Michael Douglas gets a new foil as Kathleen Turner joins 'The Kominsky Method'

  • Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas) gets a new sparring partner in Ruth (Kathleen Turner) in "The Kominsky Method."

    Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas) gets a new sparring partner in Ruth (Kathleen Turner) in "The Kominsky Method." Courtesy of Netflix

 
By George Dickie
Gracenote
Posted5/28/2021 6:00 AM

Alan Arkin may be gone but Michael Douglas' actor-turned-acting coach Sandy Kominsky will get a new sparring partner -- and it's an old friend -- as "The Kominsky Method" returns for its third and final season.

Premiering Friday, May 28, on Netflix, the new season of the Chuck Lorre-created sitcom opens with the funeral for Sandy's long-suffering agent Norman Newlander (Arkin, who elected to not return after Season 2). Now forced to face the future and aging without his acerbic best friend, he receives word that his ex-wife Roz is coming to town to spend time with their daughter Mindy (Sarah Baker) and meet Mindy's much-older boyfriend Martin (Paul Reiser).

 

And Roz (played by Douglas' former "Romancing the Stone," "The Jewel of the Nile" and "The War of the Roses" co-star Kathleen Turner) is a formidable woman. A physician just off a stint with Doctors Without Borders, she's smart, capable and knows just how to push Sandy's buttons, so much so that on his cellphone, her caller ID comes up as "Queen of Pain." But it's also obvious that they still care about each other.

Much of what made "The Kominsky Method" go in Seasons 1 and 2 was the chemistry between Douglas and Arkin. But it was always Arkin's intention to do two seasons and leave, so when the time came to find another co-star, Douglas already had his old friend in mind. Lorre, who had worked with Turner, signed off.

"Chuck Lorre asked me to do a character on 'Mom,'" Turner explains, "and so I guess he liked what I did there. And then of course there was the one scene in Season 2 (of 'Kominsky'), when she's in Bolivia in a tent. And yeah, they just called me up and said, 'Here's the storyline I'm thinking about. Would you be interested?' And I went, 'Yes!' In fact, I said, 'Wait a minute, wait a minute. Chuck, you're telling me that you're writing a series where these two adults learn, change and grow?' I said, 'Isn't this television?' Anyway, he laughed."

And much like in their previous films, the chemistry between Douglas and Turner is obvious as the characters bicker and banter like an old married couple. Turner and Douglas have known each other since 1983, when they filmed "Romancing the Stone" in Mexico, and she says their friendship came easily.

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"It's just always been that way," she says. "In 'Romancing' and 'Jewel of the Nile' and 'War of the Roses,' it was Danny DeVito, also, kind of the three of us. But no, Michael and I have always had an easygoing kind of friendship.

"I mean, he's on the East Coast now, too," continues Turner, a longtime New Yorker, "so when he comes into town sometimes, I see him for lunch."

• • •

"The Kominsky Method"

Streams Friday, May 28, on Netflix

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