From ‘The Big Chill’ to ‘Fatal Attraction,’ Glenn Close reveals the secrets behind six stellar roles

Glenn Close poses for a portrait at the Public Theater in New York City.
(Michael Nagle / For The Times)

Holding the record for most Oscar acting nominations without a win (at least, among living actors), Glenn Close has given us some incredible performances over the years. Here, she shares what the most challenging aspect of each of those nominated films was.

“The World According to Garp” (1982), Jenny Fields

The World According To Garp - 1982
From left to right, Glenn Close and Robin Williams in a scene from “The World According To Garp,” directed by George Roy Hill.
(Warner Bros/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

“Just doing it. That was my first film. I had just done theater, and didn’t know what to do with my energy. The terror was — ” she gestures at her neck “ — up here.”


“The Big Chill” (1983), Sarah

The Big Chill - 1983
From left to right, Glenn Close and Kevin Kline in a scene from the movie “The Big Chill,” 1983 directed by Lawrence Kasdan.

“Dancing. I was the worst dancer, and there’s a big shot of my bum and it looks like I know what I’m doing — but I’m very insecure about dancing. Now? Depends on how much liquor I’m consuming.”

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“The Natural” (1984), Iris Gaines

Film and Television
Glenn Close in a scene from the movie “The Natural.”

“Biggest challenge was to make that character count. I wanted to fill out that character until she became someone intriguing.”

“Fatal Attraction” (1987), Alex Forrest

On the set of Fatal Attraction
From left to right, Michael Douglas and Glenn Close on the set of “Fatal Attraction” directed by British Adrian Lyne.
(Sunset Boulevard / Corbis via Getty Images)

“Literally the physical shooting of all those bathtub scenes. I did all of it except — I have this terror of losing my breath — and the only shot in the bathtub that’s not me is when [Michael Douglas’ character] keeps putting her down [under the water]. I told [the stuntwoman] what to do with her legs because I’d talked to my dad, who was a doctor.”

“Dangerous Liaisons” (1988), Marquise de Merteuil

Glenn Close in “Dangerous Liaisons”.
(Warner Bros.)

“I had just given birth. That’s why my boobs were so big. [Daughter] Annie was 7 weeks old when we went to Paris. That’s why my eyes are so red. It was the only time I was sent home for not remembering my lines, I was so tired.”

“Albert Nobbs” (2011), Albert Nobbs

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Glenn Close (center) and Mia Wasikowska (sitting) in the movie “Albert Nobbs.”
(Patrick Redmond / Roadside Attractions)

“Getting it made. Not one cent came from Hollywood. My definition of an independent film is a movie that almost doesn’t get made. I didn’t want to let it go.”

— Randee Dawn


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