My Favorite Mistake


Glenn Close on not wearing street clothes if you want to be a royal.

In 1978 I was doing a show on Broadway called The Crucifer of Blood. It was early in my career, the show was successful, and I wasn't terribly well known. The publicist of the show had this bright idea--I could be queen of the New York car show that year!

It's not something I leapt to do, because I'm basically shy, but I would have done anything for our play. I said, "What does one wear to be queen of the car show?" She said just wear your street clothes, as if I had something appropriate in my closet for the occasion. I remember exactly what I wore--it's burned into my brain: a rust-colored jersey skirt with a floral chiffon blouse. I don't even think I had my hair and makeup done.

I met the publicist at the door, and she handed me a tiara that looked like it came from a party store. It was metal, but it could have come out of a cereal box. I don't know if you remember the Coliseum in New York. It was like you're walking into a great palace. We got to the top of the escalator, and here is what I saw: a bright room with a big revolving platform full of cars, and women in bikinis. It was opening day, and the press were slowly circling around these women. Dread mounted in my throat when I realized how excruciatingly inappropriate I looked!

There I was, in my street clothes and my pathetic tiara, with this publicist trying to convince everybody I was queen of the car show. …

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