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Feature: Primetime


Glenn Close as Patty Hewes

Oscar-winning actress Glenn Close explains why she’s committed herself to work in television for this new legal drama...

Set in the world of high stakes litigation, Glenn Close stars in Damages, portraying Patty Hewes, New York City’s most revered and reviled litigator. She, along with her ambitious protége, Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), is embroiled in a class action lawsuit targeting the allegedly corrupt Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), one of the country’s wealthiest CEOs. The problem with a series like this is, with such an array of win-at-all-cost participants, it’s hard to know who to root for. Playing more like a mini-series, producer Todd A Kessler acknowledges, “The idea behind the show is to take 13 episodes to tell and conclude this ‘Arthur Frobisher’ case, and in subsequent seasons there will be new cases to explore.”

Glenn Close, who guest starred for a season on The Shield, admits that, aside from the quality of the show, the two other aspects that helped her commit to the series were, it was going to be shot in New York, where she lives with her family, and it was only 13 episodes per year.

“I’ve always been seduced by really good writing,” she admits. “Very early in my career I made the decision to go where the writing was. I was told after doing The World According to Garp, if I did anything on television it might really affect my career in film, and it just didn’t make sense to me. I kept thinking if the English can do it, why can’t we do it? So I basically make my choices by what’s on the page, and to have the chance to do a show like this, with this incredibly complex character, and make it in my own backyard is pretty exciting.”

With a background of stage and film, Close admits that doing a series is an “interesting exercise. I’m used to a beginning, middle and end; whether it’s theater, film or other things I’ve done on television. So the idea of not knowing everything [about my character] at the beginning can be a challenge. But in some ways it’s very freeing, because you have to just live in the moment, which is basically what we do anyway.”

by Judy Sloane

Read the full feature in
TV Zone #219

Photo © FX Network
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #219
September 2007
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