‘Fatal Attraction’ behind the scenes secrets from the 1980s thriller

Fatal Attraction” confirmed everybody what can occur whenever you step out of line.

Within the iconic 1987 film, Dan Gallagher and Alex Forrest, performed by Michael Douglas and Glenn Shut, interact in what he thought was an informal fling, solely to appreciate he’d made the largest mistake of his life. 

One factor led to a different, and because the title of the film suggests, the attraction between the 2 characters ended up being deadly. 

Following the discharge of the brand new Paramount+ collection “Deadly Attraction” on Sunday, listed here are among the juiciest behind-the-scenes secrets and techniques from the making of the ’80s film. 

Michael Douglas, Glenn Close and Anne Archer on set of "Fatal Attraction."

“Deadly Attraction” adopted the story of a person has an affair that seems to be lethal. (Sundown Boulevard/Corbis through Getty Pictures)



Glenn Close and Michael Douglas

The film is predicated on a brief movie written by James Dearden, the screenwriter for “Deadly Attraction.” (Sundown Boulevard/Corbis through Getty Pictures)

Whereas the film is not based mostly on a real story, there are parts of the story that have been pulled from conditions screenwriter James Dearden skilled in his life or noticed his associates expertise. 

“I am not going to say [the story] was autobiographical,” Dearden instructed Stephen Galloway, writer of “Main Girl: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker.” 

“However everybody has been in conditions the place they have been harassed. I had an expertise the place anyone saved calling me, and I bought very uncomfortable. And I had a girlfriend who lower her wrists, very theatrically and to not kill herself. Then an excellent good friend of mine was pursued by this lovely however loopy girl, and it was destroying his marriage.”

A number of years prior to creating “Deadly Attraction,” Dearden wrote a brief movie known as “Diversion,” with a plot similar to what would go on to turn into the well-known film. One of many producers, Stanley R. Jaffe, noticed “Diversion,” and instantly approached Dearden about making it right into a function size movie.

After getting Paramount Footage’ chairperson and CEO Sherry Lansing on board, all that was left was discovering a director prepared to tackle the movie. A number of administrators signed on solely to again out later, placing the way forward for the film in query, till director Adrian Lyne signed on to the mission.

Lizzy Caplan, Joshua Jackson, Amanda Peet talking about "Fatal Attraction" TV show

The brand new “Deadly Attraction” stars Lizzy Caplan as Alex Forrest, Joshua Jackson as Dan Gallagher and Amanda Peet as Beth Gallagher. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Pictures)

In February 2021, Paramount introduced a TV present reboot of the film, starring Lizzy Caplan as Alex Forrest, Joshua Jackson as Dan Gallagher and Amanda Peet as Beth Gallagher.

The brand new miniseries takes place in current day and follows Jackson’s model of Gallagher as soon as he is launched from jail after serving 15 years for the homicide of Alex Forrest. He tries to revive his relationship along with his household whereas additionally proving his innocence. 


Glenn Close and Michael Douglas on set of "Fatal Attraction"

No one thought Michael Douglas and Glenn Shut have been the fitting decisions for the leads within the film, however they proved everybody improper. (Sundown Boulevard/Corbis through Getty Pictures)

Douglas and Shut are iconic of their roles as lovers turned enemies, however they weren’t the primary decisions for the movie.

On the time, Douglas was not the A-list celeb he’s as we speak, and was principally identified for his roles in “Romancing the Stone” and “The Streets of San Francisco.” His Academy Award-winning efficiency within the movie “Wall Road” had not but been seen by audiences, so executives have been nervous he would not be capable of open a film on his personal.

He someway managed to attraction producers Jaffe and Lansing into giving him the position, remaining loyal to the mission during times of uncertainty when administrators saved altering.

The subsequent step was casting the feminine lead. Many well-known actresses both got here in to learn for the position, or flat out turned it down – together with Kirstie Alley, Melanie Griffith, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon, Debra Winger, Jessica Lange, Judy Davis and Barbara Hershey.


When Shut expressed curiosity in auditioning for the position, the filmmakers have been on the fence about whether or not she was the fitting selection. Whereas she was already a 3 time Academy Award nominee, Douglas defined to the New York Occasions in 2017, she was “a beautiful actress, however she all the time projected a Puritan imaginative and prescient,” and so they “have been doing an enormous favor for Glenn’s agent by letting her learn with [him].”

Glenn Close and John Starke at an Oscar's after party in 1988

Though executives have been not sure Shut might pull off the position, she was nominated for her fourth Academy Award for her half within the movie. (Ron Galella/Ron Galella Assortment through Getty Pictures)

Whereas none of them anticipated her to nail it, Shut proved herself within the audition.

“I simply wished a personality that might demand extra of me,” she instructed the New York Occasions in 2017. “I might by no means performed a personality who was imagined to be horny. I knew I might do it. They have been so certain I used to be improper. They did not even need me to learn as a result of they have been embarrassed.”

In the long run, Shut went on to earn her fourth Academy Award nomination for her half within the film, in addition to a Golden Globe Award nomination.

