Just this week, the whole Hollywood was buzzing about the announcement of the remake of the 1962 classic What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. The bad news is that we don’t need a remake of this. After all, both Better Davis and Joan Crawford nailed iconic performances of sisters Jane and Blanch in this acting masterpiece. The good news is that Walter Hill has received personal blessing from the family of the late Robert Aldrich to do the remake. Now the next question begs on who will play the sisters. While there are no reported cast members yet, everyone is coming up with their own pairs with the combination of Glenn Close, Jessica Lange, and Meryl Streep topping the forums.
Now this led me to a very interesting topic that never fails to make noise when it comes to public opinions and online discussions. Time and again, it has been mentioned that there’s always a stereotype when it comes to female and showbusiness. While men weren’t subjected to any rivalries and petty issues, women were always downgraded into catfights and rivalries in terms of awards, recognition, and other achievements. Here are ten examples of female pairings that will always elicit response from the people.
1. BETTE DAVIS and JOAN CRAWFORD
There’s no better way than to start the countdown with the two lead stars of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. While the movie delivered expectations of the crowd in terms of acting intensity, it was very obvious that the strength of the two leads’ performances was based from the fact that they really dislike each other. And when I say really, they really really do. This came to a point that the situation was out of hand and even director Aldrich can’t do anything about it. During one scene where the character of Bette physically abuses Joan, the shooting came to a halt as Bette’s kicks were too realistic that Joan Crawford needed some head stitches. In return, on scenes that require Bette carrying handicapped Joan, the latter will put big heavy stones inside the pockets of her costume causing Bette back aches after the shoot. Talk about a very intense shooting.
TRIVIA: When the Oscar nominations were announced that year, only Bette Davis was nominated for Best Actress. This made Joan Crawford mad, and she contacted Bette’s co-nominee and eventual winner Anne Bancroft that she’ll receive the trophy in behalf of her if she wins. Now in one of the biggest Oscar legends ever, it was said that after Bancroft was announced the winner, Crawford passed by Davis backstage and mentioned “Excuse me, but I have an Oscar to accept.”
2. MARICEL SORIANO and SHARON CUNETA
Aside from Vilma and Nora, Maricel Soriano and Sharon Cuneta are the two other perennial “stars” of Philippine showbusiness. Maricel was tagged as the Diamond Star while Sharon is also known as the Megastar. Both are the box office queens of the 80s though the primary difference was that Maricel is a Regal Queen while Shawie hails from Viva. In the 90s, both moved on to be more serious actresses headlining in award winning films. The rivalry doesn’t seem to die down especially during times where in both actresses happen to release movies in the same year such as the 2003 Metro Manila Film Festival where Sharon was a part of Crying Ladies and Maricel as a part of Filipinas. During the Gabi ng Parangal that year, Maricel bagged the Best Actress plum while Shawie won the Audience Choice for Best Actress.
TRIVIA: Despite fans rallying and bashing each other in public forums, Shawie and Marya have nothing but good words and praises for each other especially when the Diamond Star guested on Megastar’s Sunday talk show Sharon. As a matter of fact, they have been on the same TV station for decades now when both belonged to ABSCBN up to now where they are both TV5 talents. Another thing they have in common is that both headlined a Mano Po movie; Maricel was at the first Mano Po playing the character of icy sister Vera Go while Shawie headlines the sixth installment playing tycoon Melinda Uy.
3. MARIAH CAREY and WHITNEY HOUSTON
They were touted as some of the greatest voices the music industry ever heard. While Whitney was the first one to emerge into the limelight being at the top of her prime as early as the mid-80s, comparisons started after Mariah debuted in the 90s with Vision of Love. Back then, everyone was saying that Mariah was one of the most refreshing voices ever heard. and that she was here to stay. However, Whitney captured and regained the hearts of many when she belted out her iconic I Will Always Love You and that kept the rivalry alive. While fans are arguing with each other on whether who’s the better one, the rivalry gained waves again when the two collaborated on the Oscar nominated soundtrack When You Believe from The Prince of Egypt. Both Mariah and Whitney shut off the rumors and even performed the single at the Oscars in 1999. Mariah was even one of the first who tweeted her condolences when Whitney left us February of this year calling her “one of the greatest voices on earth.”
TRIVIA: One of the most memorable moments in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards was in 1998 when Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston presented the Best Male Video category. The biggest surprise came because when Mariah appeared from the left side and Whitney from the stairs, they were wearing the same dress. Both were surprised but moreso, prepared for the situation with Mariah removing her train to reveal a skimpy look. This makes a remarkable VMA moment.
