I’m fuckin’ angry, man.
August 7, 2018 9:41 AM   Subscribe

You didn’t think any of the press about your being “difficult” or your drinking or your illness was cynical?
The “difficult” thing was pure gender crap. If a man comes on set and says, “Here’s how I see this being done,” people go, “He’s decisive.” If a woman does it, they say, “Oh, fuck. There she goes.”

What’s an example of that happening to you?
Here’s one that was very nicely resolved with [Coppola]: [...] I had dreamed a scene where my character was coming down the stairs [...] In my dream the camera was there. When I got on set, the camera was here. I was disoriented. I said to Francis, “The camera’s supposed to be over there” [...] and he went, “No, it’s not.” I said, “I’m telling you it should be over there.” He goes, “Well, it’s over here.” So we made a deal [...] He said that if I gave him as many takes as he wanted from where he had set the camera, he would give me two takes from where I wanted the camera. And guess what happened?

The take he used was from your spot?
Damn right.

Kathleen Turner, In Conversation
posted by griphus (59 comments total) 84 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think this post beat mine by like 2 minutes. Kudos.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:44 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Seriously, everyone, read that link. Kathleen Turner gives precisely zero fucks and it is glorious.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:45 AM on August 7 [43 favorites]


I watched every single one of her movies multiple times as a latchkey kid with HBO. It gave me a distinct dislike for Michael Douglas and a hero-worship for her. Was sad that she kind of disappeared and glad that she's mad now and I get to hear about it. I just knew she was screwed over and, yeah, of course she was.
posted by amanda at 9:54 AM on August 7 [11 favorites]


the physical effects of the pain medication and steroids used to treat RA also caused a change in Turner’s appearance, which, since Turner largely kept her diagnosis private, the tabloids eagerly attributed to a drinking problem.

there is a special and extremely terrible place in hell reserved for people who mock women whose physical appearance changes due to illness, pain, and medication

my life's goal is to be in charge of that place
posted by poffin boffin at 10:07 AM on August 7 [94 favorites]


After I read this, I had a sudden genius idea that was nearly simultaneously a heartbreaking thought because it is too late:

....can you imagine what a Kathleen Turner/Carrie Fisher movie would have been like?.....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:13 AM on August 7 [51 favorites]


What else, aside from luck, has driven your career?
Rage.

What do you mean?
I’m fuckin’ angry, man.

About what?
Everything.

Where does that anger come from?
Injustice in the world.


Wow, just, wow. I feel those words an awful lot.
posted by bridgebury at 10:22 AM on August 7 [54 favorites]


This interview was absolutely on fire.
posted by GuyZero at 10:31 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Reading this now, but I've always loved her even though I haven't seen too many of her movies. She just always seemed fascinating and from another time.

I would love to see her in Virginia Woolf, and if you never watched Californication (best of, possible spoilers), she was so good in that, too.
posted by rhizome at 11:05 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I've read this three times already this morning and each time I feel like I'm getting a little bit stronger.

Listen, I made it work, honey.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:14 AM on August 7 [18 favorites]


My generation's Bacall. I love her and her goddamn sexy voice.
posted by missmobtown at 11:16 AM on August 7 [11 favorites]


*BOWS BEFORE THE QUEEN*
posted by lalochezia at 11:19 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Amazing interview! Some highlights:

I’ve always felt that people had affection for me and my work, and doing the cabaret shows has helped me understand why.
And what’s the reason?
I’m a really nice person.

I have an imagination, you know. My belief is that all the information I need is in the script. And if it’s not, then it’s not a good enough script.

I’m getting stronger all the time. So let’s find out what I can do.
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:29 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


One of my favorite exchanges:
Did you ever kick a co-star?
No. I slapped one.

Who?
He bit me.

Go on.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:32 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


OMG I forgot she did Jessica Rabbit. !!!!
posted by 41swans at 11:50 AM on August 7


I would love to see her in Virginia Woolf

We saw the production with Bill Irwin when it came to the Kennedy Center, and holy cow, was it good. She was amazing (as you'd expect), but so was he.
posted by fedward at 11:54 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


I saw that same production as well on Broadway and it blew my mind.
posted by griphus at 12:04 PM on August 7


John Waters tells a story about Turner that I love, even though it obviously comes from the time when she was drinking to control the pain. When making Serial Mom, he took Turner to a well-regarded Baltimore steak house. She grabbed a passing waiter.

