Glenn Close has become an advocate for mental health in recent years because she has a mental illness in her family. Not only has she diagnosed with depression herself, but she has a sister who is bipolar and a cousin with schizoaffective disorder as well.
Close told Moneyish that having depression makes her “much more empathetic and tolerant to what people deal with,” and she also says she would approach her role in Fatal Attraction differently today. “I would talk about her differently,” she says. “She clearly suffers from a mental disorder, and she is in need of help and empathy.”
Close has formed her own organization to help fight the stigma against mental illness, adding, “The worst thing that a human can endure is to be so marginalized, to be left out, to not have a connection…and those with mental illness are the people that fall through the cracks. And stigma is the reason. It’s OK to talk about mental illness, and I like to. And I really want to have a country where people understand that this is just an illness, and people can recover from it…”
Close also added that you should treat people with mental issues the same way you should treat anyone else suffering from another illness. “If I say, ‘My mom had cancer,’ you would go, ‘That’s terrible.’ So if I say, ‘My mom has bipolar disorder,’ you should react the same way: ‘I’m so sorry. How is she doing?’…If you want to know how to make a friend dealing with these issues feel loved and accepted, send them flowers. Send a card. Just acknowledge what they’re going through. Say ‘You are a brave person. I’m proud of you.’”