Travolta Plunges, Streisand Defers, Nicholson Sizzles and Bo's in Search of a Swinger
After tussling with James Bond in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me, beauteous Barbara Bach, 31, finds an unlikely pick-me-up in a co-Starr named Ringo. The comedy, titled Caveman, wrapped last May. "We worked together as friends for three months and then—zap," says the ex-Beatle, 40, of their betrothal. Then followed a near-fatal auto accident and, as a further reminder of their mortality, the tragic death of John Lennon. Says Ringo, speaking also for his second-wife-to-be: "Neither of us wants to work; we just want to be together."
For their feminist-fantasy version of Tarzan, John Derek, 54, will direct and his wife, Bo, 24, will not only star but also produce. The location is in Sri Lanka, she explains, "because there is a real jungle with no telephone poles or jet trails." Though shooting starts the end of January, they still haven't settled on an actor to play the apeman. The producer (above on the beach at Santa Monica) isn't worried. "Jane has all the lines," says Bo, who also seems to be holding her own with Derek these days. "I told him to stick to the creative end and let me handle the rest," she claims. John counters, "I still have to kick her in the butt once in a while." But Bo now laughs in public at Derek's Svengali image and her "10" stereotype, declaring, "I was never the shy little waif people painted me as." One indication is that the couple will soon release an erotic film that John directed and Bo produced for the video-cassette market. She doesn't appear in this one, but her recent nude scene in A Change of Seasons still rankles, because she thought it was totally gratuitous. Worse, Bo felt manipulated by the producer and says it won't happen again. "I'm finding out that I'm a very good business-person and consider that part the most fascinating." As for Seasons co-star Shirley MacLaine's criticism that she didn't care about acting, Bo giggles, "She's absolutely right."
The movie coupling of 1981 that can set off the smoke detectors in Bel Air screening rooms is Jack Nicholson, 43, and King Kong's gal Jessica Lange, 31, in The Postman Always Rings Twice. "I shot it like an X and cut it like an R," defends director Bob Rafelson, who insists that the 1946 film adaptation missed the lust that is at the heart of the original novel by James Cain. "Actors have to sweep away inhibitions," claims Nicholson, who thinks Postman will make Jessica the sex star of the '80s. "She even makes me look sexy, which isn't easy," smiles Jack. "If this don't kill 'em, I don't know anything about movies."
For Barbra Streisand it is unprecedented—the superdiva will accept second billing to Gene Hackman in the comedy-drama All Night Long. When Lisa (Yanks) Eichhorn was fired for "bad chemistry" with Hackman and director Jean-Claude Tramont, Streisand stepped in. Coincidentally, Sue Mengers, Streisand's influential friend and former agent, just happens to be the wife of the European director. Of Barbra's role as a promiscuous housewife, Tramont observes that, unlike her recent roles, "She's totally playing a character who is not Streisand." Not entirely: Eichhorn got $250,000 for her five weeks' work; Barbra's take is $4 million, plus a percentage of the gross.