Who knew a movie called The Wife could be so interesting? Well, Glenn Close did. The Wife is Glenn Close’s new film based on the Meg Wolitzer novel of the same name. In it, Close and her real-life daughter Annie Starke both play Joan Castleman, a talented writer who sacrifices her career for her "author" husband until she realizes she's had enough of living a lie. A plot twist unfolds and, without giving away the ending, let's just say the six-time Oscar nominee should finally win for this role.
Close told me she was immediately drawn to the film’s script because she had “echoes” of Joan’s story in her own life. “I spent a lot of my life feeling that I couldn’t be fully owning who I am because I didn’t want to feel that somebody had to compete with that. It’s very, very tricky."
Starke agreed, stating that her grandmothers were a huge inspiration for her when tackling the complex role of playing a younger Joan. “I really channeled my grandmothers in a really big way. They were women of incredible intelligence and seemingly limitless potential. They did both get married quite young, and I think always in the back of their minds they wondered what could have been.” Close added that she always thought her own mother had seemed a little “unfulfilled.”
In a time when women are out and proud feminists and sit comfortably with the transgressions of men in their lives, The Wife is arguably even more important to watch on big screens. “Well we are in the #MeToo movement, aren’t we?” Close said, “And I think this movie actually embodies a lot of those issues just by the fact that it took 14 years for a movie called The Wife, written by a woman novelist and a woman screenwriter, to be made. That is one reason why I am so thrilled that people are reacting so positively to it.”
She added that without the ongoing efforts of trailblazing women, a movie like The Wife never would have made it to the big screen. “This basically is a story that came to fruition because of the passion of a lot of women. For me, that represents where I hope we are going to stay. With that kind of diversity in front and behind the camera.”
Check out my full interview with Glenn Close and Annie Starke above, and for more strong opinions every Tuesday, follow Refinery29's Strong Opinions Loosely Held.