Earlier this month, the new film, “Hillybilly Elegy” came out starring Glenn Close as ‘Mawmaw’. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Close examines the timeline of her career and the different films and projects she has been a part of. Towards the end of the interview, she revealed how she scored the part of ‘Mawmaw’.
“I read the book basically when it first came out and loved it,” Close says in the interview. “Then, I think it was a couple of years later, I heard that Ron had gotten the rights and was developing a script. I have always been very proactive about things. I wrote him a note, I wrote him a letter!”
Her proactive letter paid off as Ron Howard selected her for the role, despite her thinking “no one would ever cast me as Mawamaw.”
Glenn Close Prepares to Be ‘Mawmaw’
Close also discussed the process they took in getting ready for the film. The film “Hillbilly Elegy”follows the events of a memoir with the same title by J. D. Vance. As she explains, the company made time to travel to Middletown, Ohio, where the memoir takes place, to meet the actual people Howard based the characters off of. Glenn Close describes how incredible that opportunity ended up being.
“We had time as a company to get together, to go to Middletown Ohio, to meet the members of J. D.’s family,” she explains. “[They] had amazing courage to let these strangers come in, knowing that they were going to portray themselves and members of their family. But each of us as individuals got to meet with each member of the family.”
Given the unique opportunity to personally meet with the person she will act out in a film, Close had some specific questions for Mawmaw. “How did she sit, how did she walk,” Close asked herself while meeting with Mawmaw. “What does she do with her hands? How does she hold her cigarette?”
Her main objective in the interaction was to fully understand who that person was. She wanted to capture the essence of Mawmaw so that she could in turn do her justice on the screen. As she says, “there is nothing better than having a wonderful story and having a company… where you’re free to do your best work.”