Why Glenn Close ‘Despised’ the Ending in ‘Fatal Attraction’

Fatal Attraction is a notoriously outdated film. Many people believe that the movie unfairly stigmatizes individuals with mental illness. It paints Glenn Close’s character as a villain, rather than a woman who is mentally disturbed. And because Close has never been a fan of the way Alex Forrest is portrayed, she is open to the idea of remaking the 1987 film. Only this time, it would be done through her perspective. 

Glenn Close, Michael Douglas and Anne Archer.
Glenn Close, Michael Douglas and Anne Archer | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

No one thought Glenn Close was right for the role at first

Before Close auditioned for the part of Alex Forrest, no one thought she would get the role. In a way, they only let her audition as a courtesy act. But the truth is, the producers thought she wouldn’t be the right fit. Why? Because before Alex, she only played kind-hearted roles. She was typecast as the “nice girl” in Hollywood, so it would take a lot of convincing for her to play such a complex character. 

But once they saw her audition, they knew how much of a powerhouse Close was. They immediately cast her afterward.  

Glenn Close hated the fact that her character was so heavily villainized

Glenn Close and Michael Douglas
Glenn Close and Michael Douglas | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

In the final cut of the film, Close comes across as a one-dimensional crazy woman who boils bunnies and kidnaps children. She is tormented throughout the movie, despite clearly being in need of help. 

But initially, Alex Forrest had a less brutal fate. According to Vanity Fair, the original ending had “a redeeming finale that put the movie firmly on Alex’s side.” In this version, Alex commits suicide, much like in her favorite play Madame Butterfly. But tests audiences disliked this ending. Instead, they wanted Alex to be punished for messing with the Gallagher family. 

So when Close learned she would have to reshoot the ending, she had a screaming match with the director and Michael Douglas. 

“Six months after we finished shooting, I got a call that we had to reshoot the ending,” she told The New York Times. “I fought it for two weeks. It was going to make a character I loved into a murdering psychopath. I was in a meeting with Michael, Stanley, and Adrian. I was furious!” 

Glenn Close wants to remake ‘Fatal Attraction’ but from Alex’s perspective

Michael Douglas and Glenn Close
Michael Douglas and Glenn Close | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

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With a rise in TV shows such as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Orange Is The New Black, we are finally getting the perspective of characters that society would prefer to villainize. 

Finally, we are seeing a proper portrayal of women who struggle with mental health issues, and we get to witness their side of things that paints them in a more sympathetic light. When it comes to Alex Forrest, she is never given the opportunity to share her perspective. And because of this, Close would like to make a remake of Fatal Attraction, from Alex’s point of view. 

She tells Deadline, “I do think it would be interesting to take the exact story basically and do it from her point of view. I think she’d become a tragic figure, rather than perceived as an evil figure.”