"They tell me you make the best martini in Baltimore," she said. "PROVE IT."
posted by maxsparber at 12:25 PM on August 7 [24 favorites]


Oh, and she had some really interesting ideas about gender-bending Shakespeare:
I have a very exciting idea about how to do Lear. Usually when women play Lear, the daughters are rewritten to be sons. I’d keep them as women. When Lear says to Goneril, “May your womb dry up” — you understand what I mean, yeah? ...Devastating! “May your womb dry up” from a man? So what? From a mother? My God. There’s a power to the relationships between women that we don’t examine as much as we should.
I would legit see a production like that on its own merits even if she were just an executive producer and cast unknown actresses in the roles. That's insightful.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:32 PM on August 7 [34 favorites]


I just read the whole interview, what a badass woman. I am entirely unfamiliar with her entire body of work, the only thing I've seen she was involved in was Roger Rabbit, but I do remember that voice! Man, there's a bunch of movies mentioned here I'd be interested in watching if I enjoyed watching movies. This was a good interview and Kathleen seems like a really cool person.
posted by GoblinHoney at 12:53 PM on August 7


Turner (regarding Nicolas Cage's performance in Peggy Sue Got Married): The way I saw it was, yeah, he was that asshole.

Interviewer, David Marchese: Sorry, Nicolas Cage or his character?

Turner: Listen, I made it work, honey.
posted by Naberius at 12:55 PM on August 7 [13 favorites]




I love her a lot but it's definitely Sandra Bullock.

(I see the argument for Jennifer Aniston but frankly don't think Aniston is even on Turner's radar as any thing more than "one of the damned Friends kids")

But as fun as this sort of dirt -dishing is for me, I've got to take issue with the way Vox (and many others) are framing that part of the interview. Because Turner never said that actress has "no range" 0 she says that actress gives people what they expect and that doing so for 20 years would cause her to shoot herself, and the entire thing came up after she tells a, frankly, amazing story about choosing whether to be a good actress or being liked by the audience when asked if she has any sympathy for those who make the choice she didn't. So that's certainly not high praise but it's not "dragging" anybody either.

Maybe this is splitting hairs but when she spends a large part of the interview dragging shitty Hollywood dude culture, focusing on a specific anonymous woman she didn't want to publicly name makes prone to split a few hairs (especially when there are MANY men her age who are considered "good actors" but have done the same thing for the last 20 years too).

(Yes, I see the hypocrisy of guessing at the beginning of the comment and then saying what I just said. Life is a journey. But it's definitely Sandra Bullock.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:19 PM on August 7 [42 favorites]


I’m a tree now where the trunk is strong enough, and the roots are deep enough, that I can branch out in any direction: teaching, acting, my cabaret endeavor. And I’m getting stronger all the time. So let’s find out what I can do.

I am in love with this quote. This is exactly where I aspire to be.
posted by blurker at 1:30 PM on August 7 [27 favorites]


Oh my god. This is my favorite one:
You’d referred to your 50s as your “fuck it” 50s.

The fuck you 50s. I did what I wanted.
posted by witchen at 1:37 PM on August 7 [14 favorites]


Thank you, Metafilter, for actually discussing the piece on its (fabulous) merits rather than the 20 fucking clickbait tweets I've seen today quoting the couple of gossipy catty things she said like that was the full substance of the piece.

(Re: Sigourney Weaver, Debra Winger, or Meryl Streep) "It seems to me that we’ve all made good lives for ourselves. Surely that’s as important as what credits we all have. I will say that I miss Meryl onstage. I remember seeing her in The Taming of the Shrew many years ago. She charged out on stage swinging a footstool. I was like, “Oh yeah!” — I loved the energy of it. I wish she would do more stage work. But we’ve all matured into interesting women, yeah? That’s the important thing. I’m very interested in women’s growth as people."
posted by Lyn Never at 1:40 PM on August 7 [17 favorites]


This conversation made me realize that I'm pretty sure if I ever saw Meryl Streep or Kathleen Turner in a theater production, I'm afraid I'd go blind, like looking into an eclipse.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:47 PM on August 7 [18 favorites]


My impression of Kathleen Turner has always been heavily colored by how mean she was to Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr in "The Man With Two Brains". But this has made me rethink that 35-year-old bias.
posted by Gorgik at 1:49 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


This conversation made me realize that I'm pretty sure if I ever saw Meryl Streep or Kathleen Turner in a theater production, I'm afraid I'd go blind, like looking into an eclipse.

They got guys set up like at a metal show to keep you from rushing the stage and pledging eternal fealty.
posted by griphus at 1:51 PM on August 7 [15 favorites]


Woah, Kathleen Turner is fierce and that ferocity is a thing of beauty.

I was wondering why I hadn't seen much of her, I assumed she switched mostly to stage, but hearing that she has rheumatoid arthritis, I sympathise deeply as it runs in my family and I've seen what it does to you. It can alter your body in addition to putting you in constant pain which must of have been hard to deal with in the world of Hollywood where image & youth are everything.
posted by Ashwagandha at 2:12 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed this immensely. What a great voice.
posted by parki at 2:34 PM on August 7


Kathleen Turner isn't "difficult". She's just drawn that way.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 3:49 PM on August 7 [13 favorites]


So, I took a four-week acting masterclass with Kathleen Turner last summer and let me tell you she is even better (and wiser, and funnier, and angrier, and more blazingly perceptive) in person. The notes she gave me on my week three piece are some of the best direction I've ever gotten.

