Glenn Close on the One Line She Wanted to Cut From ‘The Wife’

“The Wife” features a tumultuous relationship between a married couple (Jonathan Pryce and Glenn Close), and one scene in particular shook Close to her core, so much she almost refused to do it.

“The one where he’s dying and he says, ‘Do you love me?’ It was so upsetting to me that I stopped and said, ‘Do we have to have that line?” Close says. “‘Does he have to ask me that question as he’s dying? That’s not fair!’ But it’s more about him, and that’s what breaks my heart about that character, because he didn’t ever think he was worthy of love.”

Close also says the messy, tortured element is exactly what she loved about the story. “It was grown up and it was realistic and it was complex,” she says to Sam Elliott in Variety’s Actors on Actors series.

The actress also reflects on working with Robin Williams and director George Roy Hill for her first film, “The World According to Garp.” She says Hill never coddled anyone, and recounts the time when she told him about how hard it was to transition from theater to the stage.

“He said, ‘Yup’,” Close laughs. “That was it.”

But at the same time, Close says Hill cared deeply about the actors he worked with and that he gave her notes about two habits she overused, “that still I would do and not be aware of, it it wasn’t for him,”

“The slow shake of the head, and then also he said I could do a slow blink,” Close says, reenacting her old mannerisms.

She also worked with Williams when he was at his “wildest,” as he had reached the height of fame, thanks to “Mark & Mindy.”

“Robin was so wonderful,” Close reminisces. “He worked hard and had that great gift of making people laugh when they needed to.”

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Constance Wu, Felicity Jones Call Out the Lack of Gender Parity in Film Criticism

Constance Wu noticed a curious trend when she served as juror in a film festival: When it came to deciding the best actor award, the jury was split 2-2 by gender lines. She and the other woman fought passionately for one actor, while the male jurors vehemently stuck with another and maintained an “our rule is law” attitude, Wu says.

“I was like, ‘Maybe this is because the actor that you think should get it is this intense, deep dark masculine type of role,’” she says during Variety’s Actors on Actors series. “What I look for is an actor who has both depth and levity, because when you just have depth, it can be really indulgent and self-congratulatory.”

The “Crazy Rich Asians” star also notes that she finds it brave when a male actor can be vulnerable, but the same behavior is not “attractive to the male jurors.”

Felicity Jones points out that Wu’s experience shows there needs to be a “50-50” split in male and female critics, because too often the perspective of a film is decided only by male writers.

Wu also says that when she told the juror he was only looking through a male lens, he shot back, saying it was the first time he has been accused of being a male.

“Welcome to my world, every single day,” she replied, “where something that I value is taken a couple notches down because it’s from the female perspective, which has not been the critical perspective of the institutions, whether it’s movies or books.”

“The male view has always been the view,” Jones concurs. “And that is what is shifting.”

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Viggo Mortensen, Chadwick Boseman on How ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ Reflect Refugee Crisis

There’s a scene in February’s “Black Panther” where Wakanda’s Border Tribe leader W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) staunchly argues against letting refugees into the country.

Despite the moment coming from a fantasy film, Viggo Mortensen says that moment reflected the reality in America and people’s “fear of what the country’s made of: immigrants.”

“He goes, ‘If we let refugees into Wakanda, they will bring their problems with them,’” the “Green Book” star says during Variety’s Actors on Actors series. “It almost sounded like the current president of the United States talking.”

Mortensen says he believes Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric is born out of “political things,” rather than sincerity. However, he acknowledges that there are many people throughout the world who do genuinely feel that way.

“We’re going to have to come to grips with the fact that people are going to go where they can find work, where they can find food,” he says. “We’ve got to get over this building walls thing. In the long run for humanity, it’s not going to work.”

Similarly, Mortensen says “The Lord of the Rings” films, in which he starred as Aragorn, featured “different species, different races finding a way to coexist, which is what we have to do.”

Chadwick Boseman, who starred as T’Challa in “Black Panther,” says they were preparing to shoot the film right when the 2016 elections were happening. Most prognosticators expected Hillary Clinton to win, but after Trump was elected, Boseman says he and others fought to keep the final script and its themes about refugees and immigration in the movie.

“I’m just grateful that the studio stood behind the fact that this has to be here,” Boseman says. “[Ryan Coogler] fought for those things, because he realized that was important.”

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Dakota Johnson Jokes That Working on Studio Films Is ‘Artistic Prostitution’

When it comes to doing studio films versus independent projects, “It’s all in how you decide it’s gonna be,” says Dakota Johnson to Armie Hammer during their Variety Actors on Actors conversation.

“Sometimes with studio films there’s so many cooks in the kitchen and so many creative quotas you need to hit,” Johnson says. “With more independent films you have the freedom of finding and cultivating the magic of that movie specifically instead of trying to cater to the masses.”

Still, she insists she has no bias toward one or the other. “I just love making movies,” she says. “I kind of just want to get to a place where I enjoy both processes equally.”

In Hammer’s opinion, comparing studio films to independent films is like “apples and oranges.”

What matters most to him is the craft itself. “As an actor, you don’t get to do your art all the time,” he says. “You need someone to give you a job in order to do what you love.”

With independent films, he says, “you feel like you are integral to making this happen, whereas sometimes on big studio movies, you feel like little tiny cog in a big machine.”

“It’s like artistic prostitution,” Johnson laughed.

Though Hammer hasn’t made a studio film in six years, he maintains that “at the end of the day, I’m really proud to look back at the independent films that I’ve done and say that I participated and I was a part of that,” he says. “I just feel really creatively satiated.”

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