60 Seconds With . . . Kathleen Turner

You can almost hear the ice clinking in the bottom of the glass as you read "Send Yourself Roses," Kathleen Turner's brassy memoir in which she dishes on everything from her alcoholism and rheumatoid arthritis to costars bad (Nicolas Cage) and worse (Burt Reynolds). Turner, who last week made her New York directorial debut with "Crimes of the Heart," visits Los Angeles to read from her book (7 tonight, Santa Monica Public Library).

THE BOOK ISN'T LINEAR; IT'S ORGANIZED ACCORDING TO YOUR LIFE'S EMOTIONAL PERIODS. WHY?

It's kind of like living. It isn't always a straight line. To me it isn't just a factual recounting of my life -- it has more to do with my way of thinking and beliefs.

ABOVE ALL YOU COME OFF AS RESOUNDINGLY PRACTICAL.

I am very practical. I don't think I've ever been accused of being a Method actor. I teach a course at NYU that I call "Practical Acting: Shut Up & Do It." I bring in top people in their fields -- writers, theatrical directors, cinematographers, casting directors -- people who can come in and say, "This is how you go about getting a job." That's much more helpful than sitting around and talking about it.

YOU TALK ABOUT HOW YOU ULTIMATELY FELT MORE VALIDATED OUTSIDE THE HOME THAN IN IT.

It's very difficult for men to accept gracefully, willingly, that the woman garners more attention than they do. And ultimately there is an impulse by men to take that away a bit.

I WAS STRUCK BY THE QUOTE: "IT'S BEST TO ENJOY THE COMPANY OF MEN AS PLAYTHINGS UNTIL YOU ARE 29."

That's what I've always told my daughter! Don't get married, don't get serious until then. I don't think you know who you are until 29. I couldn't have married someone when I was trying to make it as an actress. You [become successful] and your whole life changes. That's not the woman the guy married.

TELL ME ABOUT "TURNER THE VERB."

[Laughs loudly] For example, when I'm active in politics or working for one of my causes, I can get on the phone and say, "This is Kathleen Turner. I need to speak to so-and-so." And usually I can get through to whoever I need. So it is a verb: to Turner. Somebody calls up and says, "I can't get tickets to this," and I say, "Let me Turnerize them."

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-- Elina.Shatkin@latimes.com

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