Glenn Close said she much preferred the original ending to the 1987 movie Fatal Attraction rather than the one that ended up on the big screen. The acting legend said the original ending was much bleaker but stayed true to the character. She learned a valuable lesson, though.
Close broke down her career in a video for Vanity Fair recently where she shared some of her memories from her illustrious resume. One of the most famous films in her oeuvre is Fatal Attraction. A dark thriller about a woman who has an affair with a married man but can’t manage her feelings after he breaks it off. Close plays Alex Forrest, the jilted mistress who goes on a rampage following her dismissal.
In the end, Alex loses her mind and is killed by the man’s wife after a tense confrontation in the bathroom. But that wasn’t the original ending. Close explained that the original ending featured Alex killing herself, something she would have preferred staying in the movie. But test audiences hated it. They wanted justice and vengeance.
“I felt I was betraying the character I believed in,” the seven-time Oscar nominee said. “… What I learned from that is how important catharsis is for the audience to feel like some sense of order will be restored. It was a hard journey. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I’ve never forgotten it.”
Roger Ebert agreed. In his review of the film, the famed movie critic felt the ending was trite and over the top.
“Fatal Attraction is a spellbinding psychological thriller that could have been a great movie if the filmmakers had not thrown character and plausibility to the winds in the last minutes to give us their version of a grown-up Friday the 13th,” he wrote.
Watch the Gut-Wrenching Original End of ‘Fatal Attraction’
Glenn Close: ‘Fatal Attraction’ Character Not the Villain
Alex Forrest is one of the truly frightening characters in cinema history. She’s deranged and ruthless. But Close says audiences misunderstand her. To Close, the character makes sense. Alex is a victim of incest and has been gas-lit, shamed, and emotionally tortured most of her life. She’s damaged and confused but not evil.
Suicide is a likely outcome for someone like Alex, Close said, as unfortunate as it may be. Therefore, she explains that being asked to come back and reshoot the ending “was a real shock.”
“I still think it would be fascinating to tell the exact same story from (Alex’s) point of view,” she said. “She would not end up a villain.”