Details Magazine - September 1991
Author - Jeff Spurrier
Do you think David Lynch took you places that were dangerous or even wrong?
Dangerous, yes. Wrong, no. He took me places that were challenging. He's taken movies into areas that are dangerous. I never find a movie or a character wrong if the director has a vision. Pretty Woman and Ghost are the movies that are marketable now, so all movies will be repeating those themes. Some movies that are considered safe I find much more dangerous than a David Lynch movie.
In your new film, Rambling Rose, your mother, Diane Ladd, says something like "Men are looking for sex where women look for love." Do you agree?
I hope it's not true, but I do think that men look for sex more than women. Not that women aren't sexual. In my experience men have more desire to be with several people. I've met men who wanted to love as much as I - we just have different ways of showing it.
Do you think men's and women's ideas of what's erotic are similar?
Yes, I think a man and a woman can agree on what turns them on, but in the end it's very individual. In movies, I see things that people consider a turn-on that to me aren't sexy at all. I think mystery is a lot sexier than seeing sleek, greased, naked bodies on-screen.
It's interesting that, like Lula in Wild at Heart, you have a scene in Rambling Rose where you are stimulated to climax while your partner gets nothing. I imagine that some people find that scene erotic.
It's my favorite scene. There's nothing I love more in a movie that to watch two people going through two completely different things while lying next to each other.
You've been romantically linked to people you've worked with. Looking back, has it been a mistake to mix business and love?
It can be. The last leading man that I fell for was Kyle MacLachlan in Blue Velvet, and I ended up spending four years with him. When I'm attracted to somebody I'm working with, I wait until the end of the movie to allow it to be a relationship. Even Kyle and I waited. The worst thing is when people just jump into a relationship on day one and by the third month of shooting end up hating each other. So my rule book now says: Allow a friendship to develop, and when the movie's over, if the friendship is still there and we want to take it to another level, great.
What annoys you about the men you date?
I like a man who admires beauty in other women, but I don't like it when I'm telling him something that means a lot to me and he's rubbernecking. I don't like it if a man tells me he's in love with me and then attacks me for my independence. What I'm learning to be is also what I want a man to be: completely trustworthy. I've always been trustworthy as far as monogamy. But do you tell three friends something that your loved one has told you in confidence? I don't, and I would hope a man would be protective of me as well.
Have you heard malicious gossip about youself?
Never about myself. I think it's because I've never been in a party circle. I've never clubhopped. I've never done drugs. I've never been social in a way that involves large groups of people seeing you do something you're not proud of. The things I'm not proud of, only boyfriends, my best friends, and my parents have seen. I'm sure people have said stuff. Usually jealous girls.
What was the worst things kids said about you when you were growing up?
One said: "You think you're so great because your dad is Bruce Dern." When I was in seventh and eight grade he was on the cover of Life magazine and had been nominated for an Academy Award. I was just starting to act, and people thought I was getting the parts because my parents were stars. That hurt my feelings. The other thing was they'd sometimes called me "the preacher", because I was always talking about my theories. Or politics. I cried when Ford won the first debate with Carter. I wanted Carter to win. I had convictions, and I think that annoyed some kids.
Do you still debate?
Yeah, but now I get less furious when people don't agree. I can even listen to someone telling me he thinks George Bush is an amazing president and try to see that point of view.
What are you reading now?
That's so sad. I'm reading horrible scripts, mediocre scripts, one or two good scripts. I have these books by my bed - Love in the Time of Cholera, Autobiography of a Yogi - which I've been half through for four years. I just started reading Cosmos, by Carl Sagan. I love this book. It's heavy but weird. I'm getting into black holes and celestial doorways. Reading about the solar system can be calming. Everything is so big, so just relax.
What do you hate about your looks?
When I was a teenager I would have said, "Oh, my face is so long, like my dad's...my cheekbones are high" - which I hated - "my nose is very Aryan...I've got very pale skin and I don't tan." I hated that I had blond, straight hair. I covet my blond hair now. Before, I was much harder on my body than on my face. I thought I was too tall. I had scolliosis, so I had bad posture. I had wide hips even though I wa skinny, and I thought that was weird. When I was nineteen and twenty and having my first serious boyfriends, I'd say, "I hate this part of my body!" And they never gave you what you wanted to hear, which was "You have the most beautiful body in the world!"
It's been said that the four major problems in life involve fear, anger. laziness and pride. Which is a problem for you?
Fear. Fear of trusting too much, fear of being too open and not being detached. I was filled with fears as a kid. My parents lost a child, and because of that they wanted me to be careful of many things: "There are sharks in the ocean that can kill you; there are spiders on the beach that can kill you. Don't leave the fire on. Be careful of sharp knives."
Would you ever carry a gun?
No. But I would have a bodyguard. Guns freak me out. I've dated people and had girlfriends who've had guns, but what if someone gets drunk one night? I want to avoid situations that could incur tragedy.
You've said that you believe we're here to learn a lesson. What's your lesson?
I'm extremely emotional, which serves me well when I'm acting, but I need to learn some detachment. Even in my daily life, I went with some friends to Sea World recently, and I was sobbing at the beauty of Shamu. Sobbing! I care about the world and politics because I am emotional. Caring is a nice quality, but it's also to your detriment if you become too absorbed ineverybody's stuff. What I do for a living is to be open, but I'm learning to be open with boundaries.
What's the worst sin anyone can commit?
I'd say lying to oneself.