Mary Steenburgen: Award-winning actress and…accordion fanatic? That’s right, the Oscar winner has developed a passion for the unusual musical instrument and her fascination came about in a rather strange way.
"I had a minor surgery on my arm, but it was enough that I went under general anesthetic, and the music started right after that," the “Last Vegas” star said in a recent interview with CBS News.
Though the actress can’t explain how it happened, a penchant for the accordion wasn’t the only thing to sprout up after her surgery. Mary also found that she has a knack for songwriting. Since then, she’s written or co-written more than 40 songs and was recently signed by Universal Music as a songwriter.
Husband Ted Danson is just as shocked by the transformation as the blossoming songstress.
"At first it was scary and threatening to our relationship. Is she humming to herself, or is she pissed off? I can't tell!” shared the actor. But turning to his wife of 18 years, Ted acknowledges, "When you write, you go to heaven, you really go to some other place that is really almost divine."
The star even performs one of her own songs during a scene in “Last Vegas” in front of costars Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Kline.
Yet it wasn’t the songwriting but her love of the accordion that surprised her and Ted the most. “I'm obsessed by it. I love it beyond belief. There's something about it that just appeals to me, I don't know why."
Ted bought his wife her first accordion on Valentine’s Day and she’s been learning to play it ever since.
"Hey, it's a miracle to have a career in Hollywood. But it doesn't begin to sum me up," she says smiling.