But the most valuable thing I took away from that class (and something she obliquely mentions in this interview) was her insistence that the actors in her class be actors, not brands. I can't throw a rock in today's business without hitting a book or an agent or a casting director or a fellow actor swearing that the only way anyone is ever going to be even a little bit successful is by finding one tissue-thin niche of the market and obsessively molding yourself to play that and only that niche. And in a business that's getting more crowded every day - more performers, more platforms, etc - I don't entirely disagree. But Kathleen reminded me what I lose if I take that approach too much to heart; I lose my soul, and I lose my art.

Anyway, I love this interview. And I'm going get out my notes from class tonight and read over them. I've got an audition tomorrow.
posted by minervous at 3:52 PM on August 7 [81 favorites]


Serial Mom has the best trial scene of any movie ever.
posted by sexyrobot at 5:40 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


This is a great interview, and she seems like a fantastic person.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:41 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


'Crimes of Passion' is an interesting film but really too edgy, though the acting is good.
posted by ovvl at 6:08 PM on August 7


Kathleen Turner/Carrie Fisher movie

How about with Rae Dawn Chong, and any of the other women recently outed as victims of career-ending refusal to play the men's game?

It could be something likr 9 to 5, only not funny at all.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:27 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


So, I took a four-week acting masterclass with Kathleen Turner last summer and let me tell you she is even better (and wiser, and funnier, and angrier, and more blazingly perceptive) in person. The notes she gave me on my week three piece are some of the best direction I've ever gotten.

THAT IS SO COOOOOOOOL. Share all the details of that you want :)

I really hate "branding." I want to barf when I hear it. We are not cows with brands on our asses. We contain multitudes.

There are many people, not just actresses, who get paid to do just one thing. I don't know how you'd figure out "which one" because so many somehow do it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:37 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


I like Kathleen Turner and this refreshingly frank interview but I struggle to think of Kathleen Turner movies I think are good movies? Serial Mom and Roger Rabbit I guess, both parodies of their forms... Maybe I was too young in the 80s to get her big hits.

(I bet she's talking about Julia Roberts.)
posted by latkes at 7:10 PM on August 7


What a badass.

Also: What is it with Vulture that they get these wonderful people to give such give-no-fucks interviews?
posted by gwint at 7:41 PM on August 7


Reminded me a bit of this interview with eternal delight Teri Garr.
posted by doift at 8:16 PM on August 7


I am reminded that I have still yet to see Body Heat. I have seen much of her oeuvre and I have always loved her. Her small but clearly damaging alcoholic mother on The Path was one of the more recent and pleasant surprises I have come across. Part of me wishes there were enough money and interest to just fund actresses of her caliber to just make films and plays that show everyone how acting is done.

Now all I can imagine is Kathleen Turner and Glen Close getting a cable series where they play sisters who split the family company on their parents death twenty years ago in a bitter feud and stopped talking to each other. Now one of them is ready to put into motion a plan to take the other half back from her estranged sister. Woe betide the fool who thinks these two will reconcile, for lo there is too much damn'd bile.

[Side note: For those who remember the V.I. Warshawski film she also did two radio play adaptations for the BBC of other books in the series. And when she stopped Sharon Gless took over for the third one. They will start airing next Tuesday, August 14. Find them and other audio joys on BBC Radio 4 Extra
posted by Ignorantsavage at 8:57 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


I watched every single one of her movies multiple times as a latchkey kid with HBO. It gave me a distinct dislike for Michael Douglas and a hero-worship for her.

To be fair, Michael Douglas is completely capable of inducing a distinct dislike with no assistance whatsoever.
posted by flabdablet at 4:06 AM on August 8 [3 favorites]


I struggle to think of Kathleen Turner movies I think are good movies

Her career in the 80s was quite impressive and she had a winning streak of good, high profile movies: Body Heat (1981), Romancing the Stone (1984), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988),The War of the Roses (1989). What is true is that most of her movies - with the exception of Roger Rabbit - don't seem to have had a long term cultural legacy. She didn't have her own Alien, or Pretty woman, or When Harry met Sally. Romancing the stone was a huge success and a could have started a franchise, but writer Diane Thomas died in an accident in 1985 and the sequel Jewel of the Nile, while successful, was a letdown.
posted by elgilito at 4:39 AM on August 8 [4 favorites]


True story: The cast referred to Jewel of the Nile as Jews in Denial, presumably referring to the fact that producer Douglas and writers Mark Rosenthal and Lawrence Konner didn't know what a stinker they were making.
posted by maxsparber at 4:53 AM on August 8 [3 favorites]


