Savage Messiah: Ken Russell > Savage Messiah: Ken Russell

Kathleen Turner on Ken, Anthony Perkins and Crimes of Passion


Iain Fisher:
Kathleen Turner’s five favourite movies:

* The Music Lovers (Ken Russell, 1970)
* Shrek (Andrew Adamson, 2001)
* The Accidental Tourist (Lawrence Kasdan, 1988)
* The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011)
* Auntie Mame (Morton DaCosta, 1958)
from Scott Campbell, 17 May 2024, Far Out Magazine, click here

For more on The Music Lovers click here

Iain Fisher:
The Many Lives of Kathleen Turner by Keaton Bell, in Vogue 13 Dec 2021

Kathleen Turner on Ken, Anthony Perkins and Crimes of Passion

"Ken Russell was one of a kind. He wanted to bring the lives of all the great composers to the screen, like the one about Tchaikovsky with Richard Chamberlain [1971’s The Music Lovers]. That’s what he saw as his essential work. But in between those, Ken had to make Hollywood films because he didn’t wanna lose his place in the zeitgeist. He wanted to have one foot in Hollywood’s door, which meant he shot himself in that foot a lot on something like Crimes of Passion.

I understand it was a pretty chaotic set.

Anthony Perkins was a nightmare. It was such a shame to watch—he would huff benzyl nitrate before every take.

Like poppers?

No, those are amyl nitrate. These were one down, but the effect is very much the same. Anthony would break into sweats, turn bright red, and start mumbling very fast and incoherently. Anything we’d rehearsed before the scene would completely go out the window. And Ken was hardly one to criticize him because he was always drunk.

How does a budding actor navigate a set like that?

With difficulty. But Ken was a genius, and I wanted to work with him".

The article is on the Vogue website here

The page on Crimes of Passion is here


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