Glenn Close: (laughs) Well, that’s interesting, because I never thought of it as playing a man. For me, Albert was always a woman, and she existed in this disguise, and it’s like a woman looking out of this persona. So I thought, “What would happen if you decided to become invisible, and you put on a man’s suit, it was too long, and the shoes were too big?” So it was very specific. And there’s a formality about servants in the Victorian time. You weren’t supposed to look anyone in the eye.
RS: Do you have an extra sense of satisfaction because this movie took so long to make?
GC: I still can’t believe it. It’s amazing to me. Every day, when I would arrive on the set in Dublin, in this wonderful country house which we basically made our studio, I would look at the scaffoldings and the catering truck and all the different trailers for the actors and I’d think, “This was because you didn’t give up.” And that serendipitous meeting with the Goffs (the primary financiers), who gave us important money at the time when we needed it. This has represented so many amazing stories. And this (the premier event) is such an incredible sense of joyous closure for me, and I’m just really happy about being here. And now I can move on to who knows what?
RS: How about all that time you had to spend in the makeup chair?
GC: The time in the makeup chair was really crucial, because it helped me get into character. There was a certain moment when you’d look up and think “It’s not me anymore.” That is the genius of Matthew Mungle, who designed the wigs and makeup.
RS: That time actually helped you with mental preparation.
RS: What about that meeting with the Goffs?
GC: Well Bonnie Curtis (a former Spielberg assistant), who’s here tonight, is from Dallas, and she has this aunt and uncle, John and Teresa (from Fort Worth), who have this wonderful house that looks like Mount Vernon. This could be a book. There was a time in our journey when we said, “Let’s go to Dallas, and see if we can get our money.” And so John and Teresa offered to host a dinner party for us and six other couples, who knew they were going to be asked for financing, and we had the whole financial structure with us. I sat next to John Goff at the dinner, and told him about the film. I think he really appreciated our passion about this project, and how we articulated the story. And then it was Bonnie’s idea – it was not my idea – she said, “Would you consider singing for them?” And I thought, “My God” and I said, “OK – “Sure!” (Laughs) So we smuggled in the conductor of “Sunset Boulevard,” and got up at the end of the dinner and said, “Thank you so much for being here. I know we’re asking you to come on this journey with us and I hope some of you will.” And I told them the only way I knew how to thank them was to do what I do, so I sang something from “Sunset Boulevard.” Then I sang “Cockeyed Optimist” from “South Pacific,” And John and Tami (Goff) stepped up and gave us a significant amount of money. That started opening doors, and it was fantastic.
RS: We’re glad it came together for you.
GC: Thank you. It’s every exciting.
RS: Nice to meet you.
GC: Nice to meet you.
Ronald P. Salfen is interim pastor of St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church in Irving, Texas.