EXCLUSIVE: Idina Menzel on Bette Midler's Blessing for 'Beaches' Remake: 'It Meant the World to Me'

Raphael Chestang
Entertainment Tonight

Lifetime's remake of Garry Marshall's 1988 classic, Beaches, is still months away, but ET has your first look at the upcoming TV movie.

The new movie stars Idina Menzel as CC Bloom, a role made famous by Bette Midler, and Menzel said that almost kept her from accepting the gig.

READ: Idina Menzel to Take on Bette Midler's Role in TV Remake of Garry Marshall's 'Beaches'

"I don't particularly like to choose projects where I have to walk in an icon's footsteps," the Broadway vet explained. "I found though -- after I said 'no' a bunch of times, because I was terrified -- that there's a whole young audience that had never even heard of Beaches."

Fortunately for Menzel, it wasn't long after her role was announced that Midler publicly endorsed her on Twitter.

"Can't wait to see Idina Menzel as CC in Lifetime's Beaches!" Midler wrote on Aug. 2. "DON'T TELL ME THE ENDING!"

A few days earlier, Menzel also took to Twitter, calling Midler "one of my all-time idols."

"It meant the world to me," Menzel told ET of receiving Midler's blessing. "I don't think she's that forthcoming with compliments. She can be tough, so I will take that. I hope to make her proud."

Meanwhile, Nia Long is hoping not to let Barbara Hershey down with her performance as Hillary Essex.

WATCH: Idina Menzel on Her 'Very Personal' New Album 'idina.'

"Hopefully she'll call me after and say, 'Well done,' and not, 'You sucked,'" Long joked.

Long admitted that it was a little eerie taking on her first role where her character dies onscreen, but she revealed that her eldest son, Massai, could react in one of two ways.

"My 15-year-old will get a kick out of me dying on camera: 'Wow, Mom! That looks really real!'" she said, mimicking her son's cadence. "I don't know. He might cry, who knows."

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Sticking close to the original, the remake follows the story of two lifelong friends who stick together over several decades filled with ups and downs. The new film will also feature a spectacular soundtrack, on which Menzel will lend her voice to new versions of iconic songs "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "The Glory of Love."

Beaches debuts Saturday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. EST/PST on Lifetime.

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