"Oh, I was yearning, babe but he was still married [to first wife Diandra Luker] … although they were separated, and so I thought there was hope for me," Kathleen Turner tells PEOPLE
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The electric onscreen chemistry between Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in the hit 1984 action-adventure romp, Romancing the Stone, helped make the duo one of Hollywood's most iconic romantic comedy pairings. But to hear Turner tell it, sparks initially flew offscreen as well.

As the stars gamely endured the film's treacherous shoot in Mexico, which was marked by mudslides, unruly reptiles and 14-hour work days, they developed an easy bond.

"Oh, I was yearning, babe, but he was still married [to first wife Diandra Luker] ... although they were separated, and so I thought there was hope for me," says Turner, 66, in this week's issue of PEOPLE.

For more from Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner's exclusive interview, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here

michael douglas and kathleen turner
Romancing the Stone
| Credit: Everett

Watch the full episode of People Features: Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner on PeopleTV.com or on the PeopleTV app.

While a surprise visit from Luker foiled those hopes, Turner remembers the dynamic fondly.

"It was that wonderful sexual tension, you know?" she says. "When you really, really know you want somebody — and I'm saying it went both ways — and you can't have them. It's just lovely."

Douglas, 76, isn't one to ponder what might have been — "Life goes different ways and you can't really second-guess," he says — but he does recall Turner making quite an impression on Kirk Douglas when he flew to Mexico for a visit.

"We were going out to dinner and as a surprise, I said, 'Kathleen, why don't you pick up dad?' and he opened the door and there was Kathleen in her finest," he says.

michael douglas and kathleen turner
Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas
| Credit: The Life Picture Collection/Getty

"She had 'ol Kirk Douglas' jaw dropping. He was her biggest fan," he says.

After Romancing and two more hit films in the 1980s, The Jewel of the Nile and The War of the Roses, Turner and Douglas kept in touch and have remained friends for nearly 40 years.

"You protect and cherish when you've got a good relationship," says Douglas.

michael douglas and kathleen turner
The Kominsky Method
| Credit: Erik Voake/Netflix

Now, three decades since they last worked together, the stars are reuniting for the third and final season of Douglas' Netflix series, The Kominsky Method, in which they play a tempestuous divorced couple. 

They didn't miss a beat.

"It was so much fun," says Douglas, who also executive produces the show, premiering Friday. "It just is a comfort factor. Then you get to see it on screen and [realize], 'Oh, this is really good.'"

Season 3 of The Kominsky Method premieres Friday on Netflix.