Well, this is grabbing the third rail. I’m pretty sure there isn’t anything Cher can’t do. She reads Donald Trump to filth while planning a dinner party – all in the same tweet!—she sings, and she shows range by acting in Academy Award-winning movies as well as, uh, not Academy Award-winning movies like Burlesque. Well, someone still isn’t convinced. Most people thought Cher did a great job in Mask, but the movie’s director, Peter Bogdanovich, says we can thank him for that performance and that Cher acts about as well as someone in a kindergarten production of A Christmas Carol.
Vulture sat down with Peter to go over his career, which includes directing Paper Moon and even acting in The Sopranos. When asked who was the most difficult actor he’s ever worked with, Peter said it was Cher and then went on to blab why:
“Well, she didn’t trust anybody, particularly men. She doesn’t like men. That’s why she’s named Cher: She dropped her father’s name. Sarkisian, it is. She can’t act. She won Best Actress at Cannes because I shot her very well. And she can’t sustain a scene. She couldn’t do what Tatum [O’Neal] did in Paper Moon. She’d start off in the right direction, but she’d go off wrong somehow, very quickly. So I shot a lot of close-ups of her because she’s very good in close-ups.”
Damn, Pete! Tell us how you really feel! Am I the only one who has seen Burlesque?! Wagon-wheel watusi?! Of course she can ACT! He says because Cher’s eyes have “all the sadness in the world,” it translates well on-screen. I mean, every Keira Knightley movie just looks like a historic perfume commercial with all the close-ups on her, so I don’t see why Cher should be the only one called out here! It shouldn’t come as a shock that Peter says Cher doesn’t exactly like him:
“She was always looking like someone was cheating her. I came to the set one day; I said, “You depress me, you’re always so down and acting like somebody’s stealing from you or something.” But finally, after about seven weeks of this, we started getting to like each other. She said, you know, we don’t watch out, we might end up liking each other. I said that would be amazing. And we did end up liking each other, and then when I sued the studio, she sided with the studio, of course. That was that.”
Peter sued the studio for replacing his preferred Bruce Springsteen song at the end with one by Bob Seger, and I guess Cher pissed him off by not taking his side. Mask came out in 1985, so I’m sure the slap Cher wanted to serve Peter was the inspiration for the “Snap out of it!” slap she used in Moonstruck. Either way, I guess this is why Peter never got to direct Mamma Mia 2.