Matthew Rhys wishes he’d intervened when nude photo of Kathleen Turner on stage was taken
“In retrospect, that was my responsibility in that moment to stop and go, ‘Hang on, that’s not okay.'”
Matthew Rhys regrets not intervening to protect his costar Kathleen Turner after a photographer snapped a nude picture of her when she was on stage during a performance of The Graduate.
The Americans actor starred opposite Turner in the 2000 show, in which she appeared naked as Mrs. Robinson, an iconic character portrayed by Anne Bancroft in the 1967 film version. Rhys played Ben Braddock, portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the screen version, the future son-in-law she seduces.
During the London production, a member of the media was sent to take an unauthorized photo of Turner, which the tabloids then published. The 48-year-old actor noted that the flash went off from the crowd while they were on stage, but he recalled making the assumption that a performer as in command as Turner would have stopped the show if she’d wanted to.
Kathleen Turner and Matthew Rhys during The Graduate Photocall at Guilad Theatre in London, Great Britain. (Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)
Kathleen Turner and Matthew Rhys during their time starring in ‘The Graduate’
| Credit: Fred Duval/FilmMagic
“I think about that moment so often,” Rhys told the U.K.’s The Times in a new interview. “We locked eyes for a second, and because she was such a force and spoke her mind very freely and was very direct and straightforward, I thought, ‘If anyone in this world could stop this production, it would be Kathleen Turner.’ And she didn’t.”
But Rhys now wishes he had stepped in and stood up for her.
“In retrospect, that was my responsibility in that moment to stop and go, ‘Hang on, that’s not okay,'” he said. “Because the next day, in the tabloids, there was a picture of her naked. She wasn’t happy about it, to put it mildly. And as she was a guest in the Sceptred Isle [a British television docudrama], I was like, ‘Oh, I let her down.'”
Representatives for Turner did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.
The issue Rhys discussed is still being debated today. In March, the Daily Mail published an unauthorized nude photo of Little Women actor James Norton appearing in the stage production of A Little Life. Last year, nude photos and videos of Jesse Williams in the Broadway production of Take Me Out leaked online after an attendee violated the codes of the venue. The incidents have sparked conversations over restrictions of phones and cameras beyond standard signage in the theater.
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