Why Close is play­ing for Dam­ages

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide -

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.’’

Tak­ing charge:

Glenn Close.

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