February 13, 2012 12:00 PM

WHY THE BUZZ

Revisiting a role she played onstage 30 years ago, Close, 64, utterly transforms as a 19th-century Irishwoman who has spent her life passing as a man. “She’s a woman who has a mask on,” Close says. “She’s erased herself.”

HOW SHE NAILED THE ROLE

She studied Charlie Chaplin. “I looked at the way he walked, the size of his shoes, the length of his pants,” she says. “There was an unconsciously comic side to Albert.”

HER HUSBAND’S TAKE

“To see his wife suddenly look so much like a man was freaky!” she says of her leading man, biotech executive David Shaw.

AS A CHILD, SHE WANTED TO BE …

“Hayley Mills. I thought if I ran away and knocked on Walt Disney’s door that he’d put me in his movies.”

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