I go to Yosemite a lot. To get there, you fly from L.A. to Fresno and rent a car. So I know about Fresno. It looks like the entire city was built in 1946 in three months - all these low California ranch style homes. The whole city looks like that.
Speaking out about multiple sclerosis to others who may be dealing with this disease is actually helpful to me as well as, I hope, to others. It builds community, helps bring awareness to MS, and strengthens the MS movement that will ultimately lead to the end of this disease.
This new movie, 'Full Moon in Blue Water,' I loved the idea of working with Gene Hackman, who is a great actor, but when I read the script, I threw it right into the trash can, because I didn't like this woman. She was just a doormat.
I've always had this American-pie face that would get work in commercials... I'd say things like, 'Hi, Marge, how's your laundry?' and 'Hi, I'm a real nice Georgia peach.' Sometimes this work is one step above being a cocktail waitress.
I don't want to sound hoity-toity, but people told me I should watch 'Cheers' because it's very funny. So I watched it, and I just went, 'This is the great show of the universe?' To me, acting is making characters believable, not just doing jokes.
I danced in a company of 'West Side Story' when I was very young. It was most of the original cast - Larry Kert, Chita Rivera - and Jerry Robbins directed. It was tough, a wonderful initiation for me.
I had been nominated for an Academy Award for my performance as Sandy Lester, Dustin Hoffman's neurotic, struggling actress girlfriend, in 'Tootsie.' Under Sydney Pollack's direction, 'Tootsie' had been a runaway hit starring Dustin as an unemployed actor who pretends to be a woman in order to land a role in a soap opera.
The whole MS stuff put the kibosh on my career. And I sort of let it go. I even have a friend who went to CBS and said, 'I want Teri Garr to be in this series,' and the head of the network said, 'Oh no, she's got MS.'
Being sensitive to the problem of women is just another symptom of the quality of movies: I don't think you can do anything that's very sensitive. Everything's sort of broad strokes and big gestures - adventure things that boys, guys want to see.