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San Sebastián: Glenn Close Discusses ‘The Wife,’ Finding Inspiration, How to Celebrate Award Wins

The Wife’ makes its way from Toronto to the San Sebastián shores, accompanied by cast and crew

SAN SEBASTIAN — There are few careers that boast the diversity and longevity of that of Glenn Close. There is neither medium nor genre that the actress has not worked in on some level. Typically recognized for her dramatic roles, think “Fatal Attraction,” Close has appeared in comedies: “The Stepford Wives,” “Louie,” animation: “Family Guy,” and “Tarza,” and big budget action films like Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” series.

The actress was in town this week to promote her latest feature “The Wife,” in which Variety described her performance as “a marvel of twisty understatement.” Along with co-star Annie Starke, director Björn Runge and producer Claudia Bluemhuber, the four addressed the press Saturday morning.

“The Wife,” is a story told from two perspectives, as described by Runge. “The young couple is creating a life together and the older is reflecting on that life. It’s the same characters, but they are on opposite sides.”

In the film, based on the Meg Wolitzer book of the same name, Starke and Close play two versions of fictional writer Joan Castleman a lifetime apart. In the film, the character reflects on a life built on a lie, born from the prejudice of a long past generation, but which has festered for decades. Castleman must decide if she is satisfied to let the lie continue, and maintain the status quo, or if the time has come for her to stand on her own two feet and tell the world a truth which could irreversibly harm her family.

Speaking in front of the assembled press, when asked about the character’s ultimate decision, the representatives of the film explained the struggles they faced when deciding on how to handle the ending.

“We could have had different endings to this film. We do have a different version, but (whatever ending) we made, the decision was that she isn’t the accomplice anymore,” said Bluemhuber.

Close then added: “If she tells her story it has to be on her terms and a way that her family isn’t involved. “

When asked how she crafted the character, Close said she drew inspirations from relationships in her own life, but also from her mother. “(My mother) was married to my father in the ’40s and raised us in the 50s and 60s, so I understood a lot of the psychology.”

As to what drew the actress to the film, Close said: “ I think what’s interesting is how complex this story is. She (Castleman) is part of the lie as much as her husband is. They fell into it and started a life together until it morphed into something different and became something she felt was so untrue.”

“The Wife,” which premiered at Toronto, is an international co-production between U.K.’s Tempo Productions Limited, Anonymous Content and Sweden’s Spark and regional fund Film i Väst, with sales rights handled by London-based Embankment Films.

In the final question of the morning, Close was asked if she were to win an Oscar for the film, if she would copy her character’s celebration by jumping on the bed and shouting. “I would jump on the bed, strip naked and run down the street!”

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