Glenn Close, who is enjoying her seventh nomination this morning for portraying the woman behind a world-renown writer in The Wife told Deadline that the role “was different than anything I had ever done before.”
Close has been nominated for four Best Actress and three Best Supporting Actress awards in such roles as Albert Nobbs, Dangerous Liaisons, Fatal Attraction, The Natural, The Big Chill and The World According to Garp — an incredible body of work so far (not to mention her work on stage).
The Wife, distributed by Sony Classics, was shot well before the #MeToo movement took hold – timing was everything as the story fits right in with the narrative of women finding their voices.
Close won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama earlier this month and spoke during her acceptance speech about her own mother “who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life, and in her eighties she said to me, ‘I feel I haven’t accomplished anything,’ and it was so not right.”
“We have our children and husbands if we’re lucky enough…. but we have to find personal fulfillment,” Close said at the Globes. “We have to follow our dreams, we have to say, ‘I can do that,’ and ‘I should be allowed to do that.'”
The role embodied that philosophy. Based on Meg Wolitzer’s novel, The Wife tells the tale of Joan Castleman who marries a university professor. After he wins the Nobel Prize, the marriage deconstructs and a story of the true genius of Joan Castleman — not that of her literary legend of a husband — unfolds.
“I’m sitting here marveling that this little movie just keeps going,” Close told Deadline. “We shot it in the late fall of 2016 before the MeToo movement had even started. It took 14 years to make. Sony Classics bought it at TIFF [Toronto] in 2017 and then decided to wait a year to release, and I have to say, they have handled it so brilliantly.”
Close credits the creative forces around her for allowing her to shine in the role. “I had a wonderful director in Björn Runge who I could totally trust and that gave me a great sense of freedom, and to have Jonathan Price to work alongside was wonderful. My daughter really was the one who laid down the flashback scenes so I think of her as a partner in all of this.” Annie Starke, Close’s daughter, played the young Joan Castleman in a role that laid the groundwork and love story of the film opposite Harry Lloyd.
Close is celebrating in Montana today with her family — including siblings. Asked if she watched the nominations this morning, she admitted, “I didn’t watch. It was not in the forefront of my mind. I felt like I was coming down with a cold last night so went to bed, and then found out because my younger brother walked into my room and woke me up.” She added, “We are having celebratory pancakes this morning.”