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Lea Thompson owes her ‘Thin Ice’ role to a wandering cat

LeThompswalked red carpet Academy Awards Sunday. | Frazer Harrison~Getty Images

Lea Thompson walked the red carpet at the Academy Awards on Sunday. | Frazer Harrison~Getty Images

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Updated: March 29, 2012 8:01AM

Lea Thompson has been married for more than two decades to Howard Deutch, the man who directed her in the 1987 movie “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

“We have two kids and we’ve been married for 22 years,” she says. “The secret to staying married is … you don’t get divorced! That’s pretty much it.”

Thompson, 50, says life has come full circle. Her 17-year-old daughter Zoey Deutch is on the show “Ringer,” and 19-year-old Madelyn is in a band.

“It’s a full showbiz house,” Thompson says. “Someone is always running lines with someone or playing piano and singing.”

Thompson is back on the big screen in “Thin Ice,” about a would-be scam during a chilly winter.

“I got the part because my cat wandered into the director’s house,” Thompson recalls. “She called me and said, ‘Come get Stinky Pete.’ We sat down, figured out she was a director and I was an actress. She said, ‘Well ... I’m doing this movie.’

“Stinky got some extra catnip for that one.”

Filling in for Kenosha, Wis., during filming was Minnesota, Thompson’s home state.

“I’ve lived in L.A. for a really long time, but it was great to experience winter again,” she says. “Some of my big scenes in the movie are with Greg Kinnear. We’re outside and the ice is melting in this drip-drip-drip way. I love that kind of winter weather with its grayness. It just sets an evocative and lonely mood.”

Thompson also stars in “Switched at Birth” on TV. “It’s fun to be introduced to a whole new generation of teenagers,” she says.

An earlier generation remembers Thompson as the mom, Lorraine McFly, in the “Back to the Future” franchise.

“At age 50, I can finally say, ‘Hey, I was good in that part.’ I can say it now. I’m also really lucky that people are used to seeing me look older from that role,” she says. “The other funny thing is I’ve been playing a mother since I was 23 years old!”
Cindy Pearlman, Big Picture News Inc.

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