“Fatal Attraction” became a big and controversial hit in 1987. As one report explained, Close would play the role of Alex Forest in an ’80s blockbuster, many resisted. But her powerful agent, Fred Spector, insisted that the studio see her. Despite some initial misgivings, this was another knockout role for Close, and the film became a cultural phenomenon.
“It came at the right time when there was anger simmering between the sexes over feminism, it wasn’t really expressed and it just plugged right into it,” Close recalled (via Yahoo! Entertainment).
However, Close was not completely satisfied with the film. She carefully researched the role and “didn’t think [Alex] was a psychopath. I thought she was a deeply troubled woman.”
Close added, “I think my job as an actress is to find something in common with the character. Otherwise, you judge them. And when you judge them, you separate yourself from them” (via Digital spy).
She also resisted filming the film’s new ending where she stalks Michael Douglas’ family and is eventually killed by his wife, played by Anne Archer. In the original ending, Close dies by suicide and Michael Douglas is arrested on suspicion of murder.
When the studio decided to change the ending, Close said, “You can take me in a straitjacket, but you can’t make me do it.” After a two-week struggle with the studio, she gave up, and whether you like the ending or not, you can’t say that she wasn’t memorable.
If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline by dialing 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).