LOS ANGELES — After more than 45 years in the entertainment industry as
a singer, actress and cultural icon, Cher has plenty to celebrate. But
is there anything she regrets not doing?


“Marlon Brando,” she says
before bursting out laughing. She composes herself before explaining
that she did meet with the legendary actor once. “I regret not...
meeting him more,” she explains. “It was great. We had the best time.
But I was trying to make my marriage work — it didn’t work anyway.”

After a farewell tour that ended up going on for three years, a hugely
successful residency in Las Vegas and a new album in the works for
2011, it’s clear Cher isn’t going anywhere — especially with her return
to the big screen, Burlesque, debuting this month. While she’s been at
the top of her game in several areas of show business, Cher admits
people weren’t always so accepting of her.


“People don’t trust you if
you do two things. When I started to act, people were very wary of me,
like, ‘Why are you doing that? Who said you could do that?’” she says.
“People start to think of you in a certain way. That’s what they’re
comfortable with and that’s what they want to see. And then you make
that right turn, and everybody’s like, ‘Wait a minute, I didn’t buy
into this.’”

Of course, as something of an elder stateswoman in the world of pop,
Cher has a few opinions about how the cultural landscape has changed –
and how she helped change it.


“When Sonny and I first came out, I had a
clothing line right away. And I don’t think other people had,” she
says. “But now it’s a different thing. You sing one song and you’ve got
a perfume. So you don’t really have to do too much.”

While she admits she doesn’t see much more film work in her future,
Cher enjoyed getting into her character for Burlesque, the owner and
headliner of a nightclub on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, noting that
she and her on-screen alter ego have a lot in common.


“She has aches
and pains, and so do I. She’s getting older and so am I. The difference
is that she’s moving over so that someone else can take her place, and
I’m not really ready to do that. She’s not giving up, but she’s
changing direction,” she says. “I don’t think I’m going any place yet.
They’re going to have to carry me out feet first.”