Glenn Close as drag king Albert Nobbs: does she pull it off?


Maybe I’m alone here, but I absolutely adore Glenn Close, and I’m STILL bummed that Damages was cancelled. I think Glenn is one of the most talented actresses working today, and I love that she’s not afraid of playing multifaceted bitches and villains – I mean, yes, Meryl Streep is a goddess and one of the best actresses around, but Glenn Close brings out the campy drag queen love for her balls-out villainesses. Speaking of drag queens (or kings, in this case), Glenn has a new role – she’s playing “Albert Nobbs” – a 19th century heroine who disguised herself as a man to go into service. There have been photos of Glenn in male drag floating around for a week or so – this is just the first time we’ve had access to them!

Glenn Close walks like a man, talks like a man and looks like a man on the set of her latest film, “Albert Nobbs.” Photos from the Dublin set of the 63-year-old actress’s latest movie show Close in a somber 19th century suit and sporting a side-swept hairstyle favored by men of the time.

Close transformed herself for the part of a woman who disguises herself as a man in order to join the workforce in Ireland in the 1800s in the big screen adaptation of George Moore’s short story, “The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs.”

Though the transformation is startling, this isn’t the first time the Oscar winner has gone in drag for this particular role. Close took on the role at the age of 35 in an off-Broady play that ran at the Manhattan Theater Club to wide-spread praise from the critics.

“Miss Close… is almost unrecognizable,” the “New York Times” said at the time. “It is not simply a matter of her boyish hairdo… but of her manner, movement, and sensibility. The play is a curio, but the performance is transforming.”

Since appearing in the stage version of “Albert Nobbs” in 1982, Close has been working tirelessly to bring the gender-bending tale of “Albert Nobbs” to the silver screen.

“I believe in this story and its potential to take everyone on a sensuous, funny, heart-breaking, wildly unexpected ride,” the actress has reportedly said.

“Albert Nobbs” is currently filming in Dublin; the movie is set for release in 2011.

[From The NY Daily News]

I think she pulls the look off, honestly. Though I find Glenn attractive (in an unconventional way), she’s got the kind of looks that can easily transform into “masculine”. Plus, she’s a terrific actress, so she should be able to do this, hands down and balls out.

Speaking of, do you think she’s stuffing? I bet she is. Method acting!



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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41 Responses to “Glenn Close as drag king Albert Nobbs: does she pull it off?”

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  1. RHONYC says:

    if every actress in the world perished at once, just give me:


    and i’d never get bored with films. they are untouchable. :-)

  2. lilred says:

    Great transformation.

  3. Praise St. Angie! says:

    wow…make up person and costumer deserve credit, too!

    EDIT: Isabel, I thought I was the only one who still says “holy smokes!”…lol

  4. brin says:

    I love Glenn (still think she should have gotten the Oscar for Fatal Attraction).
    Kaiser…I have Directv and they are promoting Damages on their channel (they did this with Saturday Night Lights, too).

  5. Isabel says:

    Holy smokes, that’s amazing. Wonderfully done, Glenn!

  6. Rita says:

    Glen Close is the very definition of an actress. She can play anything. Today most actresses bring their “personal selves” to the screen and we have to accept that they are “acting” like a character. With Glen, she makes us forget it is her on the screen and allows us to focus on the character as well as the storyline. True actress.

  7. Stephie says:

    She definitely pulls it off! At least, visually. That’s pretty awesome.

  8. mln76 says:

    Glenn Close so deserves an Oscar, she was nominated 5 times in the eighties. I hope this is her winning role.

  9. Bill Hicks is God says:


  10. Iggles says:

    Omg! She totally looks like a dude. Yes, she pulls it off!

  11. Exiled says:

    In the 2nd picture from the top, she looks a bit like Wilam Dafoe

  12. Eve says:

    No, you’re not alone. She’s an amazing actress. Sometimes I think she’s just as good as Streep.

    *I’ll never forget her performance in Dangerous Liasions — even knowing she was a bitch who deserved everything she got in the end, I couldn’t help rooting for her.

  13. REALIST says:

    Hell yes! Uncanny! I can’t wait to see a video-I bet she carries herself and moves exactly the way she should, too. She is such a fantastic actress…

  14. Stronzilla says:

    What’s with the hot water bottle? So her character can pee standing up?

  15. Moreaces says:

    Yes, Glenn is one of the all time greats, and does she pull it off,, Hellll ya.. I want to see this flick

  16. Windy City says:

    Hi Kaiser, This is my first time posting. I am a faithful lurker everyday! Damages is coming back to TV in January. Direct TV bought the show. You will be able to view the show if your are a subscriber. I am hoping they will still have the show available on itunes.

  17. fanny says:

    I agree she is one of the most talented actresses around. Her appeal IS unconventional. I’ve always found her looks interestingly attractive … much like Streep. Glenn’s transformation is amazing. She will knock this role out of the park. This is a movie I will not want to miss. I don’t think she is stuffing … but I do think she is always itching to try out different characters!

  18. Moreaces says:

    @ Exiled
    In the 2nd picture from the top, she looks a bit like Wilam Dafoe
    Looking back up, yes she does, and he is one of myfave’s too, although he does not get a lot of play

  19. The_Porscha says:

    Hold on a second, “Damages” was cancelled? I thought they made some special deal with a satellite company like “Friday Night Lights?” Please say it’s the latter, because I LOVE that show and this is the first I’ve heard about it being over for good. :(

  20. Kaiser says:

    Thanks, Windy City. I didn’t realize that Damages had been picked up by a different network. I don’t have Direct TV, though! SADS.

  21. clorismetchum says:

    now that is a face i would happily jump on! if it was a dude of course. i’m no lesbian.

  22. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    I love this woman. She is such a great actress. I have loved almost every character she has played.

    She looks the part for sure. I will definately watch this movie…

  23. I Choose Me says:

    @Eve. I totally understand what you mean. She got her deserved comeuppance but that look on her face at the end – I knew she was an evil manipulative bitch but there was so many nuances to the character that I couldn’t help but feel bad for her all the same. Glenn Close is without a doubt a terrific actress, def on par with Meryl and Helen. I miss seeing actresses who actually know how to act. Other than Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett and maybe a few others like Swinton, Frances McDormand and Laura Linney I feel like there are hardly any real actresses in Hollywood anymore. :(

  24. original kate says:

    wow – i thought it was christopher walken! love me come glenn close. what a great, great actress.

    and can i add to RHONYC’s list?

    - julianne moore
    - ellen burstyn
    - emma thompson
    - miranda richardson

  25. Yasmine says:

    WOAH!!!! She really transforms so well! Check out the hands!! It’s the hands that usually give it away, but those looks like giant mallots! Think she has some ‘realistic’ hand glove on?

  26. kitty milk says:

    OMG – I truly thought you were making fun of a man that looked like Glenn Close. I did not realize until reading on that it was Glenn Close. I screamed out loud!

  27. NayNay says:

    Holy Shit! I had no friggen clue that was her.

  28. Bitter fruit says:

    Can’t wait to see this.

  29. nnn says:

    Great !

    She pulls it off and she is a great underated actress too.

  30. Louise says:

    I thought the page photo was her father. She definately pulls it off. Glenn looks like a man and not a woman dressing like a man.

  31. nnn says:

    She resemble slightly her father like this.

    I remembered when she talked about her time in former Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo) when her father was Mobutu’s personal doctor and the one who managed the first EBOLA crisis outburst.

    The whole family is full of very intelligent poeple, Glenn included and yes, she deserved some Oscar and deserve to be casted in the big screen. She has that tremendous talent and presence on screen. She is intense in each one of her role.

  32. K-MAC says:

    Brilliant! I thought it was a man…I could not believe it…she is so damn talented!

  33. viper says:

    o_O Hello nightmares for the rest of my life.

  34. Eve says:

    @Eve. I totally understand what you mean. She got her deserved comeuppance but that look on her face at the end – I knew she was an evil manipulative bitch but there was so many nuances to the character that I couldn’t help but feel bad for her all the same.

    You said it better than me. It wasn’t necessarily rooting, but actually feeling sorry for her.

    While I was watching her being booed in the theater (right before the scene you mentioned, when she slowly removes her make-up and cries silently), and even knowing what she had done, I felt bad for her. The look she gives the moment she aknowledges the fact she’s no longer respected or has any status in that society is simply flawless. Right there, I was aware of every single emotion her character was going through.

    Glenn Close not winning an Oscar for that performance made me lose my faith in the Academy a little more.

  35. LittleDeadGirl says:

    I second all the wows … I can’t wait to see this .. looks interesting

  36. Eleonor says:

    She hasn’t been working too much lately, I really miss her.
    Dangerous liaisons is one of my favourite movie! There’s a scene where there are John Malkovich (great him too!) Glenn and Keanu Reeves, who’s the only one talking, but we see Glenn Close’s eyes in the mirror, and she’s talking to John Malkovich through that reflection, and the poor Keanu sort of disappears. That’s acting.

  37. BmonGmon says:

    From the side profile, she looks a bit like Conan O’Brien – or, perhaps, Conan’s not so handsome cousin.


  38. ezra says:

    Wow, put a dimple on that chin & she’s a dead-ringer for Kirk Douglas.

  39. Mouse says:

    I love Glenn Close too. Always thought she was a lil androgenous, but she’s doing almost too good a job of looking studly- when I first saw these photos, my first thought was whoa! That guy looks a lot like Glenn Close!

    Can’t wait to see this, I hope it’s great. If I had to choose between Natalie Portman and Glenn Close, I want Glenn to win the Oscar!

  40. chris says:

    Looks like Bill Nighy.