Glenn Close’s buttoned-down turn in 1982’s The World According to Garp helped her transition from television to film work. Her performance as the scorned lover in 1987’s Fatal Attraction made her a star.
Yet Close, who visited the White House Monday to discuss mental health issues, regrets how the film depicted her character’s violent nature. She says it added to the stigma attached to those grappling with real mental illnesses.
In my research for Fatal Attraction I talked to two psychiatrists. Never did a mental disorder come up … that, of course, is the first thing I would think of now….”
As public figures, as entertainers, we have a moral responsibility to only portray characters that if they have disruptive behavior or behavior that is negative, it has to be responsibly explained … we can’t anmore say, ‘etls make our bad person menally ill. That plays into the stigma that people with mental illness are violent. That’s not the truth.
As for Close’s work on the Hill, today’s summit will lead to both PSAs on mental health issues as well as writers learning more about the subject as it relates to storytelling.
In order to help, the NAB, the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) and the California Mental Health Services Authority are teaming up to give movie and TV producers tools to more accurately portray mental health challenges….
Then, on August 8th, the EIC will present an event on a studio lot in Los Angeles for scriptwriters, producers, directors, performers and execs. Along with panels of experts, the producers, studios and networks will be offered a toolkit and resources in both English and Spanish – including story ideas – provided by TEAM Up (Tools for Entertainment and Media).