Oscar 2019: Glenn Close’s Seventh Oscar Nomination, First Award for The Wife?

Six-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close criticized mainstream Hollywood for its (mis)treatment of older actresses when casting major screen roles–in film and TV.

“It’s kind of ironic, because we’re at the peak of our power,” Close said at the Toronto Film Fest while promoting her indie movie, The Wife.

But the golden age of television should help women get more work, in front and behind the camera: “I think actually the advent of cable, and all the other places where people can express themselves, will be helpful for women, because there will be more places to find money for their projects,” Close said.

In The Wife, Close and Jonathan Pryce play a married couple at a crisis–a breaking point.

The Wife – Production & Publicity Stills
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Based on Meg Wolitzer’s novel and directed by Bjorn Runge, The Wife features Close as Joan Castleman, wife of one of America’s preeminent novelists (played by Pryce) who is about to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

However, after decades of ignoring her own literary talents for her husband’s success, she makes some fateful decisions.

Close pointed to the irony that her first professional role was in 1974, when she replaced an aging Mary Ure in a pre-Broadway production of Love for Love, directed by Hal Prince.

She had been hired by the Phoenix Theater Company as the understudy for Ure, and before long Prince was looking to put Close on stage without any rehearsal. “I was so green and hungry, that I’d sit in the back of the theater and watch every rehearsal,” she recalled.

During a final dress rehearsal, Prince disclosed that he was considering replacing the aging Ure, who was late in her career and married to Robert Shaw at the time.

After getting into Ure’s dress, Close received a note from the British actress, which read: “It’s a tradition in the British theater for one leading lady to welcome the next. I welcome you. Be strong and brave.”