The thrilling finale of 1987’s Fatal Attraction brought Glenn Close’s Alex Forrest to a cathartic end, but her death wasn’t always intended to go that way.
Stars Michael Douglas and Close discussed the proposed original ending on an episode of EW Reunites on PEN, the PEOPLE/Entertainment Weekly Network, revealing a broader justice was meant for each character. “The original ending was a stunning, stunning ending,” said Douglas.
The story of a love affair gone horribly wrong, Adrian Lyne’s seductive thriller built up a final act battle between Alex and the Gallagher family, but originally Forrest had more control in her fate. “They had the fight in the apartment, his fingerprints are on the knife, and she kills herself,” said Close. “It was a brilliant scene.”
Douglas’ Dan is taken to jail for the murder of Alex, but original test audiences were unsatisfied with the choice. “I’m not punished. Even though I killed myself there was something that people want me to be punished even more, which is being killed by somebody,” she said.
Instead, in the theatrical ending, Alex sneaks into the Gallagher home with a knife to kill Dan and his wife Beth. However, this new direction didn’t sit with Close from her understanding of her character’s psyche. “I felt from all my research, I just didn’t think she was a psychopath. I thought she was a deeply disturbed woman, but she’s not a psychopath,” she said. “So once you put a knife in somebody’s hand I thought it was a betrayal of the character.”
In the end, with the success of the film and the impact it left on audiences, the actress sees the reason behind the decision. “But, now looking back I think I was right to feel the way I felt. I think they were right to change the ending for the sake of what it did for the movie.”
Watch the interview above and watch the full episode of EW Reunites: Fatal Attraction, streaming now on People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, Xfinity, iOS and Android devices.