Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Send Yourself Roses and Send Me This Book

Christmas is over and your humble Felt Up blogette's next 28th birthday is not until November, but I already know what you should get me: Kathleen Turner's soon-to-be-released autobiography, Send Yourself Roses! The UK Daily Mail has some juicy excerpts, such as this reminsicence about working with professional douche William Hurt on Body Heat:
Working with Bill Hurt was - shall we say - enlightening. In those days, he was pretty wild. He drank a great deal and took a lot of recreational drugs - he loved those magic mushrooms. He loved women, too; I don't know how many he went through during filming.

Bill always wanted to stay in character and be called 'Ned', even off-stage. He'd get a little teed off when I was chatting with the cameraman up to the moment we were ready to act.

My way of letting off tension is to have a laugh and then get to work - but Bill thought I wasn't taking my acting seriously enough. He'd glare at me and say he just couldn't understand how I could switch so instantly into character.

Or this cute story about making Crimes of Passion:
In my time, I've worked with some pretty eccentric people. Crimes Of Passion, in which I played a whore, was directed by Ken Russell, who's a mad, self-sabotaging genius, and my co-star was the actor Anthony Perkins, of Psycho fame.

Ken was drinking a great deal at the time, and as the days went on, things got increasingly out of hand. Anthony, who had an appalling drug habit, was taking illegal substances in front of all of the crew. You could see his heart beating a mile a minute.

Everywhere he went, he carried a little bottle that I was told was benzyl nitrate. We'd rehearse a scene, then before the call to 'Roll camera', he'd take out his bottle and sniff it with each nostril.

His face would go red and he'd break into a sweat - and suddenly I'd have no idea whether he was in control of himself or not. It was scary. I was quite worried about getting hurt.

Before one scene, where my character had to go from abject misery to laughter in a matter of seconds, Anthony said to me "You won't be able to do that without some of this," and tried to hand me his drugs.

I said: "Oh yeah? Watch me, a**hole." But actually, working with Ken and Anthony was nearly impossible.

Now, anyone who knows me is aware that I have a very closely-held belief that Peggy Sue Got Married is, bar none, without a doubt, the weirdest movie ever made. What about Tod Browning's classic Freaks, you say? Plan 9 From Outer Space by Ed Wood? Anything directed by Werner Herzog or Crispin Glover or that guy from Japan who does the milk-squirting-from-boob scenes? All as normal as apple pie in comparison with Peggy Sue Got Married. If you don't believe me, go rent it. IT IS INSANE. Some day I will write a monograph on the subject, for my thoughts on this film are waaaay too complex and far-reaching in their scope for a mere blog post. Suffice it to say that I am thrilled to get some of Ms. Turner's memories of the experience:
Another co-star who left a lot to be desired was Nicolas Cage, who played my boyfriend and husband in Peggy Sue Got Married, about an unhappily married woman who jumps back in time to her high-school days.

Now, Nicolas happens to be the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, who was directing the film. And my contrary co-star was absolutely determined to prove that he wasn't there as the result of nepotism.

So, everything Francis wanted him to do, he went against - to show that he wasn't under his uncle's wing. Which was ridiculous. Oh, that stupid voice of his and the fake teeth! Honestly, I cringe to think about it.

He caused so many problems. He was arrested twice for drunk-driving and, I think, once for stealing a dog. He'd come across a chihuahua he liked and stuck it in his jacket.

On the last night of filming, he came into my trailer after he'd clearly been drinking heavily. He fell on his knees and asked if I could ever forgive him. I said, "Not right now. I have a scene to shoot. Excuse me," and just walked out.

And then there's the wee anecdote about working with Felt Up Fave Rave Emeritus, Burt Reynolds:

My unhappiest experience as an actress? Well, that would have to be a film called Switching Channels, which came out in 1987.

It had all started well enough. I'd had two rehearsals in New York with the wonderful Michael Caine, who'd signed to play my husband. But Michael had to leave to finish the latest Jaws film - Jaws IV, V, VI, whatever - and the shark machinery kept breaking down.

He didn't have a stop date for when he'd be free and I had my own stop date, for a very important reason: I was pregnant. When it was plain that Michael couldn't join us before I grew too big, the producer hired Burt Reynolds.

For whatever reason, the first thing Burt said to me was: "I've never taken second billing to a woman."

I excused myself, ran to my hotel room and called my husband, breaking into tears. Jay said: "Dry your eyes, be cool, go back, just do the film."

I did go back. But, oh, every day there were nasty little digs. For instance, because of my pregnancy, the production team had given me a golf cart so I didn't have to walk around too much - and Burt even made fun of that. He was just nasty!

One day, we started shooting a scene that Michael Caine and I had rehearsed, where we finish each other's sentences like old married couples do. Making that dialogue work needed real skill. It had to be fast; it had to be sharp. But Burt just couldn't do it.

The director finally said: "Look, why don't we just shoot line by line?" And, idiot that I am, I shot back: "Because it's called a scene, that's why."

From that day on, Burt and I were sworn enemies. He later accused me of trying to get him sacked every day and publicly declared that the sound of my name made him want to vomit.

I won't be rushing to work with him again, either.

Oh, is there anything better than a blowsy ole broad who will name names and dish the dirt? J'adore Kathleen Turner! OK, I've got to run over to Amazon and put this book on my Wish List...Huzzah!

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