Liza Minnelli bows out of cough-drop ad at the last minute

Jan. 15, 2014 at 12:08 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Liza Minnelli became overwhelmed and dropped out of the taping of a Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops commercial at the last minute, the New York Post said.

"Producers begged Liza to leave her apartment, which was only a few blocks away, and come to the shoot. She refused, saying this was 'too much pressure,'" a source told the newspaper.

Wednesday's report said before the singer-actress canceled the job, she made a list of items she needed for her dressing room, including two cartons of cigarettes, a humidifier "because she can't breathe," six cases of Bai anti-oxidant drink, black Egyptian cotton towels, a body scale, a food scale, no Styrofoam plates, silver trays only, a $400 coffee service and full hair and makeup.

Pine Brothers owner Rider McDowell called Martha Stewart and asked her to be in the commercial when it became clear Minnelli wasn't going to work out.

Stewart arrived within an hour to the Manhattan hotel where the commercial was being shot and taped the ad "like a real pro," the source said.

"She was done in makeup within 10 minutes, and filmed the ad in 30. She probably earned $1 million in 40 minutes," the source said.

"We reached out to Martha ... after our first actress had a nervous breakdown the morning of the shoot," McDowell told Business Insider, declining to name the actress initially hired to star in the commercial.

Minnelli's publicist Scott Gorenstein told the Post his client "had some initial conversations" with the commercial's producers, but, "They couldn't agree on a script."

"So it didn't get past that stage and all decided to part ways. Therefore, [this] is a bit harsh. And untrue," Gorenstein said. "While she may be showbiz royalty, she's surprisingly easy. The most we ever ask to have on hand is a Coca-Cola. And if we're being especially demanding, then some red Gatorade, too."

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