Douglas accepted a 2016 AARP Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award at a luncheon at Le Bernardin in New York City, but it was his longtime friend and costar who paid tribute to him at the end.
During a Q&A at the luncheon, Douglas acknowledged Close while the small audience, which included such stars as his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, Blythe Danner, Joel Schumacher, and Paul Rudd, applauded.
“Sitting next to me is Glenn Close, and Glenn and I did a little movie in [the 1980s] which stood a lot of people on their heads, called Fatal Attraction,” Douglas said to more clapping. “It was a brave film … it’s part of the memory of those films that keeps us all together and our friendships [thriving] … and I’m so happy to hear she’s doing Sunset Boulevard now in London, which is going to be very very exciting.”
He added that it is Fatal Attraction and one other movie people remember him for. “I want to acknowledge Joel Schumacher, who directed Falling Down,” Douglas said. “Both of them are [movies] I get singled out with.”
Close and Douglas spent time chatting over lunch, after which she rose to pay tribute to the legendary star.
There were a bunch of memorable scenes in what EW called “the movie that saved a million marriages,” including the horrific bunny boiling, the “I’m not gonna be ignored” speech, and the climactic bathroom brawl. Then, recalled Close, there’s that sex scene.
“My question is, how do you define a grownup?” Close began. “Laurence Olivier said, ‘If you scratch an actor, you’ll find an actor.’ But wonderful Richard Eyre, who for 10 years headed up the National Theater, said, ‘If you scratch an actor you’ll find a child.’ And he said, not somebody who is childish, but somebody who is childlike in their ability to play.”
“And my God, Michael and I played,” Close, who wore her hair close-cropped and virtually white, roared, recalling a sex scene the pair did in her character’s New York building. “I think of the elevator scene!”
She added, “I love Michael so much that I stopped coloring my hair so I could look like him. When I first started working with Michael those years ago … he was such Hollywood royalty and I had done mostly theater.”
Douglas, 71, told PEOPLE before the lunch began that he was happy to be recognized, and joked, “Thank you! It’s for adult films.” But really, he added, “I wasn’t quite sure … but I think it’s great. It reminds me now that our group, 50 and over, is the largest movie going audience in the world. It’s nice – it’s nice to see some old friends.”