Robert Redford's Unusual Safety Measure for Intimate Scenes with Barbra Streisand

Fatima Araos
Closeup of Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand
Getty | Sunset Boulevard

Robert Redford reportedly sensed enough sexual tension on the set of one of his movies that he felt it necessary to “protect himself.”

The Oscar-winning Hollywood heartthrob, now 86, was filming The Way We Were with Barbra Streisand in 1972 when he put some safety measures in place to try to cool things down.

Double The Protection

Closeup of Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford
Flickr | Truus, Bob & Jan too!

In his book, The Way They Were: How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen, author Robert Hofler revealed that Redford doubled his underwear for his sex scene with Streisand.

He Wore 'Two Athletic Supporters'

Robert Redford in black suit and shades
Flickr | met52

Hofler wrote, “To protect himself in more ways than one, (Redford) wore two athletic supporters for his love scene with Streisand, who chose to don a bikini.”

He Allegedly Didn't Like Her

Barbra Streisand wearing gold dress
Flickr | met52

The author explained that Redford wasn’t too keen on working with the Evergreen singer, saying she wasn’t a “serious actress.”

Streisand, on the other hand, had become “infatuated” with him from their first meeting.

She 'Had A Crush On Him'

Barbra Streisand in a blue cardigan
Flickr | met52

According to the film’s director, Sydney Pollack, Streisand “had a crush on him even before we started.” A cast member was also quoted in the book as saying that she had “affairs with many of her leading men.”

He Wanted To Be Safe

Closeup of Robert Redford
Flickr | met52

Streisand was reportedly looking forward to her love scene with Redford. But the latter, who was a happily married father of four at the time, didn’t want to get involved and donned double jock straps for safety.

They Did A Lot Of Takes

Barbra Streisand hugging Robert Redford from behind
Flickr | Colorized by TOSHIO.Y

The book also says that they had to do a “lot of takes,” which caused Redford to lose patience. Eventually, Pollack had to tell Streisand, “I think we’ve got it.”

The Book Coincides With the Movie's 50th Anniversary

"The Way We Were" poster
Flickr | Bomania!

The Way They Were: How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen was released on January 24 and coincides with the 50th anniversary of the movie, which was filmed between August and November 1972 and shown in 1973.

They Played A Married Couple In The Film

Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand about to kiss
Flickr | DianthusMoon

The romantic drama revolves around the love story of Hubbell Gardiner and Katie Morosky, played by Redford and Streisand respectively.

Redford Didn't Want To Make A Sequel

Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford sitting side by side
Flickr | Colorized by TOSHIO.Y

Despite the on-set chaos, the film turned out to be a commercial and critical success, even earning Streisand an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. There were discussions about a sequel, but Redford wasn’t interested.