THE WIFE Q&A with Glenn Close & novelist Meg Wolitzer

[Applause] [Applause] yeah [Applause] Wow I feel like I don't even need to do the introductions now but thank you everyone for coming and I guess I don't need to introduce these lovely people but and you're being filmed so I love that okay well first let me introduce New York Times bestselling author of among many other books the female persuasion The interestings the uncoupling and of course the wife Meg Wolitzer and of course we have six-time Oscar nominee we think soon to be seventh time Oscar nominee you know her from fatal attraction dangerous liaisons to Albert Nobbs Sunset Boulevard and many other films star the film Glenn Close okay so let's get started here meg Glenn thank you guys so much for being here tonight and for this lovely story lovely film I loved the film we will do questions at the end to be thinking of those now but first I want to start things off by asking Meg you wrote the wife in 2003 so 15 years later here we are watching it on the big screen what's it like to hear not only is your book going to be a movie but also your lead character is gonna be Glenn Close that was unbelievable right I mean it's like the icing on the cake I wrote the book so long ago that this is really a labor of love for everybody involved and when when I was told that Glenn was involved I think I did the Snoopy dance because I you know people ask writers do you picture who you want to star in the movies and I don't ever I mean I I wouldn't think that way for me the characters in my novels are kind of like you know the people in the background on a reality show who don't want their faces shown so they're kind of blurred out that's how I see them but the minute Glenn came along I saw Joan as you and I've never stopped and Glenn what did you think of Joan the first time you read the script a novel I've read the script first I don't think I didn't read the novel until we were into shooting I think my I said why doesn't she leave him and did you find the answer to that question I did find the answer it was very important to find that answer care to share what care to share what that answer was why she didn't leave well she she's complicit it's not just him it's her she gets the life she gets to be read and I think she says early on writing is my life and I think that's the truth and at a time where she was made to believe that women won't get published and nobody cares about women novelists she found kind of serendipitously kind of that there is a way that she could write and be read not everyone may know this really sounds like that I was like the Good Humor man I always think it excited when it's the Good Humor man and then I look outside and it's a knife sharpener that's like middle-aged people zzyx not everyone may know this but young joan was played by cleanse daughter Annie stark and she did such a wonderful job she's actually doing a Q&A like this out in LA all by herself like mother like daughter so what's it like to work on not only the same project as your daughter but also the same character it was really wonderful for Annie it might I mean she came at it I mean to be the daughter of a successful person and to want to do the same thing as that person it's it's a hard position to be in so the fact that she actually took this part which she really thought about I was because I've always thought she was a natural actress and it was something that she kind of didn't she she went to college she majored in art history all to kind of negate this this hunger in her to be an actress and she came up to me a year after she graduated saying I've been avoiding it for all the obvious reasons but all I want to do is be an actress I love that yeah so I was thrilled and I'm very proud of what she does in this film okay I think we want to take some questions from the audience okay so the question is for the question it's prickly what did I learn about myself about women and about life do you want to answer that for you I do not yeah please do this okay what did I learn about myself I actually have been in relationships where I've been made to feel absolutely invisible and where I had no voice and at what depth dating and because I wasn't evolved enough I mean as evolved frankly as my daughter I didn't know how to negotiate that territory to play a role like Jem was actually very fulfilling because I could I could face those real those real instances in my own life where I'd been made to feel the way she feels so I understood it I also had a mother who was who deferred to my dad her whole life and yet told me in her 80s that she felt she had never accomplished anything and it was tragic to me and so that's us and then about life and about what was the question it was very about women I believe about what women about women what I learn well I'm always learning so it's really interesting because there's an article that I did that's coming out of the times and it starts with this quote and I said I don't remember saying that but it kind of it actually is a quote from 30 years ago when fatal attraction came out and it was about how women weren't nurtured you know the way they nurture men and so it's kind of astounding it's astounding that this movie is coming out though it was written 15 years ago the screenplay was written 14 years ago but it was a movie called the wife it was very hard to make a woman novelist a woman screenwriter a woman the