In Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close stars as a 19th century woman posing as a man to get by. The movie is out today in wide release and just in time, because Close just earned an Oscar nomination for best actress for the role. Recently, I sat down with Close to chat about bringing the story from the stage to the screen, how she got into character, and why her costume was far more comfortable than what she wears for her TV series Damages.
as an actress, I look for good stories. There's elements of this character that are kind of like a cloud. So, you've played this role on the stage before, why was it important to you to bring it to the big screen. It was important to me as an actress because it was incredibly challenging. And it's more challenging on film because the camera comes very close to your face. As an actress, I look for good stories. And, you know, you just want a good story and you want a great group of people to realize that story with, and I knew that I would have it in Albert Nobbs if we ever got the chance. When a man kind of dresses as a woman, it's kind of obvious the things that they have to do. But it's less obvious when it's a woman dressing as a man. What were the most challenging things that you had to do or mannerisms that you had to pick up? I looked at Charlie Chaplin a lot because. I think there's elements of this character that are kind of like a clown, clownish, tragic comic kind of clown. And then also there's the formality of being a butler and a waiter, where They had a certain way of moving and standing because they were supposed to be absolutely invisible. And how uncomfortable was the costuming? It actually was comfortable. Oh really? Which was gross. Yeah, I went, I literally finished, finished the movie. Went, came back to, went back to America and the next day was in fittings for Patty Hughes for Damages. And I thought, "Oh my God, I've got to wear high heels again." It was shocking. It was like, oh God, I don't want to. Was that strange, going from playing someone who's playing a man back to Patty? Who everybody says is acting like a man? Yeah, it was big cultural change. The supporting cast is fantastic, esepecially Janet McTeer and Mia. Did you have any say in casting them? Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I was one, I was a co-producer as well, so very much. And it was a wonderful connection because Rodrigo, our director, actually discovered Mia and brought her over from Australia to be in "In Treatment" and that was the first thing that she did in this country. And she, you know, loves Rodrigo as I do and came on board very excited. And what about Janet? Because she is playing something very similar to you, did you guys bond? The best thing is when you're in the dresses. I actually saw her. She was on Broadway in Marie Stuart. And I went backstage afterwards and I said, "There's this movie I've been wanting to make, and I'd love you to read it, and I'd love you to look at this part." And she read it and came on board.