Although Kathleen Turner is perhaps best known for her performances in ’80s hits Body Heat, Romancing the Stone and Peggy Sue Got Married, she’d prefer that everyone pay attention to her current work on stage and screen, which includes would-be love interest to dummies Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) in this week’s long-awaited sequel, Dumb and Dumber To.

Screen Rant recently sat down with Turner to talk about what it’s like stepping into the Farrelly brothers’ world of Dumb, lessons learned from decades in the biz, and the enduring, innocent sweetness of Harry and Lloyd.

Check out the trailer for Dumb and Dumber To followed by our interview with Turner:

Screen Rant: Your directors, Peter and Bob Farrelly, said they were looking for a “Kathleen Turner-type” but never thought they’d actually get you. When you finally got ahold of it, what was your reaction? How is a Farrelly brothers script different from all others?

Kathleen Turner: I’ll tell you one thing I liked about it and that is they’re kind, they’re sweet. There’s no malicious humor. So much of the humor I see on TV and everything nowadays is humiliation and it’s mean-spirited and I don’t like it. This is not, this reminds me of John Waters in ways because you love these people. Yeah they’re stupid, yeah they do these ridiculous things but you don’t judge them, do you know what I mean? And anyone who does or looks down at them, they get their comeuppance. There’s a sweetness to it that I like.

But honestly honestly, the thing that attracted me most was a chance to say to all the people who expected me to look like I did in Body Heat, “No.” I do not look like I did 30 years ago, get over it.

SR: Yes. And who does? Unless you’ve frozen your face with plastic surgery.

KT: Unless you want to dedicate your entire life to that, which I do not. It would take a heck of a lot of work. And more than that, it would be to my detriment. I play Mother Courage, I play Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, these are women that I want very much to create. They’re just such gorgeous, glorious challenges. If I didn’t look like I did 30 years ago, I would never have a chance to play them, so it makes sense to me, guys. To hear people say, “Nah, you don’t look like Fraida, Fraida was hot.” Yes. Fraida was hot. But I’m doing okay, in my own way. But I do not look like I did 30 years ago and that’s alright with me.

dumb dumber to clips Dumb and Dumber To Interview: Kathleen Turner on Playing It Straight With A Pair of Dummies


SR: Do you think also, when you first came into the business, if you’d been asked to play those meatier roles that you would have been able to do them?

KT: Oh no, I was too young. I knew I would play them. No when I was 20 I said, “When I’m 50, Martha is my role.” And lo and behold, when I turned 49 I went after [Woolf playwright] Edward Albee.

SR: Regarding your role in Dumb and Dumber, I like that there is room for Fraida to play on with Harry and Lloyd.

KT: [Laughs] I suppose! She’s certainly going to be in her daughter’s life, but is her daughter going to be in their lives? I don’t know. My character in Dumb and Dumber, I call her a semblance of normalcy. She kind of represents the rest of the world. She’s not a straight man, she’s just sort of an echo of the real world in there somehow.

SR: I think people are nicer to them than they would be, because they’re so stupid.

KT: They’re so stupid but they don’t mean ill.

SR: Did you create any bloopers or cause Mr. Carrey and Mr. Daniels to break ever?

KT: They made me break. I must confess I doubt that I did, I think I’m more serious-minded than they are.

Dumb and Dumber To is now playing in theaters.