A Minute With: Daryl Hannah on 'Hot Flashes,' age and activism

Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:05pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Daryl Hannah defied the ingenue stereotype early in her career to transform into a futuristic robot, a mermaid and a sword-wielding killer, and in her latest role she battles age and sexist stereotypes as a lesbian basketball player.

Hannah, 52, is part of the ensemble cast that includes Brooke Shields and Wanda Sykes in "The Hot Flashes," out in theaters and video-on-demand now and on DVD August 13.

The film follows a group of women dealing with menopause who form a basketball team to raise money for a breast cancer screening van.

Chicago-born Hannah, best known for films such as "Blade Runner," "Splash" and "Kill Bill," talked to Reuters about playing a lesbian character, battling Hollywood's perception of youth and getting arrested.

Q: What drew you to the character of Ginger?

A: People always think of me as having been an ingenue, but I pretty much through my whole career have played character roles, such as goofy Annelle in "Steel Magnolias" and a robot in "Blade Runner." I always try for roles where I can really disappear into the character. I really liked the fact that (Ginger) was a character that people wouldn't necessarily associate with me.

Q: Ginger has the added challenge of being a lesbian in a small town in Texas. How did you want to portray her?

A: I wanted to portray her as a human being who is uncomfortable with revealing who she is because of prejudice. Racism is the same thing as sexism, and people being prejudiced against homosexuality is identical. You'd think we've moved beyond that in this day and age but we're still working our way through it apparently. So I think in small towns, the experience ... is heightened even more because everybody knows everyone's business.   Continued...

Cast member Daryl Hannah (R) poses at the premiere of "The Hot Flashes" in Los Angeles, California June 27, 2013. The movie opens limitedly in the U.S. on July 12. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni