Elizabeth Is Missing: Aisling’s Probe into Dementia, Starring Glenda Jackson in Towering Performance

The International Emmy Awards, which will be given in New York Monday, November 23, feature nominees from 20 countries and span the globe.

Elizabeth Is Missing, for which Jackson is nominated for International Emmy in the best actress category, marks her first TV role in nearly 30 years.

Two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson, after a second career in British politics as a Labor Party member of parliament, made a triumphant return to acting in 2016, playing King Lear on stage.

In the British murder mystery that doubles as a study of dementia, Jackson plays an older woman of about 80, suffering from Alzheimer’s struggling to figure out what happened after her friend Elizabeth, when she suddenly vanishes after gardening together.

Director Aisling Walsh says that Glenda Jackson came into his mind when he was writing the script: “I knew she had returned to acting in the theatre after her political career and I thought how amazing it would be to get her to come and make a film. To see her on screen again after 27-year absence. I’ve been a fan of her work since I was a teenager. She’s one of the finest actors and to get the opportunity to work with her was a dream come true.”

He says he wanted “a strong and fearless actor, and Glenda is both those things. She brought such detail to the role, such reality, and such truth. She’s fearless as an actor.”

The script was “an opportunity to bring dementia into the arena, to have people discuss it. To have people see what it’s like or live with. People don’t talk about it yet so many people are affected by it. Young and old. People are living longer and it is an illness that we are going to have to confront and do something about.”

He loved Emma Healey’s novel and how Andrea Gibb adapted it. How Maud’s memory took her back to a tragic moment in her life that has haunted her for 70 years.

Aisling aimed to describe the tragedy of someone trying to cope with an illness that presents itself differently all the time. There’s anger, hope, loss, happiness, and so many more emotions all playing out in this one character’s story.