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Glenn Close Immediately Makes Up for Meanness at Driving Miss Daisy Opening

It seemed like a perfectly good question to ask on the red carpet at Driving Miss Daisy’s opening on Broadway last night: "What do you talk to your driver about?" But when we asked Glenn Close, her face registered shock. "What? Drivers? That’s a silly question! Silly question!" she said, and ran off. Fans, publicists, and other reporters tittered around us. "What in the world did you ask her?" they wanted to know, giving us disapproving looks. We started to feel horrible. Had Close thought that we were implying she’s as old as Miss Daisy? She’s not! No, Glenn, we’re sorry! But she'd disappeared into the theater and Joel Grey was approaching, so we had to compose ourselves and move on.

But just as Grey was cheerfully remembering a Grub Street post about himself, Close rushed back out of the theater doors, grabbed Grey’s shoulders, maneuvered him into a shieldlike position, and started talking to us again. “I’m coming back because I realized why you asked that question. I’m so out of it!” she said. She turned to Grey. “I was mean to her. I was so mean to her!” Grey gasped, “But she’s so sweet!” “She said, ‘What do you talk to drivers about?’ And I thought, That’s a silly question. And then, Hello!” Close gestured at the play’s marquee. “My daughter said, ‘You know why she asked that question, right?’”

And then, finally, her answer: “I have the greatest driver in the world. He had two tours in Vietnam and came home with a handful of medals, including a Purple Heart. He’s an incredible guy. He’s been driving me for years. I talk to him. He knows everything.” Everything? “Yes! When we’d use guns or film the aftermath [on Damages, presumably], I’d say, ‘Jack, does that look real?’ And he’d say, ‘Nah.’ And so he’d go and he’d tell them how to dress the set and whatnot. And we did a shot, and it was a dream shot where I was shot, and he told me what would happen if I were shot with this particular gun. I knew what to do, which we wouldn’t have done if he hadn’t said that. It didn’t end up in the show, but it was pretty interesting.” Suddenly she stopped, realizing that she’d hijacked Grey’s interview. “I’m taking up his time! But I had to come back because I was so mean,” said Close, and just as quickly she was back inside the theater.

Photo: Patrick McMullan