The Many Lives of Kathleen Turner

The suicide virgins maybe my favorite performance of yours. I really think this is your most underrated.

Me too. And it was really hard! My daughter was a teenager at the time and I called her every night shouting, “Don’t you never fucking die! This character had to be rendered extremely delicately so that no one could look at these girls’ suicides and say, “Well, obviously it was the mother’s fault.” It was important that there were no easy answers in terms of who could be blamed. I saw myself as if I was an inflatable doll with a plug in my heel, and before each scene I would pull her up and deflate her.

I think that’s what makes the character particularly sad. You are usually very lively on screen, but Ms. Lisbon seems like life has just been sucked completely from her.

It was difficult to stay in this area. Every now and then I would get too busy and Sofia would have to say, “You refuel again!” But what a beautiful film. And Sofia is a completely different filmmaker from her father.

What memories do you keep working with Francis Ford Coppola on Peggy Sue got married?

One day, he asked me if I was okay with him leading me from his trailer. He had monitors inside and said he could just give instructions to the assistant director over walkie talkie. I said, “Oh, I don’t mind you can direct from your trailer and I’ll play from mine.” He said, “Are you telling me every time you’re on set I have to be?” I said yes, and he said, “Well, does that mean every time I’m on set you have to be?” There weren’t a lot of scenes that I wasn’t in, so I accepted. I could have slept a bit more on this movie, but Francis held his end of the bargain, so I kept mine.

You played with Jeffrey Katzenberg on the set of VI Warchowski. You weren’t happy with the ending and refused to shoot it until he and the writers sent you a revised version that got your approval.

I told him that if he didn’t change the ending, I would refuse to shoot it. Katzenberg and all these Disney folks said they couldn’t give an actor that kind of power, and I just said, “No? I bet you can. ”Just because I agree to do a job doesn’t mean I agree to change my standards. It has been an ongoing struggle throughout my career.


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