(CBS News) At 67, the singer born Cherilyn Sarkisian is nothing if not forthright. In an interview for "Sunday Morning," Anthony Mason asked Cher about her career, her influence on other singers, her family life, and the impact of the media on her privacy. Cher's responses were characteristically playful, thoughtful and entertaining -- too entertaining to cut down.
In this extended, web-exclusive transcript, the Grammy- and Oscar-winner discusses her first husband and singing partner, Sonny Bono; her reputation for provocative fashion, and how she sees the similarly provocative garb of such performers as Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus; her gay fans; her relationship with her son, Chaz Bono (born Chastity Bono), and her mother, Georgia Holt (the subject of a new documentary, "Dear Mom, Love Cher"); her experiences as an actress, including the role Jack Nicholson didn't want her to play; and why she understands bands who wreck hotel rooms when on tour.
Mason: You've said that you're not a serious actor and you're not a serious singer.
Cher: I did?
Mason: Yeah. Please tell me you don't believe that?
Cher: I must have been high. I take my work seriously. I don't know, it must have been some sort of flippant, b------- thing that I said.
Mason: Okay, fair enough. I took it as more of what you said when you don't like your voice or something like that.
Cher: I think people said or thought that I didn't take my work seriously because of something I said. I said something about, like, taking myself seriously. I am serious about my work. I'm so serious, you have no idea. I'm serious about my work, but I don't take myself seriously. I'm not precious, you know. Do you understand what I mean by precious?
Cher: Okay. Totally, dude!
Mason: Some newspaper threw a serious of very quick questions at you, one of which was, 'Who's the most interesting person you've ever met?'
Cher: And what'd I say?
Mason: You said Sonny.
Cher: Yeah. He was so complicated -- so much more to him than what people thought, good and bad. But I would say, he's still the -- I don't know really why, but there was something about him that was so different. Also, I was 16 when I met him, and so some of that still is with me, that feeling of awe about him. And then he was like a pain in the ass, you cannot believe. He could just be so horrible; he was also so great.
I mean, there'd be no one I'd want to work with more than him. He was so much fun. He would just make me howl, you know? But he could be that kind of real Italian 'Go-to-your-place.' That was hard.
Mason: Do you think he structured the contracts the way he did partly 'cause he'd worked for Phil Spector, who structured everything pretty much that way?
Cher: No, I think he structured them because he said, 'I always knew you'd leave.'
Mason: Well, he turned out to be right.
Cher: Yeah. He didn't give any room. You know, I needed some room. I wasn't the same girl. I wasn't a girl, and after Chaz I just started to grow. Also, after the TV show I was let around a whole bunch of people. You know, he wasn't much for letting you have any breathing space.
Mason: I was struck by your appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2010, when you ended up giving an award to Lady Gaga. Sort of the takeaway in watching that was, in a lot of ways, you paved the way for all these people?
Mason: Do you feel that?
Cher: That's true, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, because there wasn't anybody exactly pushing the environment and my way at the time. Sonny and I pushed the envelopes. Sonny and I got into so much trouble, beaten up, nose broken, kicked out of everyplace.
And that was just for wearing what we wore and our hair and the way we wore it. And people were so terrified of us and didn't like us. I mean, Americans hated us. When we went to England, all of our friends who were English said, 'Sell everything you have and go there.'
Stones said, 'You know, if you go there, they will understand you. They'll accept you.' And they did. Also, I did these big lavish Vegas things, shows, which everybody totally put me down for. Now everybody does that -- they do shows in silks and dancers and props and all that kind of stuff. And I wore crazy clothes and showed almost everything that I had -- which really wasn't that much! So I think so. You know what I was thinking when I was standing there next to Gaga?
Cher: I was looking at the dress, and I thought, 'My God, this dress is made so beautifully.' (laughs)
Mason: The dress made out of meat?
Cher: I was just so struck with how beautifully it was tailored. I was thinking, 'God, this is amazing.'
Mason: Is that something you would have ever worn?
