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Glenn Close Interview: The Wife

Legendary actor Glenn Close joins Jonathan Pryce and Christian Slater in The Wife. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Meg Wolitzer, directed by Björn Runge, with a screenplay by Jane Anderson. It tells the story of Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) reflecting on her life during a trip to Stockholm. Her husband, Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce), is going to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature and the couple is traveling to Stockholm for the presentation. Close also gave talked about her role in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Screen Rant: Wonderful job on the film. Amazing performance. Can you talk to me about the collaboration process between yourself, Björn, and Jane?

Glenn Close: Oh boy.

Screen Rant: Because it seemed-- I read, the script kept kind of evolving all the way up until the edit and picture were locked, pretty much.

Glenn Close: Oh, absolutely. We did a lot of very rigorous thinking, talking, rewriting, shaping for the week before we started shooting. And then, even in certain scenes, we did a little changing.

Screen Rant: Jonathan was telling me that. Because the performance in movement, seems so organic. Everything seems so organic. And he was telling me that he barely even noticed the cameras around. And it bleeds through because you just see raw emotion and everything that's going on. Can you talk to me about that a little bit?

Glenn Close: Yes. I think Björn, who is a great director, comes out of that, that incredible Bergman school of filmmaking, in that they just know where to put the camera. To pick up what the actors are doing. Not only where to put the camera, when do you use a close-up, how to light close-ups so you can see into somebody’s eyes.  That is so basic to whether an audience will stay emotionally connected. He knows how to do that. So, we learned very early on to trust that he was doing that. That what we were doing was going to be working.

Screen Rant: Yeah, you're right. Because when you see those, there's a couple of close-ups that I see of you. And then to back of it’s a completely different motion almost. And it just works perfectly. Now, it takes place in a couple different eras. We have the fifties and the nineties. But it's very relevant to today. So, can you talk to me about how relevant it is for today's audience? This film?

Glenn Close: I think it's incredibly relevant. It's about, how women fulfill or do not fulfill themselves in a relationship. How much do you sacrifice? What's the balance of power within a relationship? It's pretty basic, I think, to talk about the Me Too movement.  It’s right in there.  I think it's telling that a movie called The Wife, written by a woman, based on a novel by a woman, took 14 years to get made. That speaks to how it was. I think also we speak to how we hope it will be, with the amount of women that were actually involved in the movie and the production.

Screen Rant: I read that 14 years ago, a lot of folks may have passed on the film because it was called The Wife and not The Husband, which is kind of weird.  

Glenn Close: [LAUGHS] No, it’s not.

Screen Rant: I mean, it’s not weird, but also, one thing that this movie obviously touches upon is the complexities of marriage and sexism in the workplace. What do you want audiences to take away from this?

Glenn Close: I would love audiences to have really rigorous conversations themselves after they see this film. And to evaluate how truly fulfilled they are and how much compromise are they willing to continue.  I think that would be, that would be healthy.

Screen Rant: Right. Now, switching gears for a second, I have to ask for my own fandom. I loved you in Guardians of the Galaxy. Is there any talks with Marvel about bringing you back in the Nova Corps?

Glenn Close: Oh, God. I would love it. I would love it. I was told in the second one that they were weren't going to my planet. But I said, wait a second, she was the head of the whole universe, wasn't she? Well, anyway. I would love it. It was a dream come true to be in that film. I love that genre. And I think she was a pretty kick ass character.

MORE: Christian Slater Interview for The Wife

Key Release Dates
  • The Wife (2018) release date: Aug 17, 2018
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