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The Players
"What's so great about the truth? Try lying for a change — it's the currency of the world.” 

DAN (Jude Law) 

In Closer, Jude Law portrays Dan, an aspiring novelist who earns a living writing obituaries. Though Marber contends there is no protagonist in the story, Dan is the character through whom all the other characters are introduced. Law is no stranger to portraying vainglorious characters as he demonstrated in his Oscar® nominated performance in The Talented Mr. Ripley and, more recently, in Alfie. What drew him to Closer, which he had seen several times on stage and greatly admired, was Marber's "extraordinary dialogue and its concentrated focus on these four characters who are the heart of the play,” he says.

The intimacy of the situation was matched by the demands of working in close quarters with only three other actors. "There was never a day where you could kind of take it easy because virtually every scene has a definite emotional pitch,” says Law. "You were either opening up and offering yourself to someone or closing yourself up and trying to get rid of someone. It was quite intense and demanding.” 

Reflecting on his character, who is a catalyst for much of the action, Law says, "Dan is someone who's really living in a sort of cocoon, a frustrated novelist, until he meets Alice, who becomes his muse. Through her, he blossoms. The relationship is really responsible for him coming out of himself, encouraging him to be confident enough to find the woman he really thinks he loves, Anna. Unfortunately, that relationship seems to be doomed from the get-go, and though it gives him some of the happiest days of his life, he eventually throws himself away by pouring himself so wholeheartedly into it.”

While he sees Marber's play as basically a story about men and women falling in and out of love, it is also a battle between two male characters who become each other's nemeses. "There's a certain amount of ego going on between them. You could argue that for them it is almost more important that they're screwing over the other guy than getting the girl they're in love with.” 

"Don't stop loving me. I can see it draining out of you. It meant nothing. If you love me, you'll forgive me.”
ANNA (Julia Roberts)

For Julia Roberts, the character of Anna is a departure, says producer John Calley. "Julia is an astonishing actress who always does what she does wonderfully. But in this case, she challenged herself to explore issues about a strong, intelligent woman in a way that beautifully demonstrates how her considerable talent has evolved over the years.” 

"Anna is a compelling woman who understands what she wants, even as it changes and in playing her, Julia shows herself in a way we've never seen her before,” adds Brokaw. 

At the start of the story, Anna is a successful photographer and a recent divorcee. After meeting and flirting with Dan, she marries Larry (Clive Owen), all the while carrying on a secret affair with Dan. Rather than back away from Anna's more questionable behavior, Roberts was interested in exploring both her character's strengths and her flaws. "I had a great amount of trouble with letting her be this incredibly flawed woman. I think she does some really awful things that even at my worst moments, I look like an amateur compared to this woman. She's very devious, but I don't think it's really calculated.” 

Overall, Roberts says she admires Closer because, "I think it's about the plight of these people trying to be closer to each other, to be closer to something really valued in life, to be closer to a truth that maybe none of them will ever be. It's really more about the intimacy of being compassionate human beings. That's kind of what they're secretly or unconsciously trying to attain.” 

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