LOS ANGELES—Now that she’s done wearing lawyer Patty Hewes’ power suits, Glenn Close said that she’d be happy “reading forever.” The actress, who had an acclaimed run as a ruthless attorney on “Damages,” which had its fifth and final season this year, would love to do just that. But, commitments keep her from indulging her interest.
“I have to keep myself from just finding a comfortable place and reading forever,” Glenn said in a recent interview. “That’s what I love the most, so I always feel guilty, because there are 500 other things to do. I love to read, to be outside and be with my dogs. The way I refill myself the best is to go somewhere in nature, away from the madding crowd.” Glenn shared that she enjoys doing this in Wyoming, where her 88-year-old mother lives. Excerpts of our interview:
What do you miss most about working on “Damages”?
It was a great place to work—the Steiner Studios in Brooklyn. It’s a fantastic facility. I’ll miss going there every day. We spent five years with our crew. There are certain people who you know will be your friends for the rest of your life. I feel that about a lot of the people in “Damages.”
What did you learn from playing Patty?
I learned how to learn lines very fast—that’s for sure. I learned how acute your short-term memory can be when it’s honed every day. You learn things when you’re developing a character—another set of factors that make that particular human being special, because you lived with that character for five years. I learned in the last episode what my relationship with my father was and what her childhood had been like. I found it moving and very sad. It was amazing to me that there was still something to be revealed in the last episode of the final season.
If you look back at your career, what were its turning points?
The first big turning point was when I was cast in a film. I had just done theater, and I was cast by Marion Dougherty and George Roy Hill in “The World According to Garp.” That set me, then people started thinking of me for movies. “Fatal Attraction” was another important moment in my career, because it was about a sexual woman. I played mothers and asexual nurses before that (laughing). That opened things up. That and Cruella de Vil are perhaps the two biggest.
I think “The Shield” was also an interesting point in my career. It was the first time that I had done a series, which led to “Damages”—one of the great experiences of my career!
Was there any role that you wish you did?
I would have liked to play Dian Fossey in the movie (“Gorillas in the Mist”) that Sigourney (Weaver) did. Sigourney was wonderful in it. My dad had been in the Congo. I remember auditioning for the movie, then finding out that it was after the fact. My audition was a matter of courtesy. I’m fascinated with that kind of character because she was a difficult woman. She was very passionate about something that was important. We’re better off for the difficult types who come along and plough the field. I thought Dian was one those people. I was fascinated by her.
What’s next for you? Will you take a sabbatical or consider scripts?
All of the above (laughing). I’ve been taking some time off. I’ve been doing a lot of work for my organization, Bring Change 2 Mind. I’m set to start “Always On My Mind,” a movie with Nick Nolte in January or February that I’m very excited about. I’ve also put my name on some independent films. If I can get my life to a point where I could spend time writing every day…I’ve got to get into the habit of it, but I do want to try to write again.
Is directing in your future?
I’d love it to be, but I always just die to have time at home. It’s always a crazy balance of trying to find time where you can renew yourself. I would love to direct—maybe a TV episode would be fun to start in!
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