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Kathleen Turner




[[wysiwyg_imageupload:278:]]" IT'S AMAZING. A MAN GOES AND GAINS weight or changes anything, and people say, 'God, what a commitment as an actor.' A woman does it and it's, 'Ah. She's losin' it...' It's not fair."

Kathleen Turner, for it is she, is clearly unhappy with Tinseltown's inability to grasp the fact that, for the part of a dowdy housewife in House Of Cards, as yet unreleased in the UK, she piled on the pounds deliberately. She can rest assured, however, that in the comedy Undercover Blues, released in the UK this month, in which she plays one half of a renowned secret agent team (with Dennis Quaid) that has semi-retired to bring up a baby, she looks fighting fit - making it hard to believe that it's now 12 years since a 27-year-old Turner slinked her way through her film debut Body Heat as the sultry siren luring dumb lawyer William Hurt to his doom, and bagging herself a Golden Globe and BAn A award for her trouble.

Since then this fidgety bundle of manic energy - constantly gesturing, crossing and uncrossing her legs and shifting in her seat - has played a collection of memorable femmes in a string of hit movies, including three with Michael Douglas: Romancing The Stone, its sequel, The Jewel Of The Nile, and The War Of The Roses. In fact, Danny De Vito, who co-starred in those first two and directed her in Roses, has been trying to reunite the threesome for a third Romancing movie.

"He's been calling a lot lately," she giggles. "Michael thinks that maybe he's just tired of directing and wants an easy job. But I love those guys and, you know, we're good together. We had a script about two-thirds done that Warren Skaaren wrote but then he died.

"You know, all of the Romancing writers die, don't they?" ,she continues, lowering her voice. "It's weird. Diane Thomas died, too. Spooky thought. But there's a premise there we can work on and it takes place in Hong Kong. I thought, 'God, I'm not going back to any country with an M in it - that's the kiss of death. I'm not going to Morocco, I'm not going to Mexico. Not again'."

After her Body Heat debut, Turner continued to gain attention by playing bad girls to perfection in John Huston's Prizzi's Honour (which won her a second Golden Globe), with Jack Nicholson; The Accidental Tourist, once again with William Hurt; The Man With Two Brains, with Steve Martin; and as. the sultry, uncredited voice of sexpot Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. She has played good girls too, of couroe - in Francis Ford Coppola's sentimental Peggy Sue Got Married which earned her an Oscar nomination and Switching Channels, but then came V.L Warshawski. Turner should have secured herself a role for life as the eponymous tough detective in a film that, had it been any good, would have spawned a whole series.

"1 was so disappointed," she confesses.

"But I think that's a rather grandiose world view if I were to assume responsibility for its failure. I wish I could have fixed it. It's not a question of just the script - the script was all right. It's a question of all the other elements as well. I don't think we had a strong enough central vision. Perhaps the director, God bless him, couldn't protect it from the other pressrtes that are imposed upon a film. I've always had some fantastic directors - Coppola, Ross, Zemeckis, Kasdan, Huston, and that's where I went wrong. I've got to have a strong director."

As well· as her maternal role in the aforementioned House Of Cards, Turner will next be seen in saucemeister John Waters' comedy Serial Mom. "I'm a mother in all my movies now (she is, in real life, the mother of a five-year-old daughter). I think it's just where I am in society's ranking of women. I'm 39, so I must be a mother. " She gasps in mock exasperation. "But in Undercover Blues I made sure my legs were out," she guffaws. "I think they're my best part. Good gams ... "

EMPIRE, February 1994