Cher: I don't think so. My taste doesn't go there.
Mason: Did you watch this year's MTV Video Music Awards by any chance?
Cher: No. Obviously I saw what you're trying to get me to talk about.
Mason: Well, you were a person who's willing to do some outrageous things. What did you think of that?
Cher: I didn't like it?
Mason: You didn't?
Cher: Unh-uh. if she'd come out naked, and it was beautifully done, I would have said, 'You go, girl.' I don't care about that. I just don't like to see things done badly.
Mason: And you thought that was done badly?
Mason: Badly how?
Cher: I just thought all of it was terrible. Outfit, terrible. Dancing, terrible. Singing, average. Performance, terrible. If she'd just come out there and kicked ass, even though I don't think that I would have loved it, I would have respected it, and I would have appreciated it. That whole area that she was in was not something that I would gravitate to myself, but I would have thought, 'Boy, you did that. I give you props.'
Mason: What would you call that area that she was in?
Cher: It was just not very nice. I didn't think it was attractive, and I didn't think it was done well. You know, if you're going to go there --
Mason: If there's a secret to being provocative in that sort of situation -- and obviously she was trying to be provocative -- what is it?
Cher: I don't know.
Mason: Because you've obviously tried to be provocative sometimes in your career.
Cher: Yeah, but I always just do what I want. Doing what you want and wearing what you wanted was considered provocative at [one] time. I'd worn everything, and I'd worn nothing. And I wanted to have fun.
Mason: Well, it always seemed to me, whatever you did, you did it with a sense of humor.
Mason: Which made it easier to take.
Cher: Right. Well, but what was the bad thing? (laughs) What was the -- you tell me? What was the part that was hard to take?
Mason: It was never hard to take for me, but obviously for some people it was.
Cher: No, but I mean, I never had anything on that you couldn't see on the beach. (laughs) You know, it just always surprised me so much.
Mason: But when you looked at yourself in the mirror before you went out sometimes, you must have thought, 'Let's see how they react to this.'
Cher: You know, Bob [Mackie] used to say -- and I always felt it 'There's nothing that I can put her in that she doesn't feel fine in.' And I always felt fine. I would just look and go, 'Oh, that's fun.' I have this thing about, 'Oh, that's fun.' Or, 'Oh, that's beautiful.' You know, there are things that I have worn that people have made fun of that I thought were beautiful, like the night that I gave Don Ameche the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
I was in that gigantic big Mohawk and the Black Indian thing. It was beautiful, you know? And Stanley Donen said, 'Oh my God, this is the best,' because I was going out with Josh Donen at the time, and Josh was, like, totally freaked out when I walked out of the bathroom in this. (laughs) And Stanley went, 'Oh, she's fabulous.'
Mason: You mentioned John Donen, and he said at one point, 'I think the reason she wears those gowns is to protect who she is, to distract people.'
Cher: I don't know. Joshy said that? That's very smart.
Mason: Is he right?
Cher: No. 'Cause clothes don't do anything. Clothes are nothing. Clothes are pretty. They're just to keep you warm, to keep you cool, or to be attractive.
Mason: Obviously clothes have had a big role in your career. And you've talked in the past about how your looks in your career -- that you've spent a lot of time thinking about them?
Cher: Well, because they were important. Because people seized on that -- you know, like, 'Sonny was the nice guy, I was the bitch that sang well and looked great in clothes.' (laughs)
Mason: That's your summary of that?
Cher: Right. There were people who just tuned in, women, to see what I was wearing. Before that I wasn't -- I mean, Sonny and I wore clothes, but they were so kind of unisex. Some people don't even know I was a girl. You know, they just thought -- whatever. Some sort of strange hybrid thing.
But then when I started doing 'Sonny and Cher Show,' then all of the sudden Bob Mackie went, 'Okay, here I have my perfect hanger, and I'm going to have the best time of my life.' And so then it started to be a big deal for me, because it was a big deal for people. It gets interwoven in you.
You know, it's a double-edged sword. It's a good thing, and then it's a bad thing, too.
