Glenn Close has said she was sexually harassed in auditions.
In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Close also says the #MeToo movement is in danger of causing “overcorrection” and argues that artists and their work should be separated.
Close, who gave the interview to promote her new movie, The Wife, in which she plays a downtrodden spouse, slams the current vogue for scrubbing from schedules the back catalogues of people accused of unacceptable behavior, an issue that has reared its head again with the decision of most channels to drop old reruns of Roseanne after the eponymous star's racist tweets led to the cancellation of her new show.
Close tells The Sunday Times that she has had two experiences of sexual harassment connected to her work—both in auditions.
“One was in front of an established Hollywood producer. He sat behind his desk with one of the biggest stars ever—who, in the middle of our reading, put his hand on my thigh. As small as that action was, it had nothing to do with the scene we were doing, and it froze a big part of me. I was thinking, why did you do that? How am I supposed to respond here? I didn’t know what to do.”
Close also recalls a second troubling audition in the interview.
“I was taken into a room, I had my lines. He didn’t have lines. I must have been 35, and I didn’t know what to do. I realise now I should have tried to seduce him. It’s like putting two dogs together and seeing if they couple. It was years later that I thought, ‘OK, I get it, that’s the game.’
“You are so vulnerable. I have got better at auditioning. You take in the room more, you breathe more, you throw out ideas. But I say that from my 42 years of being in the business. I had no capacity to do that then. None. They were the powerful people and I had no power, I was the supplicant.”
Close says that she fears there will be “overcorrection,” and then makes the case that the work of people accused of abusing their power should be separated from their actions.
“I still have to ask myself, do you negate somebody’s total body of work because they have acted badly? Our species is complex, and the same person is capable of making something beautiful and doing something heinous. In some ways, art comes out of that capacity.”