Four iconic film roles from the ''Damages'' star's career

”They’re a part of my molecules,” Close, 62, says of her many iconic roles. ”I can’t separate them! It’s like Sophie’s Choice!” But we managed to get the 36-year showbiz vet — who’s currently starring as straight-for-the-jugular lawyer Patty Hewes in season 3 of FX’s thriller Damages — to choose four of her prized performances.

Dangerous Liasons (1988)
The versatile actress’ fifth Oscar nomination came from playing the scheming, sexually manipulative aristocrat Marquise de Merteuil. ”That is a magnificently written piece and a great character, and it was a wonderful experience working with [director] Stephen Frears and John Malkovich and shooting in France,” says Close. ”I had just had my daughter. She was only 7 weeks old when I went to France. It’s why my breasts are so big! Perfect timing!”

101 Dalmatians (1996)
With her extravagant costumes, fabulous wigs, and booming voice, Close’s Cruella De Vil was a villainess for the ages. ”I often wonder if Cruella made people only think of me as these larger-than-life characters rather than the smaller ones. The meaner and louder I was, the funnier the character was. The Walt Disney classic movies shaped my imagination as a child. I feel like I’m now a part of that grand tradition.”

The World According to Garp (1982)
”That film means a lot to me because I didn’t know what I didn’t know,” says Close, who earned the first of five Oscar nominations for her movie debut as feminist heroine Jenny Fields. ”I did theater before. In a film, it’s very, very intimate, so it was a real kind of ‘what to do with my energy so I don’t blow out the camera’ thing.”

Damages (2007 – PRESENT)
Close has already nabbed two Emmys for her biting portrayal of Hewes, a high-powered lawyer who’s on the verge of losing her marbles. Hewes is appealing to viewers, the actress says, because she makes you totally uneasy. ”She’s not just somebody you love to hate. She’s somebody that makes you feel, ‘Well, should I love her or should I hate her?”’

101 Dalmatians
  • Movie
  • 103 minutes