Why Close is playing for Damages
THERE was a time you would never have expected to see Glenn Close on the small screen. In the 1980s, Close became a household name steaming up the big screen in movies such as Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons and The Big Chill.
The ’90s cemented her place as one of Hollywood’s most versatile and respected leading ladies, with starring roles in art-house films such as The House of Spirits and big-budget action movies such as Air Force One.
But with movie roles for actors of Close’s vintage and ability few and far between, she has more recently lent her starpower to the small screen where there appears to be far juicier roles for older women.
Guest roles on Will & Grace and The West Wing and the title role in the
The Shield, M Fox 8, Monday, 10.20pm Crime drama Duration: 1 hour
telemovie Sarah Plain and Tall preceded Close’s first major television appearance on the popular drama The Shield.
Close played LAPD Capt Monica Rawling, who commanded the corrupt Farmington precinct in The Shield.
It was a magnificent performance, winning Close an Emmy and a Golden Globe award.
Having seen Close’s work on The Shield, FX Network president John Landgraf asked the star if she wanted a series of her own. They agreed it would be in the legal arena.
And Damages, the Channel 9 series also starring Aussie Rose Byrne, was born. Created by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman, Damages is meant to co-exist as a thriller and a textured melodrama.
Close says it was the complexity and strength of her character, Patty, that attracted her to Damages.
‘‘I was very intimidated by her,’’ she says. ‘‘Usually when I get on the set, I’ve worked through it.
‘‘Until then, you feel you’re just commenting on something with your performance, rather than fulfilling it. You have no idea who this person is you’re trying to play, so it all seems incredibly superficial — until you find that whatever-it-is that makes it real.
‘‘I’ve gone periodically to a wonderful coach, Harold Guskin, over the years, with scenes. You just force stuff out of your mouth and start taking charge of the material.’’