Mason: Where you feel like you have to top yourself somehow?
Cher: Or keep up. I mean, I topped myself a lot, you know? And now, I'm just treading. (laughs) I'm happy if I can just tread.
Hall of Fame
Mason: I read somewhere where you --
Cher: I hate this! (laughs) This is what happens when you're around for a hundred years. You're just gonna keep going, 'And you said this.' 'And in 1910, you said this.' (laughs)
Mason: Do you think you should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Cher: You know, **** them. (laughs)
Mason: Thank you.
Cher: Those are my feelings. Somebody said something, I went, 'You know, I don't need to be in a Hall to rock, so I don't ...' you know, whatever!
Mason: I think there's a lot of people that have wanted to say that. You're the first one who ever has said it publicly. (laughs) Do you think you should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Cher: Yeah. Sonny and Cher should definitely. I could be in there by myself, but I mean we pushed an envelope that nobody even knew was pushable. I mean, we were banned from every television show because of the way we looked and because of how no one understood what we were.
People forget it was a time where, you know, Steve and Eydie Gorme were doing one thing, and The Beatles had nice little hairdos and little round collars. Hippies wouldn't be in for a long time. And Sonny and I were wearing Eskimo boots and elephant bells.
Mason: Whose idea was that, by the way?
Cher: Well, it was mine. I had two friends, Bridget and Colleen, and they were making these things. And we got together -- we had a basement apartment in our house, a garage apartment -- we would just sew all the time.
And no matter what I put Sonny in, he'd just do it. He just loved it. Just thought it was the most fun thing in the world. He would wear anything. He just was having the best time.
Mason: You've talked about this a bit, but I have to ask you about it, about Chaz and what she went through. How are you handling that?
Cher: It's great. I mean, it's just great. I couldn't have seen it coming this way, but now that Chaz -- I mean, it's like I was so afraid of losing someone.
Mason: Your daughter.
Cher: Yes. But Chaz is the same person. And I was -- you know, anyone can say anything, but when it's your child, it was all fear-based, you know? But I was just thinking, 'Well, where's that child gonna go? What's gonna happen? You know, how's this gonna work?' And in the transition part, it's difficult.
Mason: I think I would have to be.
Cher: So, no, but we get along great.
Mason: You said you had a little trouble with the pronoun in the beginning and that was it.
Cher: Oh, we still do.
Mason: You do?
Cher: Yeah. All the time. (laughs) I'm just ridiculous. No, he's definitely a man. (laughs) I mean, change, too. 'Cause Chaz used to be much softer and much nicer and now he's very assertive. It's so interesting to see the change. But Sonny's children were like that, kind of.
I'm not exactly sure why. All of the kids are that way, and I think it was because everyone was a little bit frightened of him. And so they were very, they kind of back-peddled a lot. But his children all kind of have mild personalities.
Privacy and the Media
Mason: I'm going to ask this in a big, broad way so you can deflect if you want to, but how's your love life?
Cher: None of your business. That's how it is. (laughs) That's one of the worst things for me because the moment I give the answer, then it's ruined. It's a nightmare. Didn't used to be like this, but with paparazzi and endless coverage and voracious 'Give us something, give us something,' and then you know, the thing that you prize gets turned into something negative.
Mason: Well, as you said, it didn't used to be like that. You've always had a lot of attention on you, but now it's so much more intense--
Cher: It's because somehow art and reality shows and videogames have turned us into a much different society, [now] feeling less used to more violence. And this sounds like, you know, I'm a hundred years old, but I've seen the change.
So, you know, society moves on. People move on. There's the change, there's the progress. But I'm not so sure it's great for the people. I'm not so sure it gives them a feeling of well-being.
Cher: I think it doesn't give children a feeling of well-being after they've shot a million people for four hours.
Mason: I was talking to Jessica Lange a couple of years ago, and she was basically saying if she'd had to go through what actresses now have to go through in terms of being followed and scrutinized, she wasn't sure she'd do it.