Character motivations

Glenn Close and Michael Douglas fight scene

To get into the headspace of her character, Shut gave herself a backstory exterior what was within the script. (Sundown Boulevard/Corbis through Getty Pictures)

It is no secret Shut’s character within the movie will not be in her proper state of mind, nonetheless there wasn’t a lot element within the script about what led the character to react to the affair in the best way that she did, main Near kind her personal backstory.

“The analysis I did with psychiatrists, though they did not carry up a specific psychological sickness, we determined that she had been [a victim of incest] at a really, very early age by her father, lengthy sufficient to essentially injury her,” Shut instructed Folks TV in 2018. “That was the girl I used to be enjoying.”

One of the well-known scenes is when she determined to boil the Gallagher household’s pet rabbit after following Douglas’ character house in the future. It was a tough scene, particularly for the reason that rabbit used on set was an actual bunny bought from the butcher.

“The stench was insufferable,” Lyne instructed the New York Occasions in 2017. “It permeated the entire home.”

In one other key scene, Douglas’ character’s daughter was meant to start out crying whereas Douglas and Anne Archer have been combating in a scene. The 6-year-old actress enjoying his daughter, Ellen Hamilton Latzen, could not get the waterworks out, and ended up getting some assist from Douglas.

“I used to be instructed to not communicate,” Latzen instructed the New York Occasions in 2017. “I used to be standing there with Uni, my very own stuffed animal. Michael got here as much as me and stated: ‘Take a look at that silly unicorn. I’ll throw it within the rubbish.’ As you watch the scene, you may see I am making an attempt actually exhausting to struggle again tears. Lastly, he was simply yelling at me. I could not maintain it in anymore. Adrian stated, ‘Lower!’ Instantly, Michael ran to me and held me, and stated, ‘I am so sorry.’ It was fairly intense.”

Alternate endings

Glenn Close, Michael Douglas and Anne Archer filming a scene in Fatal Attraction 1987

The unique ending for “Deadly Attraction” was completely different than what ended up on display, with executives altering it as a result of viewers response. (Sundown Boulevard/Corbis through Getty Pictures)

The film was supposed to finish in a very completely different method than what audiences noticed in theaters. 

Within the unique ending of the film, the character of Alex commits suicide by slitting her throat, within the hopes that it will seem like Dan killed her. Lyne determined to vary the ending as a result of he felt it “fell flat and, watching it with an viewers, it was clear it did not work.”

The choice to have Beth kill Alex got here out of viewers’s constructive response each time Beth threatened to kill Alex all through the film, making it clear that’s what they wished. Nevertheless, it wasn’t what Close wanted


“I feel as a result of Anne Archer was lovely and so great and Michael was this star that everyone cherished, it was so upsetting to all people,” Shut instructed Folks TV. “That though I killed myself, it wasn’t punishment sufficient. The viewers wished to consider that that household would possibly be capable of survive. So that they bought their catharsis by shedding my blood.”

Michael Douglas and Glenn Close ending of Fatal Attraction

Shut, the director and Anne Archer have been all in opposition to throwing out the film’s unique ending. (Sundown Boulevard/Corbis through Getty Pictures)

Shut disliked the brand new ending a lot, she nearly refused to return and re-shoot it, as did Archer and the director.

“I fought it for 2 weeks,” she instructed the New York Occasions. “It was going to make a personality I cherished right into a murdering psychopath. I used to be in a gathering with Michael, Stanley and Adrian. I used to be livid! I stated to Michael, ‘How would you are feeling if it have been your character?’ He stated, ‘Babe, I am a whore.'”

Finally, all of them agreed to movie the brand new ending, as soon as given the promise that in the event that they preferred the unique ending higher, they’d be capable of go together with that model, and the remainder is historical past.

Shock being pregnant

Glenn Close at the People's Choice Awards in 1988

Shut came upon she was pregnant along with her daughter when she returned to movie the brand new ending of “Deadly Attraction.” (Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Assortment through Getty Pictures)

Whereas filming the brand new ending, Shut hit her head on the underside of the tub.


She landed within the hospital with a concussion, and acquired some stunning info. Docs instructed her she was pregnant, a humorous twist on one of many free ends within the movie during which Shut’s character tells Douglas’ character she is pregnant along with his child. The being pregnant within the film isn’t confirmed, and followers are left to find out whether or not she was mendacity.

Shut’s daughter, Annie Starke, has gone on to turn into an actress herself, enjoying a youthful model of her mother in “The Wife,” in addition to showing in “We Do not Belong Right here,” “Father Figures” and “Ratched,” alongside Sarah Paulson.


Michael Douglas and Glenn Close in bathroom scene

Shut saved the large knife she attacked Douglas with in “Deadly Attraction.” (Paramount/Getty Pictures)

Shut wished to ensure she by no means forgot her expertise making the enduring film, and took house a significant prop – the knife she used within the remaining assault.


“It is hanging up behind me as I communicate, on the wall of my kitchen,” she instructed the New York Occasions in 2017. “It is lovely, made from wooden and paper. It is a murals! And it is good for our company to see it. It lets them know they cannot keep perpetually.”

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