You don’t survive four decades in Hollywood without a few battle scars and stories, and that’s even more true for women. Two-time Golden Globe winner and highly respected actor Kathleen Turner is a Broadway, TV and film star and now she’s starring in one of the most honest interviews of her career. According to Turner, Hollywood isn’t always so nice. Consider us not shocked.
Sitting down with Vulture, Turner gave a captivating account of her hugely accomplished career, which included some not-so-nice treatment from some of Hollywood’s biggest leading men and the cast of a beloved sitcom.
Turner spoke about her first leading role on the big screen as a sex symbol in Body Heat, revealing that her co-stars treated her as a sex symbol off-screen as well. “I understood later, from Michael Douglas, that there was a competition between him and Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty about who would get me first,” said Turner. “None of them did, by the by.”
Turner’s career was derailed to an extent, by early onset rheumatoid arthritis, in her mid-30s, with the actor fighting to keep her livelihood moving forward. During the 1990s, Turner wasn’t working as much as she had in previous years, but she did appear on one of the decade’s biggest shows. Starring as Matthew Perry’s drag queen father, Helena Handbasket, on Friends, Turner said that her time in Central Perk was not friendly. “I’ll be quite honest, which is my wont: I didn’t feel very welcomed by the cast. I remember I was wearing this difficult sequined gown — and my high heels were absolutely killing me. I found it odd that none of the actors thought to offer me a seat. Finally it was one of the older crew members that said, “Get Miss Turner a chair.” The Friends actors were such a clique — but I don’t think my experience with them was unique. I think it was simply that they were such a tight little group that nobody from the outside mattered.”
As for what Turner thought of the cast as actors? “I won’t comment on that.” Sometimes, saying nothing says a whole lot.
The cast of Friends weren’t the only actors who behaved badly on set, according to Turner. The actor had a few choice words for Nicholas Cage, revealing that Cage–complete with nasal accent–was difficult to work with on Peggy Sue Got Married. Having previously spoken about Burt Reynolds, Turner said, again, that the actor “…was terrible,” and that his behaviour was shocking, with Reynolds making Turner cry on set.
One of the most surprising revelations from Turner’s interview centres on the career of an unnamed actor, someone Turner feels has purposely pigeonholed herself in one role. Deliberately omitting the actor’s name, Turner says this woman has “…played the same role for 20 years. She even looks pretty much the same. She’s probably one of the richest women out there, but I would shoot myself if I were like that, only giving people what they expect.”
Guesses on who Turner is talking about range from Sandra Bullock to Reese Witherspoon to Julia Roberts and even Jennifer Aniston, one of the Friends stars Turner played opposite. While Turner made it clear that she didn’t want the actor’s name included in the interview, it is interesting to note that Turner also appeared in Aniston’s film Marley and Me.
Also leaving us guessing? Turner revealed that one male actor she appeared on stage with got too close during one scene–and bit her, resulting in Turner slapping him. Apparently, this actor never saw War of the Roses. You don’t mess with Kathleen Turner.