Cher: I think she's right, because the one thing that I've lost that's the most important thing -- and I always had to give it up a little bit, but not completely -- is freedom. I have no freedom to just do what I want and go where I want.
I used to be able to run into Cross Creek looking like a bum, and now they're everywhere. And, like, when I turned 60 -- was it 60? No, it must have been much later than that, I was learning how to paddleboard in Hawaii. And I was having the best time not realizing that it was gonna be in People magazine.
They didn't say anything nasty, but you just don't want that your whole life. And it's worse now. You just don't want everybody being able to know every single thing you do and being everywhere you go. So I miss my freedom. I miss, like, my friends, we used to ride our motorcycles, take long trips up the coast . . . [When] people started jumping out of the bushes at you, with their cameras and their video and stuff like that, it kind of takes the joy out of it, a little bit.
"Dear Mom, Love Cher"
Mason: You made a documentary with your mom. It was really cool. What brought that about?
Cher: It was originally a birthday present. My sister said, 'You know, Stupid' -- which is what my sister calls me -- 'Mom found these old tapes in her garage, and would you see what you can do with them?' My mom was just completely over the moon [with them]. So then I thought, maybe what I'll do as her birthday present is I'll make a little documentary with her. And so I got her to the studio, and said, 'I'm going to shoot you singing your songs, and then I'm going to interview you.' She was overjoyed, out of her mind.
And then I was editing it and my friend and agent, Risa [Shapiro], came in, and she said, 'This is too good for just a birthday present.' And she showed it to the people at Lifetime, and they liked it. And so they had someone make a really good documentary.
To view a trailer for "Dear Mom, Love Cher," click on the video player below.
Mason: Had you heard your mom sing before?
Cher: Oh, God, yeah, from the time I can remember. I mean, I remember [her] talking and singing pretty much at the same time.
Mason: One of the things that's so striking is you sound really similar.
Cher: I know. Yeah, we have a similar tone. And we have a little bit similar phrasing. Our talking voice, too. If you listen to both of our voices, they're different. But my mom has a great voice.
If you can't have the dream yourself, it's great if your daughter does it, because it's kind of a reflection on you. I kind of did it -- I don't know if I did it because of my mom, but I did it with my mom's encouragement. 'Cause my school life was horrible, and my mom keeping going, 'You know, you're special. Just keep going. You've got it. You've got something.'
Mason: My sense is that you've always kind of underestimated your own voice.
Cher: I'm not a huge Cher fan.
Mason: You're not a huge Cher fan?
Mason: How come?
Cher: I don't know. (laughs)
Mason: Wait, when you get in the studio, you don't like what you hear?
Cher: Well, I actually like more on this [album]. Like, I've done songs before and I've thought, "Oh, that's good," but not many. And I was so surprised -- when I hear 'You Haven't Seen the Last of Me' [from the film "Burlesque"], I'm really happy. I feel happy when I hear 'Welcome to Burlesque.' But I could probably pick on both my hands the songs that I've done that I like.
Mason: What are the ones you like?
Cher: Well, I'm not telling you!
Mason: Come on.
Cher: I can't think. (laughs) "Song for the Lonely" . . . "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" . . . well, there are more.
Mason: You're not naming the ones everybody knows?
Cher: No. Those aren't my favorites.
Mason: They're not?
Cher: No. I don't like my voice then. I didn't start to sing in a way that I like until the first record with David [Geffen], "Cher" (1987). It had "I Found Someone" on it.
Mason: And why did you like your voice then?
Cher: 'Cause I started working with my teacher. I never even knew there was such a thing. I thought opera singers went to teachers. Because I hadn't recorded then in eight years (I'd been making movies), Bernadette Peters said, 'I have a teacher that would be great for you. She could help you get your voice in shape.' And it just opened up an unbelievable world to me. I mean, I don't know if everybody else heard it, but it made me feel good.
Mason: You heard something different?
Cher: Oh, gosh, yeah.
Mason: What was it?
Cher: It was better.
