SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Leonard Maltin and Glenn Close speak onstage at the Maltin Modern Master Award Honoring Glenn Close during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 2, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)
Glenn Close finally was honored with the Modern Maltin Masters Award on Sunday afternoon after the 101 closures had delayed the event.
Hosted by Leonard Maltin, the crowd who gave Close a long standing ovation was treated to Close bringing out her dog Pip mid-interview while Matlin went over Close’s career before she was presented with her award, “She is one of the greatest actresses on the planet. I don’t think there is any facet of show business that she hasn’t attempted and succeeded at.”
Talking about Fatal Attraction, Close said she had done more research to play Alex Forrest. Close told the audience that she read the script in one sitting and went to audition for the role. In doing her research, Close said she had gone to two psychiatrists to “know if the behavior of the character was possible and what would cause it.”
Close discuss the stigma around mental illness mentioning her Bring Change 2 Mind foundation and said of Forrest, “I ended up with great compassion and empathy for that character.”
Close also talked about her roles in Albert Nobbs, Damages and Reversal of Fortune, “It was one of the best scripts I ever read.” For Close, she said, “Everything for me begins with what I read on the page.” She went on to say, “It was so clever and so original to have someone in a coma narrate a film.”
Matlin talked about Close and her famous portrayal of Cruella De Vil in 101 Dalmatians. “She’s a classic Disney witch.” Close said she loved the idea of fairy tales.”I was thrilled because I thought, that puts me in a great tradition.” Close said, “I worked very hard and I felt very strongly that she wasn’t mean enough. That they were trying to water her down.” And so, she drew from the original cartoon to draw on her meanness.
Talking about The Wife. Close told the audience that she had been attached to the project for five years to help the film get made. She said, “it was interesting and unlike other things that I’ve done before.”
Director Bjorn Runje made his English directorial debut with The Wife and Close said, “There was something about him that I really really liked. I think of him as a total collaborator in my performance because he trusted the close-up, he knew where to put the camera, and he knew how to light our faces. My performance ‘The Wife,’ a lot of it is just in close-up, and without his wonderful instinct about that I don’t think it would have had the impact that it has.” She also said it was the first time she had worked with Jonathan Pryce even though they both had worked in theater.
Close was presented with her award and said, “I am very, very blessed to be able to do the thing that I love most in the world. I’m standing up here representing all the people that have been my collaborators all these years. I would not be here without them. I am deeply, deeply grateful to you, who have gone to see my work and are here today. It means a tremendous amount to me. And I am so touched to have this award with Leonard’s name on it a man who has given so much to our industry, who is one of the greats.”