The Daily Mail has more excerpts today from screen legend Kathleen Turner’s upcoming biography, and she sure dishes the dirt on her former co-stars. She reveals that the late Anthony Perkins, who is best known for his role in Psycho, did amyl nitrate in front of all he case and crew on the film Crimes of Passion, which came out in 1985. Perkins passed away in 1992 at the age of 60 from complications from AIDS.
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.
[Excerpt from Send Yourself Roses by Kathleen Turner, available on The Daily Mail]
Turner also reveals the other co-stars that made her on-stage career difficult, Nicolas Cage and Burt Reynolds. Case was deliberately obstinate on the set of Peggy Sue Got Married, and seemed to think that he should show his independence from his uncle, the director Francis Ford Coppola, by being a pain in the ass. He was wasted a lot and even got arrested for trying to steal a dog!
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.
She says that Cage has tried to apologize to her whenever he’s seen her since, and that she’s told him she’s over all that and it’s in the past. Of everyone she’s worked with, though, Burt Reynolds was the worst and went out of his way to give her a hard time on set daily. They starred in Switching Channels together in 1987:
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.
Reynold’s career is right about where it should be if he treated his co-stars like that. I love that Turner is basically spilling everyone’s secrets now. Turner has found success on stage, but doesn’t have much of a film career to speak of at 53. That seems to be due to the fact that there aren’t enough decent roles in Hollywood for older woman along with some personal issues that she’s been facing. We reported yesterday that Turner also admits in her biography to battling alcoholism, and says she started to turn to vodka to cope with the ongoing pain from rheumatoid arthritis. She’s a talented actress and deserves some more opportunities and maybe her new book will help bring her back into the spotlight.
Turner’s new book, Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles, is available for pre-order through Amazon and is out in the UK on February 8, according to the Daily Mail.