Exclusive Interview: Glenn Close on Working With Janet McTeer in Albert NobbsDamages

February 22, 2012

Glenn Close as Albert Nobbs in Albert Nobbs.
Photo: Patrick Redmond, Roadside Attractions

Glenn Close and Janet McTeer can’t get enough of each other these days. They worked together in Albert Nobbs and both veteran actresses received Oscar nominations for their performances. So they’ll be seeing each other on Oscar night. And the two are currently in the middle of filming the fifth and final season of the legal thriller Damages, set to air this summer exclusively on DIRECTV’s AUDIENCE Network. Our friend, Damages writer Josh Payne, recently caught up with them to talk about working together, what they think is the best part of the Oscars, and much more. Yesterday, we gave you Josh’s interview with Janet McTeer, and today, we unveil his exclusive chat with Glenn Close below.

Janet McTeer, your co-star in Albert Nobbs, joined the cast of Damages for the show’s upcoming season. Did you play a part in Janet’s casting?

I did. I had so much fun with her in Albert Nobbs that I selfishly wanted to have her in this season. We were very guy-heavy last season [laughs].  And so I asked her and she said, “Yes.” She’s married to an American and ideally wanted to try to find work in New York. So it really was perfect for me and for her.

What would you like people to take away from Albert Nobbs?

A lot of things. I think Albert Nobbs is the kind of story that a lot of people will take away different things. I certainly think they should take away conversations about what’s fundamental for a successful life. I think connection is terrifically important, and a feeling of safety. I personally feel that it shouldn’t matter who is providing that profound connection or that sense of safety. I think gender is irrelevant in some ways. I also think it would be nice for them to take away the importance of looking at people differently, people who we might ignore in life. Realizing that behind their faces everybody has a story.

Did you and Janet bring anything from your personal relationship to enhance your onscreen relationship?

Well I really got to know Janet on Albert Nobbs. I think the fact that we became great friends was just easy. It was easy to work with Janet. She’s a brilliant actress, and fun. It’s a great combination.

You’ve worked a lot on stage. How does preparing for a stage role differ from preparing for a TV role or a film role?

The thought process in creating the character is no different. What might be different, I find, is that you have to be physically fit to pull off a lot of things that I’ve certainly been asked to do on stage because to project emotion comes down to bones and sinews and muscles. And it’s a pretty good workout. Every time I’ve done something significant on stage I’ve gone through a major physical training program for it. You can get away with a little bit more in TV and film without that kind of physical preparation.

You and Janet are both Oscar nominees this year for Albert Nobbs, and this is your sixth nomination. What’s the best part of Oscar night?

Watching it at home on TV with some popcorn [laughs]. The best part is seeing friends and knowing you’re in this amazing company. Over the years, sadly, sometimes the only time you bump into a lot of the people you are inspired by or respect is at events like this, so it makes it pretty special.

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