Redford repeatedly turned down the part of Hubbell, the male lead in "The Way We Were," even though the female lead, Barbra Streisand, was eager to act opposite him. As Redford explained in a November 2010 interview with Oprah Winfrey, he felt the character was "one-dimensional" and "a Ken Doll." Ultimately, however, Redford agreed. Streisand explained to Oprah that she finally got the good news while in Africa, in the form of a telegram that read simply "Barbra Redford." She knew instantly that Redford had signed on.