The Screen Room
Movie Villain Monday: Alex Forrest - Fatal Attraction (1987)
It’s Movie Villain Monday and this week’s villain was suggested in the comments on Facebook.
It’s Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction (1987)
Who is Alex Forrest?
Alexandra “Alex” Forrest (played by the brilliant Glenn Close) is the main antagonist in the classic psychological revenge thriller that now serves as a cautionary tale to any would-be adulterer.
She’s also the reason “Bunny Boiler” is a universally recognised term. 🐰
In the movie which is based on the same writer’s short film, “Diversion” (1980), a married man called Dan Gallagher (played by Michael Douglas) has an affair with a woman he meets through his work (Alex Forrest) while his wife and daughter are out of town.
Refusing to accept that it was just a one time thing, Alex becomes dangerously obsessed with Dan and sets about sabotaging his married life in a deadly way.
Personality and Motivation:
We’ve all heard the phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, but as much of a psycho as Alex turns out to be in the movie, she’s actually in many ways a victim.
In this day and age with mental health being such a talking point, it appears that many things could’ve happened to Alex in her life to make her behave the way she does. She’s not just a mindless crazy person who does what she does for no reason.
Over the years the character of Alex Forrest has been discussed by psychologists and film experts who have said that her behaviour fits a number of mental conditions, one being “Borderline Personality Disorder”. Some have instead considered her to be a psychopath.
The character of Alex Forrest is possibly Glenn Close’s career defining role but as is becoming common with these posts, she was by far the first actress to be considered.
Apparently Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks) and Sharon Stone (Basic Instinct) both auditioned for the part while Sally Field (Forrest Gump) and Elisabeth Shue (The Karate Kid) were considered but either turned it down or we’re already committed to other projects.
In fact Glenn Close was so far from what the film makers were looking for she was instantly dismissed and had to fight to even get an audition.
After finally being allowed to read for the part she was sure she’d blown her audition, but she’d actually convinced the director and producer that she was perfect for the role.
The Bunny Scene:
Undoubtably the most shocking and memorable scene in the movie is when Michael Douglas’s character’s wife (played by Anne Archer) finds the family’s pet bunny boiling in a pan on top of the cooker (hense the origin of the term “Bunny Boiler”).
Originally the screenwriter had Alex put it on the grill but he thought it was “too grotesque”...hmmm, there’s not a lot in it if you ask me. 😳
The rabbit they used was a real one that they purchased from a butcher and it had to be boiled with its innards intact to achieve the shot. Apparently it stank out the house and according to the director “the stench was unbearable”. 🤢
Fatal Attraction initially had a very different ending.
With the intention of framing Dan and getting the ultimate revenge, Alex slashes her own throat with the knife he took off her and left on the counter in an earlier scene. With his prints on the knife he’s then arrested for murder but later acquitted when his wife finds a cassette tape that Alex sent to him in which she threatens to kill herself.
This ending didn’t go down well in test screenings of the film so it was changed to the one we’re all familiar with.
Glenn Close was totally against the change as she thought it was too cliché and made her character a “psychopath” rather than the “deeply disturbed human being” she was. She fought for the original ending but after two weeks of getting nowhere, she accepted the change.
Fatal Attraction received six Oscar nominations and became the highest grossing film of 1987 (worldwide).
“Well, what am I supposed to do? You won't answer my calls, you change your number. I mean, I'm not gonna be ignored, Dan!”
Yet another great movie villain suggestion! 👌
Who should I feature next week..? 🤔