Kathleen Turner Work Deal Breakers, Teaching, ‘The Swearing Jar’

Kathleen Turner‘s deal breakers for what she won’t do for a role haven’t changed in the more than four decades she’s worked on screen and on stage. In fact, she jokes that she’s “boringly consistent.”

Broadway Stars 

“I read an interview I did 35 years ago and I thought, there isn’t a thing there I wouldn’t say now. How about equal pay, a lot of other things,” the famed actress, 68, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “But I won’t do a story that hinges on a child’s life being in danger, this is cheap. And as a parent, it goes right to the gut and it’s cheap cop-out work. Won’t do it. Won’t do abuse toward women. I’ll tell you, here’s the basic formula. If you remove the woman from the script and the story doesn’t change, then she isn’t necessary. She is just a token, and I don’t do tokens.”

Her latest in The Swearing JarIt is far from it. A leading actress in Adelaide ClemensThe Canadian musical drama ticks many boxes for Broadway vets, with more women behind the scenes.

Kathleen Turner in ‘The Swearing Jar’.
The Swearing Jar

“One of the things that really pulled me to it was that it’s all women. Producer, writer [Kate Hewlett]Director [Lindsay MacKay], Adelaide. And I like very much to support as many women’s works as I can without obviously compromising my own standards. I mean, I’m not going to do a film just because its women doing it, you know, that’s pretty silly. But I loved the relationship between the young couple,” Turner explains. “I think that my character was, she’s harsh. She’s not a happy woman, let’s say. And she might even be served as an example for what not to, but it doesn’t make her less of a good character, a good support [with]Good advice. She’s got insights she has that have come with her age.”

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Turner plays Bev the mother of Patrick J. Adams‘ Simon, who is married to Carey (Clemens). The romantic film leaps between Carey and Simon’s relationship and her developing relationship with fellow musician Owen (Douglas Smith), with the latter pairing playing a set at Simon’s 40th birthday party.


Kathleen Turner Talks The Swearing Jar

Douglas Smith in ‘The Swearing Jar’.
The Swearing Jar

“Adelaide, she’s a doll. We still have dinner sometimes when she’s in the city,” Turner tells Use. “It’s funny. I often get asked how much I’m like [the] characters that I play and I’m like, what are you talking about? I don’t go sliding down mountains. I don’t kill people. But I suppose there is always a quality, an essence that comes through and it’s true with Adelaide. She is a sweetheart on screen. Oh, she was lovely.”

Turner also found the movie’s musical component “fascinating” and went to composer Tim Williams‘ Toronto apartment to listen to some of the songs Clemens, 32, and Smith, 37, recorded together.

Movie Makeovers 

“He played some of the songs that he was working on and some of the tracks that she and Douglas recorded and how he was working them into and layering them into the music,” she recalls. “I’m not really interested in the technical aspects of it, but it is fascinating in terms of the performance, you know? He didn’t try and overdo it. It’s not over-polished. It’s not sophisticated, you know, and that’s true to the circumstances in the film.”

The Swearing Jardebuted at the Toronto Film Festival earlier in the month. The Tony-nominated singer is next to be seen in The EstateTV miniseries The White House PlumbersAs she continues to teach at University of Virginia

Kathleen Turner Talks The Swearing Jar

Patrick J. Adams and Adelaide Clemens in ‘The Swearing Jar’.
The Swearing Jar

“Something I love to do, and I’ve been doing it, but I’m gonna do a lot more. I’m gonna teach. I’m gonna be working on and off one week a month at the University of Virginia, working with the graduate acting students. It is a wonderful job. It’s something I’m very passionate about,” Turner says. “I’ve been doing this 45 years. I want to pass on the ethic. I want to take on the responsibility. I mean, I stood in line for my vote years ago while reading my New York Times. These two women were discussing who they would vote for. And one of them said, ‘Well, Kathleen Turner wrote that she really liked this guy. So I guess I will.’ And I went, ‘Oh hell. No, no, no, no.’ I mean, this cannot be my responsibility that when I say I believe in [something]That people will vote because of me? This was terrifying. It was truly, truly terrifying. It made me think. So you get to a certain level of fame, you’re carrying a hell of a lot more than simply the job you’ve done in your work. It’s important to be aware of this. You gotta handle it.”

The Swearing JarLimited release September 23.