Hot on the heels of the premiere of the brand new web series Different for Girls, I got to sit down and chat with one of my favourite celesbians, Guinevere Turner.
Go Fish was one of the very first lesbian films I watched, and was truly a trailblazer for its time. Turner both starred in and co-directed the 1994 film with her then girlfriend, Rose Troche. Following its release the actress made a meteoric rise to dykon* status. Coupled with her role as the L-Word’s Gabby Deveaux - and impressive catalogue of screenwriting and directorial roles - and this interviewee comes with some serious credentials.
I ran into Turner at the BFI Flare film festival, and only have a few minutes to talk to her. I decide to do away the serious questions, and ask the stuff I really want to know... We sit down in the VIP room at the Different for Girls after-party. Turner shares with me:
“There’s only two questions I had for Jacquie [Lawrence] when she asked me about the part. [of Jude]. I said ‘I can’t do a British accent, so do I get to play an American? And do I have to show my tits?’ - the answers were Yes, and No.” (damn, maybe season 2!).
Trying not to get distracted by the thought of Turner showing her tits, I wonder what made her want to be involved in Different for Girls?:
“When the L-Word ended, I saw this gap for the lesbian audience. I thought ‘why isn’t there something for us?’ So for me I’m really excited about the series. And I love the fact I get to play an American.”
Turners other screen credits as an actress (she’s also a screenwriter and director) include American Psycho, Preaching to the Perverted, and Itty Bitty Titty Committee. She is no stranger to lesbian roles, so what is it she likes about her character in Different for Girls, Jude?:
“The characters I usually play are either a slut or a bitch. Jude is ferocious and grounded, and she's a parent. So I like that I get to play at being someone I’m not in real life,” she says.
While we’re busy tuning into Turner, I can’t help but wonder who she turns on the TV for:
“Orphan Black!” she says excitedly, “Miss Tatiana M is so incredible, and the fact that she's this strong lesbian character on a mainstream show is great!” I agree wholeheartedly.
What is Turner’s favourite lesbian TV moment? She ponders this question briefly: “Every moment that Jaime Sommers in the Bionic Woman pushes her hair back out of her face and behind her ear, like this,” she says, while stroking her hair behind her ear in a rather beguiling manner. We both nod and smile together enthusiastically.
I delve a little deeper into her personal interests, and ask her to share some things that not a lot of people know: “First is, I crochet for a hobby - I love it.” Turner has her own ‘Etsy’ shop which reveals the main recipient of her woolly creations is the Griffin Park Bear. Further research also reveals she enjoys ‘yarn-bombing’, which involves putting creations made of yarn onto objects outside. Watch Guin yarn-bombing
She’s also been a vegetarian for 20 years, but confesses: “I hate mushrooms, squash, eggplant and peppers, which is what most people feed to vegetarians.” As a fellow veggie, I can only empathise with what she must get served at dinner parties. “I’m also a deep lover of sign language,” she says.
So when not pinning a knitted scarf onto the local park bear, what else is Turner up to at the moment? “I’m writing my next screenplay, which has a working title of ‘The Family’.” She is enthusiastic about teaming back up with American Psycho director, Mary Harron, for this examination of the infamous Manson Family murders. It will be told through the eyes of a graduate student who is working with three of the brainwashed young women who were part of the cult.
We are interrupted briefly by one of Turner’s friends, and I can see our time together is wrapping up soon. If she could spend the day as anyone, who would it be? Without hesitation she says: “Dorothy Parker... before she descended horribly into alcoholism!”
Sadly the Different for Girls after-party seems to be coming wrapping up. So I take my chance to ask one final question - for all us single ladies. Is Turner in a relationship with anyone right now? To this, she responds with a rather cheeky and playful wink. I think this interviewer’s question just got answered with an emoji ;-b
About Different For Girls
Different for Girls is a wonderful FREE web series available to view via the YouTube channel Lesbian Box Office(link is external). It was created by Jacquie Lawrence, an award-winning documentary producer whose credits include the Oscar-nominated The Celluloid Closet, and BAFTA award winning Ross Kemp on Gangs.
Read the Planet Nation review of Different for Girls: https://www.planet-nation.com/lifestyle/media-reviews/different-girls-review
Jude is a 42 year old ‘gold-star’ American lesbian. She works as a freelance travel journalist. She has two boys, twins, conceived from anonymous sperm. She is still painfully attached to her ex, Nicola (played by Caroline Whitney Smith). She met her current lover, Gemma, at a mutual friend’s book launch. For Jude, it could become the perfect relationship; if it were not for Kirby and his impending marriage of (in)convenience to the woman she loves!
Turner is a writer, actor and director from Boston, Massachusetts. She has been working in film and TV since her 1994 debut, Go Fish. She has also appeared in The Watermelon Woman, Chasing Amy and Showtime’s The L Word, which she wrote three episodes of.
“At 10, I tried to act like a boy so I could go fishing and not have to do dishes. At 15, I wept over a broken nail and feathered my hair until it hurt. At 21, desperate to be taken seriously as a lesbian, I got a crew cut and tried to change my walk from a sashay to a saunter. At 24 I made a movie that proclaimed me "dyke" once and for all, and now I am a girly girl with the innards of a truck driver.” [Credit: IMBD]
* Dykon = lesbian icon.