4. ANNETTE BENING and HILARY SWANK
Now this one is more of an Oscar rivalry. In 1999, the Best Actress trophy is between two actresses. The first one is an ingénue in a very revealing and challenging role that gave her lots of breakthrough notices. The other one comes from the perceived Best Picture frontrunner that seems to sweep the four major categories. What works for the second contender’s chance is that her husband, a Hollywood legend, is receiving the Thalberg award that same night, and with her possibly winning the trophy, it will be a moment Oscar finds hard to resist. The Globes awarded the first one while the SAGS went for the second one. When the envelope was opened, it was the newbie who triumphed over the other actress paving the way for a Hilary Swank victory. In 2004, a part two of the rivalry happened. This time, they switched conditions when Annette was nominated for a small indie film while Hilary was in the Best Picture frontrunner. Both won the Globes (Swank won for Drama while Bening won for Musical/Comedy), with Swank also getting the SAG. When the Oscar was announced, Hilary won again Round 2 vs. Annette. Probably a case of bad timing or just her luck?
TRIVIA: We got a glimpse of an Annette-Hilary Round 3 in 2010 at the SAGs. That year, Annette Bening was nominated for her turn as the more aggressive lesbian woman in a female relationship in The Kids Are All Right while Hilary was cited for her turn as lawyer Betty Ann Waters in the biopic “Conviction.”This time, neither of them got the trophy as Natalie Portman prevailed for Black Swan.
5. ANGEL LOCSIN and MARIAN RIVERA
Angel Locsin was GMA’s biggest star. She gets the best projects one after the other. She is considered as the station’s most prized possession. However, a misunderstanding on her next project started rumors that Angel is transferring station. The rumors were proven correct and she was seen on the rival station sooner. On the other station, the search for the next big star started and literally hundreds of their talents auditioned to take the throne. The lucky winner was Marian Rivera who is now the most prized talent of GMA 7. At first, it’s as if the station aims to make Angel feel regret by giving Marian a remake of a previous Angel project. Both obviously gained something from the rivalry as Marian’s fame skyrocketed and she was given star treatment in her station while Angel became a box office movie star, Best Actress wins, and an International Emmy nomination to boot.
TRIVIA: There seems to be no issues between the two actresses when it comes to their personal feelings with each other. As a matter of fact, Angel’s next film is with Marian’s boyfriend Dingdong Dantes. As for the widely contested FHM Sexiest Women list, in the seven year span that they both made it to the list (from 2006-2012), Angel ranked higher in four years (2006, 2007, 2010, 2012) while Marian topped Angel on the remaining three years (2008, 2009, 2011).
6. ANGELINA JOLIE and JENNIFER ANISTON
Now this one does not need any explanation at all. Bottom line is while Brad and Jennifer were married, Brad fell for Angeline while shooting Mr. and Mrs. Smith. After then, years and years of nonstop invasion of fabricated stories and rumors that never seems to end invade the lives of the three involved. What’s sad about the issue is that people put the blame between Jennifer and Angelina and leave Brad less worried on who caused the issue.
TRIVIA: Ever since the issue broke out in 2005, it wasn’t until in 2009 where Pitt, Jolie, and Aniston met ways in an event. The Oscars that year nominated both Brad and Angelina as Best Actor and Best Actress for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Changeling respectively. Meanwhile, Aniston was a presenter for Best Animated Feature wherein Angelina’s Kung Fu Panda was nominated. While Aniston was presenting with Jack Black, the cameras panned several times to Brangelina where they were caught laughing to Jennifer’s banters.
7. NORA AUNOR and VILMA SANTOS
Philippine’s greatest and longest rivalry belongs to none other than Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. They are two of the greatest thespians in the history of Philippine cinema history. Ate Guy is more known with the way her eyes act even without battling a single word. La Aunor’s eyes act from the soul and they reach a mile faster than a bullet. This made Nora the “Superstar” for everyone. Vilma’s advantage, on the other hand, is her line delivery. Once she starts speaking, it leaves a lasting effect on you. Also, Vilma’s singing dancing and hosting talents labeled her as the “Star for all Seasons.” Since then, they were pitted for awards, box office titles, and their fans are some of the most loyal ones that were still present up until now.
TRIVIA: While both of them have received numerous acting trophies one after the other, the greatest acting award rivalry that happened was in 1982 when Nora was up for Himala while Vilma was nommed for Relasyon. Ate Guy won the MMFF Best Actress that year, while Vilma swept the FAP, FAMAS, and Urian leading to the first ever grandslam in the history of Philippine award giving bodies. Decades later, CNN proclaimed Nora’s Himala as the Best Asian Film. The last time that Nora and Vilma were up for awards consideration at the same time was in 2004 when Nora gained traction as the lawyer in Naglalayag while Vilma as the Chinese matriarch in Mano Po 3. Vilma won at the PMPC Star Awards that year, but neither won the Luna and the Urian. This year shapes up to be a comeback as Nora stars in Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb while Vilma is in Chito Rono’s The Healing. Funny thing though is that the name of the healer that Vilma consults in The Healing is Elsa which is the name of Nora Aunor’s fake healer character in the iconic Himala.
