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TRANSCRIPT: The Envelope chat with Glenn Close

September 21, 2008 | 12:29 pm

About a month ago, The Envelope did a live web chat session with "Damages" star Glenn Close, nominee for best actress in a drama series. It took ages rounding up the transcript, but today seems like a good time to share it at last, just hours before the Emmy race ends.


Glenn Close: Hi Everyone from Glenn in New York

Tom O'Neil: hi glenn. thanx for joining us

babypook: hi Ms Close!

kyrie: hey glenn!

Tom O'Neil: Let's start with this question -- what's it like playing a DASTARDLY VILLAIN on "Damages"?

Glenn Close: You must be thinking of Ted Danson.

Tom O'Neil: haaaaaa! your role is certainly ruthless and tough, eh? There are some heroic things about this character, but let's get your view of her

bc: I love Sam Malone.

Glenn Close: Well, you know I never think of my character as a dastardly villain. Ruthless and tough! Would you say that if the head of Hewes and Associates were a man?

Tom O'Neil: Good point, but, actually, yeah, I'd say he was dastardly too

Glenn Close: I think Patty has come up the hard way in a profession that still is largely run by men.

kyrie: she got ya there

Tom O'Neil: ouch, yes, she did

GiveGlennanOscar: yes! there is a double standard

Glenn Close: Even though there is a huge entertainment quotient in the character of Patty, I am very psyched to play a woman who is unapologetic about her power and success.

Ginny: i think it's compelling because it's unlike most shows that are entirely predictable.

Tom O'Neil: Let's put it this way, Patty's no Margarethe Cammermeyer --- not as purely heroic like that. Often when you perform a role you want and expect the audience to love you -- Patty doesn't exactly inspire warm fuzzies

Ginny: but can you be warm and fuzzy as a defense attorney?

Glenn Close: I think it is human nature to be warm and fuzzy sometimes. For Patty it might be in very private moments.

GiveGlennanOscar: Glenn- How did you find out you had won the Golden Globe this year for Damages? Its a shame the TV ceremony was canceled so we couldn't hear your speech!

Glenn Close: I actually found out in a bar in NYC down in the meatpacking district with all the cast and crew of "Damages."

Glenn Close: For me it is always stressful figuring out what to wear to an event like the Golden Globes, so I was really happy to be in my blue jeans.

Rob L: Damages was my #1 show of the past TV season. Congratulations Glenn on a wonderful show and dynamite performance.

Kams: When you were making "Damages" did you know all the details about your character, Patty Hewes? If no, how hard it was to compose this character?

Glenn Close: I still do not know some details about my character. That is what is fascinating and challenging about doing a series.

Tom O'Neil: Damages is part of the new trend toward serialized stories on TV -- like Sopranos and 24 -- they're chancy because these shows are hard to join midway through. What do you think of their growing popularity?

Glenn Close: I think this trend of serialized shows is leading to some of the best writing that has ever come out of this country.

Glenn Close: I think it is challenging the traditional financial landscape of Hollywood because people tend to TiVo these shows, and people love to watch the whole season in one long gluttoneous session.

babypook: some of the very best television programs have been serialized

Glenn Close: But it is like living a novel and I think it is a bone-fide art form that hopefully will only get more important.

Rob L: Glenn, was the script for each episode hard to follow (and figure out what was happening to these characters) because the story was told in a very non-linear way?

Glenn Close: From episode to episode I had to make sure of what I knew and what everyone else knew and frequently had to get a writer to come and put me in the right context because it was written in that style and it was sometimes hard to remember everything.

Tom O'Neil: Hi Glenn, I'm at the Associated Press office in L.A. right now and a journalist here asked me to ask you this question: how much drama went on behind the scenes as you waited to hear the news if 'Damages' would be picked up another season?

Glenn Close: I wasn't in on all the back-room goings on as people were negotiating how to renew the show. I heard frequently that everyone was "cautiously optomistic" which wasn't very reassuring.

Glenn Close: I know that its strength in international sales probably helped a lot. And to have it renewed for not only one but two years was highly unusual so needless to say, our whole team was extremely gratified when we finally heard the news.

Kams: How it was to work with Rose Byrne? She is young, but very talented and your scenes together were simply AMAZING!

Rob L: Yeah, what was it like working with the great (Aussie) Rose Byrne?

taloson: is she really Australian? Wow, her accent never showed once

Glenn Close: Rose Byrne is an absolutely enchanting human being. Funny, quirky, very talented, very smart. It was wonderful working with her and witnessing her getting stronger and stronger playing Ellen.

Rob L: Thanks for that Glenn. I'm a big fan of hers. Oz is very proud of her.

Glenn Close: And she IS really Australian. And she has a strong Aussie accent when she's not acting.

Rob L: I know! She is very popular here in Oz. It's one of the reasons that it aired in primetime NETWORK tv here.

Rob L: Emmys for Rose Byrne and Glenn Close please.

taloson: and she definitely held her own against the greatness that is Glenn Close!

Kams: In my opinion, when Patty Hewes tell Ellen to "trust no one" is the moment of the season. This phrase summons up "Damages". It's a warning to us all, as a viewers.

Glenn Close: I think Rose came in naive and shall we say has been tempered by reality. I actually think it is a little of both gaining strength and awareness and learning how to manipulate.

Tom O'Neil: You submitted the pilot episode for Emmy consideration. Because this show is serialized, you almost had to do that, right?

Glenn Close: I think the pilot was an incredible piece of writing and represents the show very well. The moment at the end is shocking and makes everyone sit up and take note. It certainly did me when I read it.

Rob L: It is an amazing episode. I would have also been happy if you picked the season finale.

Bebe: Glenn, can you tell us about what the connection to the gravestone Patty visited in the finale?

Kams: Thanks, Bebe, for asking that. I am also curious to know that!

Glenn Close: Patty goes back after 30 years to the grave of her stillborn daughter. It's where she is most vulnerable. 

Kams: Will we see more of Patty's relationship with her son? I think she is also very vulnerable when she is with him.

Glenn Close: Yes. Patty is very guilty about her son. She hasn't been a very good mother.

Glenn Close: I hope we have more with the son, but I really don't know.

taloson: For me, the scenes with you and Ted Danson were the most enjoyable, do you agree, Glenn?

Glenn Close: It was wonderful working with Ted. We didn't have many scenes together, but every one was juicy, and the whole relationship had a huge payoff. Ted nailed that character and was one of the great joys of last season.

Glenn Close: I feel very privileged to be part of this new era of television. Talking to people in Europe, again and again they said they felt the best writing right now was coming out of American television. I don't feel that I've made any kind of transition. I'm always up for anything whether it is theatre, film, or TV. I'm seduced by great writing.

Glenn Close: I'm sorry to have to dash. I have actually just come from the studio where I had a great reunion with Bill Hurt. It's as if no time has passed since we were in The Big Chill together, or even before that when we all were starting out on stage in New York. I'm really looking forward to working with him this season and can't wait to find out what our writers have in store. Thank you so much for all your comments and your much appreciated support. I hope we can keep fascinating you and intriguing you when season 2 goes on the air. Goodbye to all!

taloson: awww, bye Glenn! Great chat!

Aura: thanks

bc: **Big Chill**

Photo credit: FX