Barbra Streisand says she won't be making more movies anytime soon: 'It's complicated'

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"I had many movies that I wanted to make, and then I get lazy."

Barbra Streisand hasn't appeared on the big screen for more than a decade — and it's unlikely she'll return anytime soon.

"It was 2009 that I was fighting for the rights to play Gypsy [Rose Lee],” the star, 81, recently told PEOPLE. “In other words, it gets exhausting, trying to come up with the structure of the movie and then have it not happen.”

Streisand also conceded that she gets "lazy." (Don't we all.) “Why did I only make 19 movies in my lifetime? I had many movies that I wanted to make, and then I get lazy," she said. "I go, ‘Oh yeah, to do this one, I have to have all these fittings for period clothes. This one, I’d have to live in Arkansas to do this one.' I don’t know. It’s complicated, but I am complicated."

"Bette Davis made 80 movies, I made 19," Streisand added. "She’s a wonderful actress and she liked working. I like time off.”

<p>Todd Williamson/Getty Images</p> Barbra Streisand

Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Barbra Streisand

“If I could have made my movies," she also said, "I never would’ve written a book." The star recently released her memoir My Name Is Barbra, a 900+ page retelling of her storied life and career.

The actor and singer's first role came as Fanny Brice in 1968's Funny Girl, for which she won an Academy Award. She would go on to lead Hello, Dolly!, The Way We Were, A Star Is Born, and Yentl. She last appeared on the big screen in 2012's dramedy The Guilt Trip, which also starred Seth Rogen, Kathy Najimy, and Adam Scott.

<p>Everett Collection</p> Barbra Streisand in 'Funny Girl'

Everett Collection

Barbra Streisand in 'Funny Girl'

Streisand had been working on adapting a long-gestating movie musical about burlesque entertainer and stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, based on the Stephen Sondheim musical; however, she recently told Howard Stern that Sondheim wouldn't let her star in and direct the adaptation. "I wanted to end my career with playing Gypsy," she said. But Sondheim told her, "You either direct the movie or you act in it, but you can't do both," citing the fact that the role was "too difficult."

"There are things in life that you can't have," she said. "It was very sad for me."

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