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Kathleen Turner: The Last Great American Broad

May 3, 2012

I just got back from Night 2 of the Montclair Film Festival, the highlight of which was a raucously quotable Q&A with the unsinkable Kathleen Turner. In addition to promoting her new film, The Perfect Family (hitting theaters and VOD tomorrow), the smoky-voiced force of nature shared enlightening stories about the making of such great films as Body Heat (for her sizzling 1981 film debut, she described working with fellow neophytes William Hurt and Lawrence Kasdan as feeling like “it was the three of us against the system”) and 1985’s Prizzi’s Honor (John Huston was so ill, he had to measure how many breaths it would take before moving or speaking, leaving Turner and Jack Nicholson largely to direct themselves).

In fact, Turner fired off so many great lines in the hourlong interview, I took to live-Tweeting them, just so I wouldn’t forget any bon mots (or mal mots, in the case of Danny DeVito and Switching Channels). What follows is my Twitter-script.

“Bill Hurt was the best kisser. I was so young and naïve. It was like first love, baby!” –Kathleen Turner on Body Heat at @MontclairFF
“If I play a prostitute, I’m not going out on the street and try it. I’m just going to figure it out.”–Kathleen Turner at @MontclairFF
“I had both knees replaced. Do not go to the airport with me. I set off every alarm.”–Kathleen Turner on arthritis, at @MontclairFF
“Doing theater is truly not for sissies. It is an athlete’s job.”–Kathleen Turner at @MontclairFF
“I’ve always had a low voice. When I was in junior high, I was put in the boys’ choir. Which was great!”–Kathleen Turner at @MontclairFF
“I think I have the best job in the world. And I don’t have to retire!” –Kathleen Turner at @MontclairFF
“I have decided that I am too old to work with assholes.” –Kathleen Turner at @MontclairFF
After playing Molly Ivins at Arena Stage in DC, Kathleen Turner will star in and direct The Killing of Sister George@MontclairFF
“What you can do with a camera is deliciously specificand gorgeous. What it can’t do is allow you to use your full range.”–Kathleen Turner@MontclairFF
Kathleen Turner thinks women directors are more open-minded than men. “That may sound sexist, but tough! It’s true.” @MontclairFF

Burt Reynolds, Turner and Christopher Reeve in 1988’s Switching Channels

The only film Kathleen Turner didn’t enjoy making was Switching Channels. She only did it because she was pregnant and wanted to squeeze in a job. @MontclairFF

“He was a real asshole most of the time.” –Kathleen Turner on being directed by Danny Devito in War of the Roses, at the @MontclairFF

What’s your favorite Kathleen Turner film? Any Romancing the Stone, Serial Mom or Peggy Sue Got Married fans out there? (Not to mention Jessica Rabbit!)

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