Kathleen Turner’s newest project is the dramedy The Perfect Family, which opened May 4. In an interview with NBC New York, Turner spoke about her first leading movie role since 1994’s Serial Mom.
She said, “I have been so wrapped up in my stage work. That’s been where my focus has been going the last few years. I got the chance to do Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? And develop two new plays. I’m also taking a one-woman show called Red Hot Patriot: the Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins to Washington before the elections.”
Despite going back to a film, Turner admits she finds theater more satisfying. “Being on stage is something you really share with the audience and the other actors,” she said. “Film-making, not only do I find it on the whole now rather formulaic—so many of the storylines or scripts that I read are so predictable or follow a set pattern or are remakes of TV shows—but the material itself is not very challenging. And the process of film where you act for 20 minutes, stop while they reset the lights for an hour or two, act for another 20 minutes (the same material) and then you sit down again while they reset the lights. Stage to me is so alive, so immediate.”
After Turner stars in Red Hot Patriot, she’s doing “another piece of theater where I will be starring and directing. That’s the next challenge.”
The 57-year-old actress reported that directing has changed her approach to acting as well. She said, “I see everything in more detail now. Experience does add up. It really does. And certainly when you work as a director you are responsible for the entire production, not just one character. In a way it is the details of the sets and the lighting and costuming, and then having the actors meld to the intention of the scene. When it all comes together it is just, ‘Ahh!’ It’s just quite thrilling. I find it is like acting all the characters at once.”