Actress Glenn Close has admitted she regrets her portrayal of ‘bunny boiler’ Alex Forrest, in Fatal Attraction.
The 66-year-old star, who won an Oscar nomination for playing the knife wielding stalker that ruthlessly pursues a married man, played by Michael Douglas, is now convinced her role contributed to the stigmatisation of mental health issues.
Close, whose sister and nephew both suffer with mental health problems, wishes she could have done things differently.
Speaking to CBS about the 1987 thriller Close said: “I was in Fatal Attraction and that played into the stigma. I would have a different outlook on that character (today). I would read that script totally differently...
The astounding thing was that in my research for Fatal Attraction I talked to two psychiatrists. Never did a mental disorder come up. Never did the possibility of that come up. That, of course, would be the first thing I would think of now."
Close believes that actors have a responsibility to deal with such issues in a sensitive manner. She added: "I think as public figures, as entertainers, that we have a moral responsibility to only portray characters, that if, if they have disruptive behaviour or behaviour that is negative that it has to be responsibly explained.
"I really do not believe that we can anymore just say, 'Oh, let's make our person somebody mentally ill.' That's really easy because that plays into the stigma that people with mental illness are violent and that is not the truth... Most people with mental illness are not violent.
"And most people who commit violent crimes do not have a diagnosed mental illness.That is wrong, and it's proven wrong and it is immoral to keep that perpetrated..."