Kathy Bates, 'Harry's Law' Star, Talks Being Feisty, Surviving The Oscar Curse
Kathy Bates stars as the feisty Harriet "Harry" Korn on NBC's "Harry's Law," but that's certainly not the only thing you've seen her in. The 63-year-old Memphis native has been in a slew of now-iconic films including "Titanic," "Fried Green Tomatoes" and of course, her Oscar-winning role as the fan from hell in "Misery."
Bates, who started her career in New York theater, chatted with The Huffington Post about settling into "Harry's Law" and reflected back on her tremendous career.
"Harry's Law" is now in its second season. Are you having fun or are you exhausted?
I'm having a lot of fun. It is also exhausting but, you know, I got into the swing of things this season. I think last season it was like, "WTF?"
Why do you think you get cast so often as the feisty gal?
I have no idea. I'm glad I've been able to find that little niche for myself.
Are you feisty in real life?
Yeah, I've been known to put my foot in it a few times. I think my passion gets in the way of things a lot. I sort of have a reaction before I think sometimes, and I get into trouble. I get on my high horse with people sometimes.
Did you have problems with your Southern accent when you first moved to New York?
Way back when, I guess, a lot of cab drivers made fun of my accent, so I cleaned it up. You should hear me when I get within a hundred miles of Memphis, my hometown. It gets much worse than this.
I remember when you did "About Schmidt" and everyone made such a fuss about your topless scene which lasted seconds.
I think, in this country anyway, we have a very puritanical view of these sorts of things. That two seconds [of nudity] can be viewed sensationally when it really shouldn't. I remember [director] Alexander Payne coming to me when we were doing a press junket saying, "Everyone's talking about the hot tub scene. Don't they want to talk about anything else?" It was much ado about nothing.
You became an overnight star thanks to "Misery" and you won the Oscar for Best Actress. How did you feel getting such a huge accolade?
The first year afterward, I was like "What do I do next?" And trying to line up the next film, that was hard. I remember I used to live in Ned Beatty's neighborhood and we ran into each other shortly after I won. He put his hand on my head and said, "Healed!" -- like he wanted to take the Oscar curse off. Sometimes after you win an Oscar, you don't work for forever, so it was more like that.
[The Oscar win is] something I'm very, very proud of but it doesn't always change your career. I'm just glad to be working, quite frankly. There's really never a day that I take that for granted.