Mason: So how did it feel making a record again?
Cher: Well, you know, I'm an old dinosaur, so it was different. In my day, you just went in, you did it, and when I first started there was four-track. Everyone was so excited. Four-track! It meant you could track your vocal, which was great, and you could put the strings on one, and the band on the other, and the backgrounds on the other, and the vocal. Also now a lot of producers (laughs) -- someone produces the vocal, and then they bring someone in to produce the music, which is not so great because when you get the music for the vocal, the track is so basic that you have to pretend.
Mason: Yeah, it is weird.
Cher: Yep. Mark [Taylor], my producer that I did 'Believe' with, doesn't really do it that way.
On the Road Again
Mason: You're going to tour again for this album?
Cher: Actually, my manager just said, 'You have to make up your mind today.'
Mason: And so you said yes?
Cher: Yeah, because if I'd said no, that's the end! (laughs) I mean, I know really that I won't be able to tour again.
Mason: What do you mean?
Cher: If I don't try now, and I wait, I won't be able to. I won't be able to tour after this.
Mason: You think this actually is your last tour? 'Cause you said the last one was.
Cher: No, no, no, no, but it didn't occur to me -- I wasn't planning on making another album. (laughs) I just wasn't planning on any of this. So it's come as a big shock to me as well, 'cause I planned nothing. I'm not a big planner, but this one I really didn't plan.
I just was in Las Vegas a couple years ago -- how bad could I be? I might have something good left. It's kind of a crapshoot, because if it's not great, I am only booked a certain amount of dates. And if I'm good, I'll stay. And if I'm having a good time, I'll stay. If I'm bad, I'm not staying. I'll be pretty good. (laughs)
Mason: But physically, touring is tough?
Cher: I hate it. Love the shows, hate the road. Like, I understand why guys in bands throw televisions out windows and trash their hotel rooms. 'Cause it's a nightmare. It's lonely and it's boring, you're in another place all the time, you don't know where you are. The only great thing is the show.
Mason: But you're ready to do it again?
Cher: Well, I think. I'm going to. But I haven't booked a long one. Not like the last time.
Cher's Gay Following
Mason: You got an offer to play at the Olympics in Sochi. You turned it down?
Cher: Well, back channel offers are kind of the way they do it. And so I got an offer to do a couple of different things, and I have to tell you, I have such wonderful Russian friends -- the most lovely people, just unbelievable. And so it was hard to say no to them, and I have great fans there. But you just can't cross that line.
Mason: Which line?
Cher: The gay line. (laughs) You just can't.
Mason: You can't?
Cher: No, you can't. As much as I would have wanted to do it, just to do something at the Olympics and be an American ambassador or sing or open or whatever. I would have liked that. It never came before, and it probably will never come again. But as much as I love my friends there, I just couldn't do it.
Mason: Did you think about it for long? Or was it obvious?
Cher: No, I wished. (laughs) I was excited for a minute, and I think I didn't realize how horrible it was. But you just can't go there. But I have to tell you, my gay following has kept me in the old days alive, you know, when no one else came to see me. You know, you've checked on me; I've had really bad times.
Mason: They've always been there?
Mason: Did you hear from them? Did anybody know you were considering this?
Cher: I don't know. No, I guess it just came out when I talked about it. I don't even remember talking about it. I actually should have kept my mouth shut. Just, if someone asks me a question, I have such a hard time not answering it.
Mason: We appreciate that. (laughs)
Cher: Well, I know, but it's like a Pavlovian kind of response. I should be smarter by now!
Mason: It's funny, 'cause one of the things I read about you, it was Meryl Streep who said that after she met you she was actually concerned because you were so so honest.
Cher: Yeah, and that's not a good thing. It is a good thing in life.
Mason: Have you always been that way?
Cher: Yeah. When we were young, we had a chance to do the Saturday Evening Post, and Peter Bogdanovich did the article. And I saw something and I had a reaction, and he didn't understand me at all, and he thought I was saying something much different.
