Kathy Bates keeps roaring with 'Tammy,' 'Freak Show'
Kathy Bates calls herself “an old lion.”
The actress says she also plays one in the big-screen comedy “Tammy.” Bates portrays Lenore, a successful entrepreneur who figuratively slaps sense into the film's lovable loser of a titular character (Melissa McCarthy).
The 66-year-old “Misery” Oscar winner tells us more:
Question: I must admit I'm surprised to find you in this movie. You've done a few light comedies, such as Adam Sandler's “The Waterboy.” But we're used to seeing you in dramas.
Answer: I'd heard they (the creative team of McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone) wanted me for a part. I didn't know what part. I told my agent, “I will play a giraffe with green spots, whatever they say.” (Laughs)
Q: What was the appeal of McCarthy?
A: Even when she gets outrageous, when she gets on the most ridiculous jaunts and puts a bag on her head and all of that, you go with it, because it's real. It's grounded in reality. You almost believe, “Hey! I'd do that, too.”
Q: As Tammy and her grandmother (Susan Sarandon) careen out of control on their road trip, and in life, Lenore sets them both straight. She's a role model.
A: I think of Lenore as an old lion. It's taken her many years to create her business, to have a life for herself and (partner) Susanne (Sandra Oh). They met in college and I think they came out when it was very difficult for lesbians to be accepted.
Q: (The gay-cinema historian) Vito Russo would have loved that Lenore is incidentally gay. Her sexuality isn't the point of the character.
A: What I love about the way we are portrayed in the film is that Susanne and Lenore are a normal, healthy couple, which says, “You can't legislate who you love.”
Q: What are the ties that bind you to Lenore?
A: I am an old lion, too. I'm nipping at the cubs quite a bit these days. When I get a young director who wants to do all these fancy shots and use all these wide lenses from a low angle, he'll get nipped. (Laughs.) I have spent 50 years of my life learning about this craft. And I'm about to turn it over to the kids that are coming up, which I will do, willingly.
Q: But you're by no means retiring. You couldn't be much busier.
A: I can't believe it. Let's face it. When (her TV series) “Harry's Law” got canceled and, right after that, I found out I had breast cancer and I had a double mastectomy that summer, I was pretty low. And I felt like I'd been kicked to the curb. And I didn't know if I would ever work again. And then, a year later, along came Melissa and (“American Horror Story” producer) Ryan Murphy. I'm just grateful for all that. ”
Q: Ryan cast you in “American Horror Story: Coven,” and has said that you'll appear in some capacity in the upcoming “American Horror Story: Freak Show.”
A: I know I'm part of “Freak Show.” We live in Jupiter, Fla. And it's the 1950s. I know it's going to be out there — a good place for an old lion to be.
Mike Cidoni Lennox is the AP entertainment writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.