News / Arts & Entertainment

Woman Masquerades as 19th Century Dublin Man in 'Albert Nobbs'

Mia Wasikowska, left, and Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs"
Mia Wasikowska, left, and Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs"

Multimedia

Audio
  • Silverman interview with Glenn Close on "Albert Nobbs"

Alan Silverman

Glenn Close could earn an Oscar nomination - the sixth of her career - for portraying a woman passing for a man in 19th century Dublin. The actress also co-wrote Albert Nobbs.



COOK: "Good morning Dr. Halloran."
DOCTOR: "Good morning, Maria."
COOK: "Good morning Mr. Nobbs."


It's the morning routine in the kitchen of Morrison's Hotel, a fine Dublin establishment where slender, ruddy-faced Albert Nobbs has worked for almost two decades.

But that "kind little man" has a secret: he is a she, masquerading as a man in order to find work in the tough Irish economy of the 1800's. Glenn Close first played "Albert Nobbs" in the 1982 stage adaptation of a short story by Irish author George Moore.



It's the morning routine in the kitchen of Morrison's Hotel, a fine Dublin establishment where slender, ruddy-faced Albert Nobbs has worked for almost two decades.

But that "kind little man" has a secret: he is a she, masquerading as a man in order to find work in the tough Irish economy of the 1800's. Glenn Close first played "Albert Nobbs" in the 1982 stage adaptation of a short story by Irish author George Moore.

Glenn Close as
Glenn Close as "Albert Nobbs" (Photo - Patrick Redmond)

"It was, first of all, a very affecting character to play - very difficult, very challenging, very satisfying," confides Close. " Also, I was amazed at how powerful the story was and how it affected the audience."

Close won an Obie Award for that off-Broadway performance and then spent almost 30 years trying to get backing for a film version.

"I didn't go into their offices looking like Albert Nobbs, so it's very hard for people, especially Hollywood people, to think of me in that character," notes Close. "Also, you can say that there's humor, but it's hard for them to get it. A lot of the humor is totally in attitude and performance. It was a very tricky, different kind of story. Anything that far 'out of the box' makes people nervous because it's away from any sort of formula.

"Albert took on her disguise totally as a survival tactic," she adds, "because she was abused and had no name, no money, no job. Then, having gone through that deeply traumatic experience, she chooses to be invisible in a profession where you're supposed to be invisible."

Aaron Johnson and Glenn Close in
Aaron Johnson and Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs" (Photo - Patrick Redmond)

Albert's life changes when she meets another woman in the same predicament: a house painter named Hubert, played by Janet McTeer:

HUBERT: "You're a woman."
ALBERT: "You won't tell on me."
HUBERT: "What's your name?"
ALBERT: "Albert."
HUBERT: "Your real name."
ALBERT: "Albert."


Albert Nobbs is directed by Rodrigo Garcia. The Colombian-born filmmaker, whose father is the author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, believes the film, while true to its period, explores themes that are relevant today.

"I was interested in it because of those things that you do to fit in. It doesn't have to be 19th century, you don't have to be a woman. Sometimes we choose a version of us that will take us further and be more acceptable or popular," explains Garcia.

Albert Nobbs was shot on location in Ireland. The cast includes stage and screen veterans Brenda Fricker and Brendan Gleeson along with rising young star Mia Wasikowska.

You May Like

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurd President Urges World Community to Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

 

Hamilton Live: Etienne Charles

x
Hamilton Live: Etienne Charlesi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
September 18, 2014 7:11 PM
Trumpeter, percussionist and bandleader Etienne Charles was born in Trinidad and blends island rhythms with modern jazz. Etienne and his stellar band perform live at The Hamilton in Washington DC, a rich gumbo of jazz, calypso, reggae, and rock-steady that Etienne Charles calls “Creole Soul.”

Hamilton Live: Etienne Charles



Trumpeter, percussionist and bandleader Etienne Charles was born in Trinidad and blends island rhythms with modern jazz. Etienne and his stellar band perform live at The Hamilton in Washington DC, a rich gumbo of jazz, calypso, reggae, and rock-steady that Etienne Charles calls “Creole Soul.”