Belfast Telegraph

Close: Bunny boiler part of stigma

Glenn Close has said she would approach her role in Fatal Attraction "totally differently" now, after gaining a better understanding of mental illness.

The 66-year-old actress famously played "bunny boiler" Alex Forrest in the 1987 thriller about a woman who became a violent obsessed stalker after having an affair with Michael Douglas' character.

Glenn - whose sister has bipolar disorder and whose nephew has dealt with mental illness - attended President Barack Obama's national conference to discuss mental illness in Washington this week.

She told CBS news: "I was in Fatal Attraction and that played into the stigma. I would have a different outlook on that character. I would read that script totally differently.

"The astounding thing was that in my research for Fatal Attraction I talked to two psychiatrists. Never did a mental disorder come up. Never did the possibility of that come up. That, of course, would be the first thing I would think of now."

Glenn - who is the founder of BringChange2Mind, an advocacy group designed to erase the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness - participated in a panel discussion at the National Conference on Mental Health.

She believes actors have a moral responsibility to explain the disturbed behaviour of their characters and not just blame it on mental illness.

She said: "That's really easy because that plays into the stigma that people with mental illness are violent and that is not the truth. Most people with mental illness are not violent. And most people who commit violent crimes do not have a diagnosed mental illness."

Also at the conference was Bradley Cooper, who played a man with bipolar disorder in the Oscar-winning film Silver Linings Playbook earlier this year.

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