Glenn Close on the final season of 'Damages': 'It's probably the most complex we've seen Patty'

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Image Credit: David Russell/DirecTV

Motion to dismiss the wait for the final season of Damages: granted! Tonight the legal thriller returns to action (DirecTV, 9 p.m.), and all eyes will be on cunning litigator Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) and ambitious former protégé Ellen (Rose Byrne). This season, the two adversaries-at-law will match wits in the courtroom one way and another: While Ellen is eager to testify against Patty in the custody hearing for Patty’s granddaughter, they wind up on opposite sides in a case involving the mercurial founder of a whistle-blowing website (Ryan Phillippe) and an ambitious single mother (Jenna Elfman) who works at an investment bank that’s engaging in some shady business. Before you tune in, read what Close told EW about season 5.

On how the final season compares with previous ones:
GLENN CLOSE: “I think it totally stacks up. They set the bar so high with the first season. And it’s something that certainly matches if not is even more masterful. For me, from one season to the other, Patty just got more and more complex. I said to the [producers] early on: There’s nothing more boring than someone who’s just plainly evil. Evil’s easy, but I find it’s ultimately boring to play, and I don’t think there are very many people in the world who are just purely evil. There’s always reasons for behavior. She does some things in this season that I just said, “Oh gosh, I wish I didn’t do that. Then again, I gave into it as well. So she behaves well and she behaves badly, but that’s who she is. It’s probably the most complex that we’ve seen Patty. You see more facets of Patty in this final season than you do in all four that came before.”

On Ellen and Patty:
“Ellen thinks she’s on a level playing field with Patty. The cool thing about Patty Hewes is she always wins in some way. It makes for a very interesting face-off cause they probably know each other better than any other person knows them.”

On the appearance of Patty’s father (M. Emmet Walsh):
“There’s a scene with my father that is pretty spectacular because we’ve never known that much about Patty’s past. You learn much more about her past and what motivates her.”

On working with her Albert Nobbs costar Janet McTeer, who plays an old colleague of Pattty’s hired by Ellen:
“The [writers] thought of some very interesting plot twists, which will certainly take the audience by surprise. And even after that is revealed, things aren’t what one may think they would be. And I have to say, I thought her character was gonna be one thing, and she ended up being another thing. From week to week, you go, ‘Okay, what else is there???’… It was great working with Janet after being men together. To be lawyers in high heels together was just great. The high heels weren’t great, but being lawyers together was great.”

On the custody battle with Patty’s son Michael (Zachary Booth):
“That whole side of the story is very rich and brutal. I certainly can’t reveal how it ends up, but I was surprised by it, and that certainly has closure.”

On the type of ending the series will offer:
“There’s some closure but not everything is all tied up in a neat little package. It will feed speculation about where these characters might go from the last time you see them.”

On the show ending after five seasons:
“It felt appropriate. Not that we weren’t having a good time, but just from an acting point of view, I never want to be redundant.”

On the possibility of signing up for more television:
“TV movies, for sure. I think TV’s really hot. There’s less and less of a line between features and television. I saw Jim Brooks at the theater , and we were chatting at intermission, and he said, ‘TV is where it is. It’s just getting better and better.’ And I agree.  [But] a five-year commitment for me at my age is a little tough. The whole country will watch my skin getting saggier and saggier.”

To learn a little more about season 5 of Damages, watch Sandra Gonzalez’s interview with Close and Byrne below.


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