‘Fatal Attraction': Lizzy Caplan Doesn’t See Alex Forrest as a Villain (Video)
Although Alex Forrest, Lizzy Caplan’s character in the Paramount+ series, commits even worse crimes than Glenn Close did in the 1987 movie, Caplan doesn’t see Alex as a villain.
TheWrap spoke to the actress and the series showrunner, Alexandra Cunningham about how they — and the series itself — views Alex more sympathetically, despite the “unforgivable things, villainous things,” she does after lawyer Dan Gallagher (Joshua Jackson) ends their brief affair. Video of the interview can be seen above.
As Glenn Close told the New York Times in 2017, “Now she’s considered one of the greatest villains ever. That to me is a mistake. I’ve never thought of her as a villain, just in distress.”
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TheWrap: Glenn Close said that she didn’t think of Alex as a villain. Would you agree with that?
Lizzy Caplan: I don’t think she’s fully a villain at all. No, I think that she’s somebody who’s really struggling. She does some pretty horrible things, both in the film and definitely in our series. Unforgivable things, villainous things. But I hope that viewers of our show might be able to find some degree of compassion for her as well.
Alexandra Cunningham: No. Alex is much like all of us. She’s written a narrative for herself that’s based on genetics and neurology and what she’s experienced and what she’s been told about herself. All of those things have affected who she thinks she is and why she does [those] things.
We’re not all struggling with our mental health. But we all are trying to tell the story that we think is the story of ourselves with everything we do. And she’s doing that within a framework of heightened storytelling.
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So I don’t think anyone’s a villain. Frankly, I don’t believe in evil. I think that’s actually a concept invented by the justice system, to make it possible to just make decisions and move on [if] that person’s evil. I believe that everything anyone does has motivation.
In the series, Alex is a victim’s advocate, which puts her in close proximity to Dan since they work together on a few cases. And it also means we get to see a more gentle side of her.
Caplan: Yes, I like that little touch quite a bit. Because I do believe that if somebody was advocating for Alex or seeing her as a victim at different points in her life, a lot of this could have been avoided. I like to see that she is herself acting out what she subconsciously wishes somebody would do for her.
“Fatal Attraction” is now streaming on Paramount+. New episodes premiere Sunday on the streamer.
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