I <3 Kathleen Turner, ever since Romancing the Stone and my opinion of her hasn't changed. Such a shame that she was forced out of Hollywood roles by the usual Hollywood biases, that's putting it politely too. Got to see her a few years ago in London starring in the Bakersfield Mist. If you get the opportunity to see her on stage, do it I say.
posted by diziet at 4:54 AM on August 8


I’m not sure how to put this, but it seems like Turner has an incredible gift of showing herself to be a whole, real person at every turn, which is such a wonderful response to an industry that always insisted on reducing her to cliches and looks and false gossip. What a legend, and yet also what an honest and open human being.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:14 AM on August 8 [7 favorites]


This was a gift. Just what I needed to read this morning in the middle of working on a difficult project with a difficult male partner. "Listen, I made it work, honey" made me laugh out loud - and I plan on using it as my mantra it through the rest of my day.
posted by Mchelly at 6:58 AM on August 8 [4 favorites]


I like Jewel of the Nile. It amuses me NO END. The charm and ridiculousness of Omar. The blowing up of the boat. What the "Jewel" really is. Danny DeVito becomes a Sufi. And the insane scene recreating one of her books: "Jesse had a knife hidden in his boot" vs. "I'm not even wearing any underwear!"
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:35 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Peggy Sue Got Married should have been a terrible movie, a Boomer nostalgia schlockfest, yet I still think about it all the time. That's largely due to her performance.

Romancing the Stone also; it had so many terrible 80s movie tropes, but she sold her role till you liked it anyway.

When you think about what patriarchy costs us, think about how a talent like Turner's never really got the chance to be huge like she deserved.
posted by emjaybee at 7:37 AM on August 8 [7 favorites]


Also, the scene on the stairs in Peggy Sue Got Married she references is just devastatingly good. It's definitely the one that I think of whenever I remember that movie.
posted by Mchelly at 7:57 AM on August 8 [2 favorites]


Peggy Sue Got Married should have been a terrible movie, a Boomer nostalgia schlockfest, yet I still think about it all the time. That's largely due to her performance.

I remember watching the Siskel & Ebert episode where they reviewed this, and they heaped praise upon her performance. They were especially taken with a scene where she is reacting to getting a phone call from her beloved grandmother, and reacts strongly at getting to hear her again (18-year-old Peggy would be fine, but 40-year-old Peggy was hearing her long-dead grandma again). Peggy's mother follows her to her room and tries to calm her down.

They ran a clip of the scene, and pointed out that somehow simply while just standing there, Kathleen Turner managed to flip back and forth between looking like she was 18 and looking like she was 40 depending on what the specific moment called for.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:04 AM on August 8 [10 favorites]


Ha, jinx :)
posted by Mchelly at 8:10 AM on August 8


Ha, jinx :)

Yep. :-) The link I have should have a clip from the Siskel/Ebert show where they do an analysis of that scene.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:23 AM on August 8


Kathleen Turner will always have a special place in my heart for voicing two of my favorite animated characters: Jessica Rabbit and Malibu Stacey! Seriously, the Malibu Stacey episode of the Simpsons is easily my all-time favorite and Turner absolutely nails it.
posted by zeusianfog at 11:07 AM on August 8 [2 favorites]


Turner was honored by the Chicago International Film Festival some years ago and I went to the Q&A event. She told the story about the camera choice in "Peggy Sue" and the idea about a woman playing Lear, with daughters.

The two other two bits I remember are that she and Lauren Bacall were friends, and they'd call each other and play a game of trying to talk lower than the other. "Hello?" "Is this Ms. Turner?" (lower:) "Yes, is that Ms. Bacall?" (lower:) "Yes, how are you?."

And then during the audience questions, there was some jerk who asked her about working with Richard Crenna, which was an odd question, but she answered nicely. Only the guy kept trying to follow up, and launched into a bizarre rant about how underrated Richard Crenna is... and she had to shut him up. Like, you'd think maybe the moderator should've stepped in or something. It was so weird.

(I was supposed to see her in Virginia Woolf when they toured it to Chicago. Sadly she was ill and I got the understudy instead.)
posted by dnash at 2:51 PM on August 8 [4 favorites]


My impression of Kathleen Turner has always been heavily colored by how mean she was to Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr in "The Man With Two Brains". But this has made me rethink that 35-year-old bias.

Sure, she was mean to Dr. Hfuhruhurr, but then she got thrown into the mud like a scum queen. So.
posted by hearthpig at 5:33 PM on August 9


I am here for this gives-no-fucks Kathleen Turner interview.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:04 PM on August 10


I just remembered I saw her one woman show about/as Molly Ivins. It was not world changing, but it was good!
posted by latkes at 5:59 PM on August 10




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