8. BRITNEY SPEARS and CHRISTINA AGUILERA
In 1999, while the bubblegum pop era is slowly emerging, it was full of boybands that cater to the ladies. There seems to be no one that caters to the young boys. In April of 1999, there emerge Britney Spears. Britney was like the life-size Barbie that young girls idolize and young boys fantasize. She was sexy and a great dancer and her songs are very much addictive. Four months later, another young blonde singer emerged by the name of Christina Aguilera. While she was also as innocent as one can get, her first single Genie in a Bottle speaks volumes on a more liberated pattern. After discovering that both were alumni of the Mickey Mouse club, the rivalry started and it was probably the biggest rivalry of their time. Not only singles and music videos were compared, even rival endorsements get them. When Pepsi got Britney, Coca Cola signed up Christina. The biggest surprise that year happened at the Grammys Awards when both were nominated for Best New Artist. Britney and Macy Gray were the frontruners but when the envelope was opened (right after Britney’s performance which usually signals that she’ll win), it was Christina Aguilera’s name that was announced as the winner. Both Britney and Christina shut off rumors about the rivalry by appearing on stage at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards introducing the late Whitney Houston. Time and again, they have nothing but sweet messages for each other in interviews and reports.
TRIVIA: Thirteen years since their first appearance, both Britney and Christina are walking the same pattern again as they get head to head as judges in reality signing competition. It is Christina’s third season as a coach in the NBC hit The Voice while it is Britney’s first season as a panelist in Fox’s X Factor. This will surely heat up rivalry between the fans of the two.
9. CLAUDINE BARRETTO and JUDY ANN SANTOS
It is said that the offspring of the Nora-Vilma rivalry is that of Claudine and Judai’s. Judy Ann is touted as the next Nora, the maka-masa actress whose eyes speak volumes. Claudine is said to be the next Vilma whose great line deliveries fit any genre with such finesse. It didn’t help that Nora starred with Judy Ann in the 1997 film “Babae” while Claudine starred as Vilma’s eldest daughter in “Anak” in 2000. Both were also ABSCBN’s queens of primetime television and the station’s royalties up until Claudine transferred stations in 2009. This opened new rivalries between the fans of the two as ABSCBN announced Judy Ann as the sole face of the 60 Years of Soap Opera. However, both Claudine and Judai are friends with each other especially since they have moved on now to be serious asset actresses of their generation.
TRIVIA: In the field of awards recognition, there was only one year in local award giving body history where Judai and Claudine faced off against each other for Best Actress. It was in 2004 when Claudine was nominated for her portrayal of the fearless, independent OFW in Olivia Lamasan’s Milan. Judy Ann took notice for her performance as the title role of the wild sultry provocative woman in Joel Lamangan’s Sabel. Claudine beat Judai both at the FAMAS and the Luna awards that year while it was Judai who got the coveted Urian trophy. Since then, they haven’t competed for any film award consideration.
10. MARCIA CROSS and TERI HATCHER
In probably one of the biggest stories of 2005, one supposedly short and relaxing Vanity Fair cover shoot turned out to be a very controversial and emotional one. Because of the surprising success since the launch of Desperate Housewives in 2004, the ladies have been the most in-demand actresses during that time. Interviews, pictorials, endorsements have been running left and right for the stars of this ABC comedy Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, and Nicolette Sheridan. When the Housewives Vanity Fair issue hit the stands, there was a sign in the cover that mentioned “You wouldn’t believe what it took just to get this photo!” This kept Hollywood rumormongers buzzing and finding out small details until it was finally exposed. According to reports, before the start of the shoot, ABC already warned the Vanity Fair staff to not put Teri in the middle of the photo and to not let her be the first one to choose wardrobe. But when the shoot started, Teri wore the red swimsuit (since she already contacted the stylist days in advance which fumed up co-star Eva Longoria complaining to the producers) and was placed in the middle of the photo which sent co-star Marcia Cross all fired up. Cross picked up her bathrobe and refused to shoot unless Teri will change positions. This led to Teri being demoted to the side photo and Nicolette Sheridan replacing her in the middle. Then a video of a crying Teri walking out of the set was seen via Entertainment Tonight. As you may know, the cover was a fold up and both Felicity and Marcia weren’t visible if you look at it in the news stands. When asked about the issue earlier this year in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, creator Marc Cherry didn’t deny that there were really tension during the set but it was exaggerated. Marcia commented that this entire time people thought of her as the show’s bitch but she really wasn’t. As of this time, a staff mentioned that it’s really the end for them as Teri had an issue with the three other Housewives (Felicity, Eva, Marcia) and they haven’t been on any speaking terms since 2010.
TRIVIA: During the 2005 Emmy Awards, it was co-incidentally Teri and Marcia as the perceived frontrunners for the Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. While both Teri and Marcia submitted their attention grabbing episodes, it wasn’t clear who will be proclaimed as the winner. When Conan O’Brien opened the envelope, it was a big surprise when he called the other nominated Housewife a.k.a Felicity Huffman’s name as the winner. Many people speculated that many voters were turned off with the tension between Marcia and Teri which prompted them to vote for the least attention grabbing housewife which happened to be Mrs. William H. Macy.
Are you excited about the remake of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Which teams are you a part of? And who do you think needs to be included here?