Jerry Hall Replaces Turner in The GraduateDate: 14 June 2000
Jerry Hall Replaces Turner in The Graduate Rumours over Kathleen Turner's replacement in the stage version of The Graduate can now be laid to rest. Against expectations, the next star to play Mrs Robinson will be model and ex-rock star wife Jerry Hall. Ms Hall will take over at the Gielgud Theatre from the beginning of the next booking period, 31 July 2000.
Like Turner, Hall has agreed to bare all in the infamous seduction scene. The chance to catch the 43-year-old in the nude has already generated a flood of new bookings at the theatre box office and a sell-out seems guaranteed. Commenting on the decision, Hall said, 'I wouldn't have even thought about it if I didn't think I looked good.' To ensure that she does, however, the star is reportedly working out with an Olympic trainer in the run up to her opening.
Hall has also said that her ex-husband, Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, has been supportive and would be helping out taking care of their four children during her four-month stage run. Although Hall is best known professionally as a model, the Texan is also an actress. Her film credits include Batman, Freejack and Princess Caraboo. She last appeared on stage in the Palace Theatre Watford's production of Bus Stop, which transferred to the West End's Lyric Theatre in 1998.
In the past few months, speculation over who would be the next Mrs Robinson has reached fever pitch. A string of over-40 Hollywood film stars were allegedly queuing up to strip off for the part. Front-runners mentioned in connection with the production included Cybill Shepherd, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon and Sharon Stone. Forty-five-year-old Turner, who has repeatedly criticised Hollywood for the sparseness of its roles for older women, caused a sensation when she first announced her West End debut and then disrobed in the part.
The part of Mrs Robinson was first made famous by Anne Bancroft in Mike Nichols' 1967 film about a young man who has an affair with an older woman and then falls in love with her daughter. In Terry Johnson's stage production, Matthew Rhys stars as Benjamin and Kelly Reilly as Elaine Robinson, parts played, respectively, by Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross in the film version. They're joined in the cast by Amanda Boxer, Paul Jesson, Colin Stinton, Alan Barnes, Sara Bienvenu, Sally Chattaway, Josh Cohen and Geoffrey Towers.
The play is written by Johnson, adapted from the original novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Johnson also directs, with design by Rob Howell, lighting by Hugh Vanstone and sound by Mike Walker. The show is produced by John Reid and Sacha Brooks. It opened at the Gielgud on 5 April, following previews from 24 March 2000, and is expected to extend until at least the end of the year.