Monday 5 December 2016

Close to reality: Glenn's Dublin movie

ALISON O'RIORDAN

Published 12/12/2010 | 05:00

ONE of Ireland's most acclaimed authors has revealed how he has witnessed first-hand the obsessive and persuasive nature of Fatal Attraction bunny boiler Glenn Close over the last decade.

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Shooting of The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs begins tomorrow in Dublin, but it has taken 10 years since Hollywood legend Glenn Close first suggested turning one of Irish author George Moore's best-known short stories into a film.

"I can say honestly that Glenn is the most tenacious and determined person I know," said Man Booker winner John Banville, who co-wrote the screenplay with Close. "She has been steering this story towards the screen for the past 15 years at least, never losing faith in the project, and now it is hard for us to believe that it's really happening -- but it is, and it's a great thrill, and a great triumph for Glenn," he said.

The feature film stars Close in the title role, as a woman caught in an unusual love triangle. Passing herself off as a man in order to work and survive in 19th-Century Ireland, some 20 years later, she finds herself in a prison of her own making.

This collaboration between Close and John Banville is directed by Rodrigo Garcia and stars a prestigious cast including Brendan Gleeson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Pauline Collins, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Mia Wasikowska of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland fame.

Set in Victorian Dublin, a comparison could be drawn between the lack of opportunity of the present day and the hard times of the 1890s. Banville says: "I'm old enough to remember Dublin when times were far grimmer than they are now. We shall come through the present crisis, and, who knows, we may learn a little humility, which will be good for us."

However, the writer has hope for the future: "We are a resourceful species, and we'll solve our problems -- making many and terrible mistakes along the way, but somehow we'll survive."

It is nearly 30 years since American actress Close first starred in the theatre version of the tragic tale on Broadway in 1982. Now aged 63, Close pointed out how the Irish Film Board's support of €750,000 was indicative to them choosing Ireland as the location. She said: "The Irish Film Board have been incredibly supportive, it's a wonderful partnership and I'm incredibly excited. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would have this extraordinary group of talent in front of and behind the camera."

Filming will continue for 34 days in secret locations around Dublin with a break for Christmas, and is due to be wrapped up in February.

Sunday Independent

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