For a long time, way back in the '30s and '40s, there were fabulous female roles. Bette Davis and all those people had incredible, great roles. After World War II, something happened where it was not only "get out of the factories," but "get out of the movies." That's when women's roles started to really [change].
If you do a musical, it's really thrilling and it's a lot of work, but it's very rewarding. I would say, for me, what I like best is what I do, which is, I call it vaudeville, I call it live, I call it in concert, I call it what Bette Midler does, and what Garland did for years, and Ethel Merman.
I'm a great believer in conversational rhythm. I think in terms of rhythmic dialogue. It's so easy, you can talk naturally. It's like peas rolling off a knife. Take the great screen actors and actresses, Bette Davis, Eddie Robinson, Jimmy Cagney, Spencer Tracy. They all talk in rhythm. And rhythm and movement are the life of the screen.
Bette Davis, she was so brilliant and one of my heroes, but she worked a ton, and then she didn't get All About Eve  until the last minute. Claudette Colbert was supposed to be Margo Channing, but then she broke her back and couldn't do it. That allowed Davis to play her age.
You know, you have Scorsese who worked with De Niro and - or DiCaprio. You have William Wyler who worked with Bette Davis. You have George Cukor who worked with Katharine Hepburn. I just - people get to be friends and then there's a - that's a - you can take risks together and each time out you take a different risk.
I think mystery is kind of great. I don't know anything about Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn or Ava Gardner - not really - and I like that. I love watching their movies because they're my personal movie stars. I don't know what they eat and who their trainer is.
I loved all those classic figures from the '30s and '40s... Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Humphrey Bogart, Rita Hayworth. They had such glamour and style. I loved the movies of those times too - so much attention paid to details, lights, clothing, the way the studios would develop talent.