major woman producer in the beginning I mean I was just hearing from Megas we had a couple of drinks at the Plaza so you can ask us anything that oh that women would they wouldn't make it 14 years ago that they wouldn't make the film oh yeah no no they couldn't find a guy they couldn't find an actor who would be in a film called the wife you know I think at one point there's an email from Jane Anderson the wonderful screenwriter who wrote the wife screenplay to me saying I don't know maybe it's gonna have to have a different title can you imagine but she did not want to do that I have to say oh but he wanted to do that I have to say that Jonathan Pryce though he did say it should be called the husband he knew how important the story and how good a story it was and how what you know a wonderful story was about a about a marriage about basically a love story and I really salute him because we had to go to England to find our actor who would who would be in this movie he's amazing isn't he I just a beautiful performance it's a gutsy wonderful performance and the two of you somebody said an inner review that it's amazing that you haven't worked together you seem not only that you've worked together you feel like you've been living together I know well the first the first scene that we shot was the was the bed the bit the scene in bed I mean thank you no calling about breaking the ice yeah I had seen him in in he was a absolutely kind of revelatory Shylock in the the Oh club did anybody see that Merchant of Venice he was absolutely extraordinary so he's a great actor so I had a wonderful partner he's wonderful GARP and Big Chill are two of my favorite movies and I loved you forever and I love this movie and I can't wait till you get the Oscar Wow my question is how have you managed to stay so relevant do you pick the scripts you have an amazing agent I mean how do you decide you know after all these decades to just keep you know be in it you know you're still here how do you choose this description how do what how do you disagree viscerally very subjectively I I have to I mean I don't know if I can analyze it but when I read a script it's about you know 10 12 pages in I think it starts resonate resonating with me and I have to choose something that I I personally think would be challenging I don't want to go over territory that I've gone over before because I don't want to bore myself or anyone else and so oh it's it's very personal it's very subjective now that's how I choose maybe time for one more question thanks for brilliant performance I'm from Sweden so I was wondering what did you think of working with a Swedish director I loved working with him and I loved working with him well let me tell you story I did a movie with a wonderful hungarian director ish von Sabo and in that movie was AirLand Josephson who is in all the great Bergman movies and issuance Abba was a great lover and of Bergman and he asked AirLand Josephson why are you all so brilliant in Bergman movies and airlin said because he knows where to put the camera so I've always I feel seeing the result of working with Bjorn runga that he is the say of he's standing on Behrman shoulders he basically knows where to put the camera to record what the actors are doing if he has a close-up he knows how to light it so you could see into our eyes there's nothing more powerful than a close-up in film there's nothing like it in any other art form and for me I've learned that the close-up is how you maintain an emotional connection with the audience because you become the other the person that that person that I am looking whose eyes I'm looking into and that is a great art and it's not you know it seems like filmmaking 101 where to put the camera but you will be surprised how many people do not do that they're thinking about a fancy shot they're thinking you know anything but actually recording what the actors are doing so Bjorn Bjorn really you really really understood the process and he trusted us and he he supported us in a way that what we did ended up on the screen and it was beautifully edited by his wife Elena rouga and and I feel we were talking about it just just now that you never feel the camera is other than where you want to be as an audience it and when you think about that and how tricky that is it's it's a great accomplishment was something that's so internal and complex as as the story that is told in this movie so I am deeply grateful to Bjorn and I've already told them I'm already jealous of any other actor who ever gets to work with them it's interesting though because for me the novel is in first person and it's a kind of pissed-off funny narrative and people were saying how was Glenn Close going to do it when you don't get that it's not a voiceover you know saying I'm so pissed off the minute I saw your face and I saw that what she does with her face and how it changes I don't you know we could all stand before a mirror and nothing would happen I got nothing even saying nothing so much right didn't you feel so much was conveyed in this film I thought it was astonishing all right so Best Actress Best editing Best Director that's what we're doing for the wife in the Oscars right us acting best at it or best directing I think that's what's gonna happen that's what we need all right well thank you so much everyone for coming Thank You Glenn Thank You Meg you

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