Lea Thompson on her “unique household” where everyone is a Hollywood director or actor


When she was a young actress starting out in Hollywood, a famous agent assessed Lea Thompson's options for her. "She told me, 'Here's your career, Lea: Virgins, whores and mothers.'" Looking back on that moment, she told Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams on “Salon Talks” how she got the last laugh. "And then I realized why 'Back to the Future' is such a great part — because I got to play a virgin, a whore and mother all in one movie."

Yet in a career that's spanned over three decades, Thompson has survived in her notoriously difficult industry by not just being a versatile performer but branching out as a director and producer. It runs in the family — her husband of nearly 30 years is director Howard Deutch, and her daughters Madelyn and Zoey Deutch act, write, produce and compose. "It's a unique household," she says. And it's taught her a lot about endurance.

"I've had to live through movies coming out and bombing and the reviews and the nightmares and not getting it. Then I had live with it with my husband. Now it's my children. My heart has to break when things don't go well for them, not getting parts or movies getting shut down. And it's not going to stop." But, she notes, "A friend said, 'You Deutches are amazing. You just keep clawing your way.' We do. And that was the best advice when I started. How do you make it this business? You don't give up."

Watch the video above to hear more about Thompson’s newest project, “Little Women.” Subscribe to SalonTV’s YouTube Channel to watch SalonTV’s live interview and music shows “Salon Talks” and “Salon Stage,” airing daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. Click here to watch more “Salon Talks” interviews.

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