Glenn Close was awaiting a car to take her to the set of her television series "Damages" when she received word of her Oscar nomination for best actress for her starring turn in the period drama "Albert Nobbs," in which she plays a woman who disguises herself as a man to gain employment in Ireland. Close said it was a regular "working day" -- but a good one for her and the film she worked for years to bring to the screen.
"I'm thrilled. I'm over the moon," Close said, expressing joy on behalf of the movie's three nominations. In addition to her own recognition, her costar, British actress Janet McTeer, was nominated for her supporting turn, as were Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle, the makeup artists on the movie.
The makeup "helps you get into character," Close said. "It’s integral to building the character -- absolutely. Every morning to start from scratch with your naked face and slowly have those characters develop to the point where you don’t know yourself. There was always this tipping point. That was huge, it was almost a meditation."
Close first played the character of Nobbs in an Obie Award-winning production in 1982. She not only stars in the film, but she also co-produced it and co-wrote the screenplay with Irish novelist John Banville and Gabriella Prekop. She even penned the lyrics for the movie's theme song, a melancholic Irish "lullaby" composed by Brian Byrne and sung by Sinead O'Connor. (The song was overlooked for an Oscar nomination Tuesday.)
No CGI work was done on “Albert Nobbs,” according to Mungle. He used earlobe extensions and a nose tip on Close, as well as dental plumpers to push out the bottom of her jaw, giving her a more manly look.
“After I finished doing Glenn’s makeup [the first time], she looked in the mirror and started tearing up because she could feel that was Albert Nobbs, she could start becoming the character," Mungle said in an earlier interview. "With computer-generated [effects], you don’t know what the character is going to end up looking like -- you’re just saying the lines.”
-- Deborah Vankin
Photo: Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs" Credit: Roadside Attractions