Nov. 18, 2010 -- The glittering costumes, the bright lights, the stage, the hair -- and glittering talent -- have all contributed to the award-winning megastar Cher's incredible presence over the past five decades.
For the first time in a decade, she's starring in a feature film, "Burlesque".
In it, 64-year-old Cher plays Tess, the golden-hearted proprietor of a down-on-its-luck club -- a character to whom Cher said she can relate.
"Tess is the kind of ... she's the mother ... of all of it, you know?" Cher said. "She's the one that is the caretaker. But she's no nonsense, too.
"She's tough all the way through," she added. "But ... no one's tough all the time."
No one could remain on top for as long as Cher has without being tough, both mentally and physically. The new film, she said, took a good deal of determination.
"It was the hardest work I ever did on a film. Sixteen-hour days," she said.
Working opposite women less than half her age, including 29-year-old singing sensation, Christina Aguilera, Cher said the other actresses couldn't believe she was 64.
"The girls were mesmerized with the fact that I was my age," she said. "Could not believe it. Could not compute it."
It is a bit hard to believe. Twenty years ago Cher famously wore a lacey, see-through leotard in her music video, "If I Could Turn Back Time." She wore it again at this year's VMA Awards, where she proudly announced on stage, "I'm the oldest chick with the biggest hair and the littlest costume."
Cher and Lady Gaga: Is there Cher in Gaga?
But the moment in the evening that caught the most attention was when Cher presented an award to today's provocative princess, Lady Gaga, who was wearing her infamous meat dress.
An amused Cher said, at first she didn't realize the dress and purse were made of meat. "I thought she asked me to hold her MINK purse!"
"I was watching the way, you know, the cuts of meat were ... sewn together ... and I thought, 'this is a beautifully tailored outfit,'" Cher said.
Does she see a bit of herself in the boundary-pushing Gaga? Indeed she does.
"Anybody who's going to go, you know, balls to the wall, you know, I did it in my time, which seems so simple and innocent now," Cher said. "We're artists. We're supposed to make people think."
"You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," Cher's rousing solo in "Burlesque," seems like a fitting theme for her real life.
"There have been really lean times. You know? Really lean times, and times where I was kind of a joke, and that was really hard ... It's really hard to be a joke in your own business," she said. "Everything in my business is about being cool, and about appearances ... Very little in my business has to do with reality. ... Somehow, I crept through."
Yes she has. Cher is one of the most successful artists in history, with an Oscar for her role in "Moonstruck," a Grammy Award for "Believe," not to mention an Emmy, three Golden Globes and a People's Choice Award for her other works in film, television and music.
Cher on 'Jersey Shore': 'I'm Not Sure Why That Group Is Famous'
Now, at a time when superstars in the entertainment world include the likes of the Kardashians and the cast of "Jersey Shore," Cher said she doesn't pay much attention to them or their reality TV shows.
"What I know about the Kardashians, you could put on the head of a pin and still have room for the Lord's prayer. I know nothing about them," she said. "I don't really like reality shows. At all."
However, there is one reality TV show that used to catch Cher's interest: "John and Kate Plus 8."
"A long time ago, I used to watch this very sweet reality show called 'John and Kate Plus 8,'" Cher said. "And then I leave the country for like six months. I come back...the whole thing is just blown up in everyone's face.
"I just thought, 'Well this isn't what I signed on for,'" she said. "And then my sister was telling me about these New Jersey kids, and the way she was describing it was so horrible I thought, 'Why would I want to?'"
But has Cher ever had the pleasure of seeing Snooki in person? Not exactly, but she said she was given a Snooki bobble head doll, which she said was "not too impressive."
In fact, the star seems to despise the fame the whole "Jersey Shore" cast has earned over the past year.
"I kind of like people that do something," Cher said, "that are not just famous for...I'm not sure what. I'm not sure why that group of people are famous."