accept the beauty of difference

National Post: “…I’ve put on many faces in the characters that I play. So, in some ways, you could say I have, I suppose, [put on a face] in order to survive,” she says. “But life is so much harder than work.” Close says Albert Nobbs was a labour of love, so just about everything it involved was joyful, and she hopes people will be able to derive the same profound sense of meaning from the movie as she gleaned from her 15-year odyssey bringing it to the screen. Close says we’re still living in a society where this is still taking place. “I really I hope it engenders a lot of conversation, because I believe there are a lot of people who put on faces. We all we do it, every time we walk out the door. And there are a lot of people who have to hide who they are. And I think this story speaks to that,” she says. “I am not gay … but I feel very comfortable in the company of everybody, not just gay people. But I honestly believe that gay rights of the rights of people with mental illness are the last big issue.” Some people will change their point of view, and those who are either too old, or too blinkered, to accept the beauty of difference will just have to “die off,” she says…” (Albert Nobbs star Glenn Close on the irrelevance of gender)

LA Times Blogs: “…Loosely adapted from the short story “Albert Nobbs” by 19th century Irish writer George Moore (which became Close’s Obie Award-winning off-Broadway play “The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs” by French playwright Simone Benmussa), the movie enjoyed its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on Friday night. The film, due out in December, raises an array of challenging questions about gender, identity and same-sex attraction. Described as “such a kind little man” by another character in the film, Nobbs is in fact a very complicated bundle of conflicted and unrequited emotions and desires. While she struggles to preserve her disguise — a choice she made after a personal trauma, but also motivated by professional ambition— Nobbs simultaneously tries to resolve her naive feelings about desire while trying to escape an existence that is unsatisfying on several levels. As one character played by Janet McTeer says to Nobbs in the film, “You don’t have to be anything but who you are.” But that simple statement raises countless corollaries. Is Dobbs’ passing a temporary means to an entrepreneurial end? Has her deception fundamentally changed how she sees herself, other women and other men? And how does a century-old world handle same-sex relations, when gay marriage even today is for many an offensive concept? It’s the kind of role that Close said she had to play before she died. And in recent years, gender-masking performances in other films have captivated audiences and awards voters, most notably Hilary Swank in 1999’s “Boys Don’t Cry” and Jaye Davidson in 1992’s “The Crying Game.” The 64-year-old Close, who has been nominated for an Oscar five times without winning, tried to bring the story to the screen for years, and even began scouting locations 10 years ago. While collaborating with director Rodrigo Garcia on 2005’s “Nine Lives” (the two also joined forces on 1999’s “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her”), Close decided she had found her filmmaker. Close also produced Albert Nobbs…” (Telluride Film Fest: Glenn Close gender bends in ‘Albert Nobbs’)

Glenn Close (born March 19, 1947) is an American actress and singer of theatre and film, known for her roles as a femme fatale (the scheming Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons (1988), and deranged stalker Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction (1987). She is also known for playing Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians (1996), and its sequel 102 Dalmatians (2000). She has been more recently known for her Emmy winning role as Patty Hewes in the FX TV series Damages. She has been nominated five times for an Oscar, and once for a BAFTA Film Award, and has won three Tonys, an Obie, three Emmys, two Golden Globes, and a Screen Actors Guild Award (Wikipedia).

Bring Change 2 Mind is a not-for-profit organization created by Glenn Close, the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF), Fountain House, and Garen and Shari Staglin of IMHRO (International Mental Health Research Organization). The idea of a national anti-stigma campaign was born of a partnership between Glenn Close and Fountain House, where Glenn volunteered in order to learn about mental illness, which both her sister and nephew suffer from (BringChange2Mind.org).

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