked,” Long said, referring to Menzel’s role in the popular Broadway musical. “I remember going to see ‘Wicked,’ and I was like ‘Who is this girl?'”
Menzel will perform her own version of the 1990 Grammy Award-winning song, “Wind Beneath My Wings,” for the upcoming movie, and Long told GMA how exciting it was to be able to sing with the Broadway star.
“There’s a part in the film where we sing, and I’m like, ‘I can’t believe I’m singing with her,'” Long said. “She’s like, ‘No, you have a really good voice,’ but my voice is really teeny tiny.
“I made my voice smaller,” Long added with a laugh, “because I wanted her voice to be the one that everyone hears.”
Lifetime TV’s version of Beaches will air on Saturday.