The Sidebar: Whoopi Goldberg Remembers Working With Patrick Swayze

Movie Talk

"He was funny. He was a funny guy." And Whoopi Goldberg knows from funny.

She's gone from standup to actress to talk show host to now director, but there's still one role that Goldberg is most remembered for: Oda Mae Brown, the fraudulent psychic who makes a real connection to the other side in 1990's "Ghost." It was the role that won her an Academy Award (and yes, she did E.G.O.T. as they say on "30 Rock," winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony). But the part of the "Ghost" experience that still puts a smile on her face today was working with the late Patrick Swayze.

Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg sat down with Ben Lyons to talk about her long career, and she shared some of her special memories of working with Swayze. In the film, his character Sam could be heard but not seen by Oda Mae, and Goldberg laughed as she recalled Swayze's constant efforts to get her to look at him. "He'd be behind me, saying stuff, trying to get me to look at him," Goldberg said. "He would sort of ease around and he'd look at me, and I'd say, 'You know, you'd better stop. They're going to yell at you.' He'd say, 'Who's going to yell at me. Just look at me and tell me.' And I'd say, 'I'm not looking at you!'"

Goldberg was at the Tribeca Film Festival to premiere her debut as a documentary film director, "Moms Mabley: I Got Something to Tell You." It's a look back at the groundbreaking career of the standup comedienne Moms Mabley, who progressed from the early segregated comedy circuit to becoming a variety show fixture in the '60s and early '70s. Goldberg said she was reluctant to take the reins and become a director, but she said, "I knew if I didn't do this, then it wasn't going to happen."