And when we read it, everybody looked at me and said, 'You're never doing an interview again. Ever.' Because I got us in so much trouble, but Peter was an idiot, and so he thought I was saying something really mean, and I wasn't, you know? But also sometimes you have to know my sense of humor or you have to know me, to not think it's too strange. (laughs) I think everyone knows me pretty much.
Mason: They feel like they do. Do they know you?
Cher: Yeah. I think they know a lot. They don't know everything 'cause you just can't tell everything. Some things, you don't want people knowing them. So I'm honest enough to tell you that. There are things about me I don't want people to know.
Mason: Well, that makes sense. I mean, you've got to keep something for yourself, don't you?
Cher: Yeah. Someday.
Mason: Somebody asked you once if the 'Cher persona' was a burden. And I think you said something to the effect of, it's so inextricably intertwined with me you can't separate them?
Cher: Yeah. I'm not sure. What is the Cher persona?
Mason: Well, what do you see it as?
Cher: I don't know. Is the persona, I run around naked and I'm frivolous and go out with young guys?
Mason: I don't know.
Cher: I mean, there's a lot to me, but I don't know what that is. What is a persona? It's not who you are that you pretend to be?
Mason: Do you think you've ever consciously tried to create an image apart from yourself?
Cher: You know, I was Cher when I was four. I've elaborated a little bit. (laughs) But I was Cher when I was four. I haven't changed that much. Taller!
Aging, and Jack Nicholson
Mason: We were looking at some of your old TV shows before, my producer and I found the first "Cher!" special you did solo after you and Sonny split.
Cher: With Bette and Elton? And Flip Wilson, who got so high that he only did the dress rehearsal, then he walked out. (laughs) So amazing.
Mason: Well, there's a skit in there, as you probably remember --
Cher: Of us being old?
Mason: Yes. It's very funny.
Cher: Yes, and not very far from the truth. (laughs)
Mason: I was wondering about that, if you've seen it recently.
Cher: No, I haven't, but I remember it. Yeah. No, it's not exactly that bad, but not great. I mean, people ask me how do I feel about -- people are so shocked that I say I don't like getting older because I think you're supposed to say, 'Oh, I'm better than ever, and it's great, and blah, blah, blah, blah.'
Mason: Not so much?
Cher: Unh-uh. (laughs) Not happening for me.
Mason: You said, and I gotta quote this --
Cher: Oh, God, I hate it when someone does.
Mason: No, no, no, it's not that bad. Trust me --
Mason: It was 20 years ago, you said, 'Getting older is the worst thing.' Even then, you weren't real happy about it?
Cher: Well, God, no.
Mason: Well, you look like you're doing okay.
Cher: I was almost 50, wasn't I? Twenty years ago? No, I was 47, right? And we already know how I am with numbers. (laughs) Yeah, well, 40 was like the greatest, 40 to 45, the greatest five years of my life.
Cher: I was having so much fun. The night I turned 40 -- except morning was not very good because George Miller [the director of "The Witches of Eastwick"] called -- I was staying at my friend's hotel, Steve Rubell -- most lovely man ever -- he let me run up, like, a $28,000 hotel bill. And in the morning, the kids brought me in a birthday cake, and I'm on the phone with George Miller. And he goes, "You can't be in "Witches" because Jack Nicholson doesn't think you're sexy.'
And I'm sobbing, and a bellboy and the kids are bringing me in this cake: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you!
I mean, I did 'Witches' anyway, and then went straight into 'Moonstruck,' and then straight into 'Suspect.' And the kids were still little, and I was living in New York, and New York's so fabulous. So, it was great.
Mason: Go back to the Jack Nicholson thing for a second. How did you get past that?
Cher: Jack said -- he's out of his mind. He didn't want me in the movie. He hated me.
Cher: Because he said he didn't want Cher ruining his film. (laughs) And I went, 'You know what? I've already been nominated for an Academy Award.' I didn't want to do his film, either.
Mason: So why'd you do it?
