&#039It&#039s Really Lonely&#039: Kathleen Turner Stars As Joan Didion In &#039Magical Considering&#039

Kathleen Turner stars as Joan Didion in Arena Stage’s production of The Year of Magical Pondering. C. Stanley Photography/Arena Stage hide caption

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C. Stanley Photography/Arena Stage

“Do you know how several words there are in 80 minutes?” asks actress Kathleen Turner. “My god!”

Turner is referring to The Year of Magical Pondering, a play based on Joan Didion’s 2005 memoir. The book was written whilst Didion’s daughter was in a deep coma, and right after her husband of 40 years suffered a fatal heart attack. In her role as Didion, Turner is the only one particular on stage. “It really is quite lonely,” she says.

Rehearsing before opening evening at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage, Turner strides across the bare rehearsal hall — confident, assured, pushing back her long, thick hair from time to time. (It is a sexy gesture — and a reminder of her breakthrough function in the torrid 1981 film Physique Heat.)

And that voice! It’s been described as “Cabernet-soaked” which is quite a departure from Didion’s, which is much smaller sized, softer and slightly nasal. (You can hear an extended 2005 interview with Didion in the hyperlink audio link below.)

At age 81, Didion is bobby-pin thin. “She’s a tiny small factor, proper?” says Turner. “And I am something but tiny, small or frail.”

But if audiences come searching for Didion, they will not uncover her in this production.

“If men and women want just to have Joan Didion then they are going to have to forgive me,” Turner says. “Simply because that is not what I am undertaking.”

This isn’t about imitating Didion. This is about portraying a lady who is dealing with grief, and grasping for life. Facing unimaginable loss, she’s robust, vulnerable and fierce as she struggles to banish self-pity.

The Year of Magical Thinking

“I went type of crazy. I imply, I think everybody does,” Didion says.

Didion’s “magical thinking” had to do with the concept that her husband would somehow return. She gives away his shirts, pants and socks, but somehow, when it comes to throwing away his footwear, she can’t bring herself to do it.

“Following a moment’s believed, she realizes the purpose she can’t do it is since he’ll want them when he comes back,” Turner says.

At 62, Turner has lived by means of losses that support her connect to this play.

“I truly began on this exploration final year when my mother died,” she says. “We were really close, and it was a excellent death, as it goes, you know. But I miss her very much and it does leave this, this absence that it really is difficult to grasp.”

Magical pondering is “if” pondering, she says. “There is all this great pretense, but it’s not undesirable pretense. It really is wishful, hopeful — but nevertheless entirely misleading.”

What do you do to get via the worst items that happen to you? Inside two years, Didion lost her husband and their daughter. The play pays specific interest to the daughter. It tends to make you ask: How can we shield the ones we really like?

Turner has met the author at a variety of events over the years but she hasn’t discussed the drama with Didion or re-study the book on which it really is based.

“I never want to,” Turner says. “You know, a great script, every thing I need is in it — is in the script. I do not want to know as well a lot — I do not want to know too significantly outdoors the script.”

In Didion’s story, Turner has located what she wants.

Arts &amp Life : NPR


Johnny Depp Stars As Donald Trump (Yep, You Read That Right)

Funny Or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art Of The Deal: The Film from Funny Or Die

Ready for a quick game of true-or-false?

In 1987 Donald Trump wrote a company advice book named The Art of the Deal. [True]

That book was a greatest-seller. [Accurate]

Trump created a Television film based on the book that was supposed to air but didn’t because a football game went into overtime. Years later, director Ron Howard found the movie at a yard sale in Pheonix, Az. [FALSE]

The online comedy outfit Funny or Die has turned the aforementioned falsehood into a movie referred to as The Art of the Deal starring Johnny Depp as Trump. [Correct]

Got it? The Art of the Deal the film was released on Funny or Die’s internet site on Wednesday.

“We shot the complete movie in four days,” screenwriter Joe Randazzo tells NPR’s Kelly McEvers. The cast and crew were on set till “all hours of the night,” he says. “No one knew what the heck was going on.”


Interview Highlights

On whether or not the fake created-for-Tv film is a new genre

I never know if it’s a totally new factor, but it is certainly new for Funny or Die and it seemed like … the very best vessel to deliver everything we wanted to say about Donald Trump in a way that felt fitting for the time period in which he wrote the book [the 1980s] and that would be effortlessly digestible. … I consider much more than 50 minutes of Donald Trump is probably a little bit too much for anybody to bear.

On how they decided to have Johnny Depp to play Donald Trump

I do not believe anyone would have imagined that Johnny Depp would ever wind up playing Donald Trump. But we had the idea, we had the script, we weren’t confident where to take it, or who to take it to. We knew this was the sort of issue that necessary a huge star. …

I consider anyone who wants to be leader of the free of charge globe should be examined in any way you possibly can — psychologically, superficially, comedically.

Everything just sort of lined up where [Depp] was coming in for a meeting, you know, with Adam McKay. And Owen Burke, who’s the executive producer, was like, “We’ve got this Donald Trump script. Would you be interested in playing Donald Trump?” And he’s like, “Uuuuh, yeah. I would.” And then right after he came on, certainly, everybody else wanted to be involved, as well.

On regardless of whether Trump is beyond satire

I consider anybody who wants to be leader of the free globe ought to be examined in any way you possibly can — psychologically, superficially, comedically. It’s a weird issue to want to do. He’s a pretty phenomenal character. But it was definitely a challenge. A lot of stuff that we wrote into the script when we began in late August or early September, he wound up saying in true life, so it stopped becoming absurd.

Arts &amp Life : NPR