Interview with Guinevere Turner, #VaginaWolf

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Interview with Guinevere Turner, #VaginaWolf

Fresh from the New York premiere of "Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf," the flim by Anna Margarita Albelo—staring Albelo herself and grand dame of dyke filmmaking Guinevere Turner—we are reposting an archival interview with Guinevere Turner from Velvetpark issue 11. Yes, time flies and its heartening and inspiring to watch careers continue to unfold, mature and for lack of a better word, last.

Is it hard to believe "Go Fish" was 19 years ago?! And at its time, groundbreaking in its reflection of lesbian culture of the 90s, all riot grrrly and dykie in its  X-gen savvy. "Vagina Wolf" remains as edgy and I will say as ground breaking, in its reflection of gen X queer women, into our middle age and still searching for love, and meaning (and money) in our careers.

Albelo, and the other actors and writers tweaked and improvised as the film developed over the course of the production. Turner delivers a complex, humorous, serious, passionate and vulnerable performance earning her best actress award at this summer's OutFest in LA, and its clear why. A more thorough review of Albelo's "Vagina Wolf" will follow—until then here is our 2006 interview with Guinevere Turner, in a hotel room at The Dinah:


“Would you like some champagne?” asks Guinevere Turner, as she reclines on the bed of her Palm Springs hotel suite during the Dinah Shore weekend. Guinevere seems perfectly suited for the entertainment lifestyle. She’s completely at ease with reporters and fans. She attended this years’ Dinah Shore for the requisite the L Word book signing, the Power-Up event, and did press interviews for the film "The Notorious Bettie Page", which she co-wrote. Her suite was filled with hot urban hipsters just in from LA and elsewhere to enjoy the notorious Lesbians Gone Wild weekend. Velvetpark conducted the last interview of the evening over a bottle (or was it two?) of champagne and cigarettes.

So how many people have you already spoken to? I just don’t want to go down the same road and make it boring because you said all the same things to 500 other people.
Not five hundred, but probably twenty-five.

And all the gay press is going to print the same stuff.
Especially the gay boys, I always feel like they are covering me because the have to.

[grinning] “The girl who wrote Go Fish
I always laugh, its like Guinevere “Go Fish” Turner. No, actually my middle name is Jane. I can be Guinevere “Bettie Page” Turner anything, but please… seriously, it’s been twelve years.

Speaking of Bettie Page, there is something about what you’ve written [over the years] and how you’ve written things, and there seems to be a relationship between sex and…I don’t know if violence is the right word but something dark. And this Bettie Page story seems to incorporate those elements. Am I going down the right road here?
You are, but as Alex Trebek would say, “Can you put it in the form of a question?”

Okay, well, lets just start with who came up with the idea to do the Bettie Page story? You were working with Mary Herron on it—was it a collaborative idea?
Mary Herron and I share a producer—the indomitable Christine Vachon. Christine was working with Mary on I Shot Andy Warhol and I was promoting Go Fish. We were at a club in London, and [at the time] I was so fucking mad at Rose Troche.

Why? For personal reasons?
When we first started our tour of Go Fish we had just broken up and it was ugly.

You broke up in the middle of making Go Fish? Did it affect the story line?
No it didn’t affect the story line, but our relationship was fucked.

Are you friends now?
Yes, thank god, we are family. But to leap ahead with you, what I want to do next is a story about a gay family and a lesbian family. How we are not necessarily good to each other but we are forever together. And Rose is one of those people for me. We have been through it. We started out as these ridiculous little baby dykes trying to make a movie.