Cher: Well, because they forced him. The studio put him down on the ground in a chokehold and said, 'You're using her.' He still didn't want it. And they kept going, 'He's gonna call you and say how excited he is to work with you.' (laughs)
Every time he called me, 'You're gonna have to go to a dialect coach. You're gonna have to change your hair. I really don't want you. They're forcing me.' (laughs) But then we started working, he was fabulous. I loved him. And we're still friends.
Mason: And you wanted to be in the movie even when he didn't want you in it?
Cher: Well, because my agent at the time, my lovely friend, Ronnie Meyer, he just said, 'You have to do this. We want you. We don't care what he wants.' So I kind of went in, and it was a tumultuous set. Thank God for Jack.
Like, we [Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer] were called 'the girls,' and nobody really cared about us. It was like interchangeable dialogue. Just go in and be pretty and shut up, or try to say your lines and shut up. And so Jack sat with us once all night long saying, 'She wouldn't say this. She would say that. Cher, what do you think, that's right for you?' 'Yes, yes, yes.' And all the girls were happy.
Mason: You had that incredible run of films.
Cher: I did.
Mason: I think a lot of people would have thought you'd have made more movies after that?
Cher: Well, I got really sick after the end of -- I did an album, and I did the movies back-to-back, and then I went on tour for the movies, and then I went on tour promoting the album. And then I got really sick, and I didn't do anything for two years. And I never thought I'd do a lot of movies. I'm surprised I did as much as I've done. I just knew that that wasn't going to be a long life for me.
Mason: Would you make more movies if you got offers?
Mason: But you're not getting them?
Cher: No. Haven't pursued them, actually. But, no.
Mason: Did you like acting?
Cher: Yes, I did. It was fun. I loved being on Broadway [in "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" in 1982], because it was so amazing that you didn't actually have to look at the audience, and you weren't alone. You know, you had a whole bunch of people that had to have their own time, too.
I really loved it, and Sandy Dennis was wonderful and Sudie Bond, I loved everybody. And working with Robert Altman was great. But it was also a joyous time in New York. I had so many friends, and it was great.
Mason: You worked hard to be taken seriously as an actress, but then you kind of gave it up, almost?
Cher: Yeah. Do you expect something more?
Mason: (laughs) I don't know.
Cher: You're gonna get some of these. (laughs) Sometimes it's just that.
Mason: That was enough for you?
Cher: No. It just was, I don't know. It just was what happened.
Mason: You turned down some pretty big parts?
Cher: I turned down one that I really wanted. But I was sick.
Mason: Which was that?
Cher: 'Thelma and Louise.' But I believe what belongs to you, comes to you. That was Sue's role. If it was mine, I would have done it.
Mason: You turned down the Charles Grodin part in 'Midnight Run'?
Cher: Yes. (laughs) But I said, 'Look, this is not going to be funny coming from a woman. This is what you would expect to come from a woman.' It wouldn't have been funny. Chuck Grodin's so hysterical, but it wouldn't have been funny coming from a woman.
I also turned down the part in Marty Scorsese's 'The Last Temptation of Christ,' to play Mary Magdalene. I went there looking like her, 'cause Meryl helped me with it. And he went, 'What do you mean, you don't want to do it?' And I went, 'Well, I can't do it. I just wanted to come and meet you and have the interview.'
Mason: You and Meryl Streep are very different kinds of actresses?
Mason: But you got along really well?
Mason: Why is that?
Cher: I loved her. The first thing she ever did was come up and hug me and she went, 'I'm so glad you're here.' And we just got along so well. No, we couldn't be more different. She does her own ironing. (laughs) I don't think she does that anymore.
Mason: That's one way to separate you, I guess?
Mason: I mean, one of the things I was struck by what she said was that you're such an instinctual actress? Why were you so good at this?
Cher: I don't know.
Mason: Did you always believe you could do it?
Cher: No, I never believe I can do anything.
Mason: You don't?
Cher: Unh-uh. Never.
Mason: So then [why] do you try?
Cher: I don't know what else to do.
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