In Glenn Close‘s new movie, The Wife, the actress playing a younger version of Close is her real-life daughter Annie Starke. It’s the 30-year-old’s first major movie role, and the two collaborated closely on developing the part.
“I actually said, ‘You’re the one who has to lay down the character. You play the young Joan. So whatever you do in the flashbacks has everything to do with how I am later,’ ” Close, 71, tells PEOPLE’s Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle in the latest episode of The Jess Cagle Interview (streaming now on PeopleTV).
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Starke, whose father is Close’s ex-boyfriend, producer John H. Starke, calls working on one of her first major films a “fantastic experience.”
“We really worked hard on this character and put a lot of our souls into,” Starke tells PEOPLE. “I had to go super deep for this one.”
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Close raised Starke in suburban Bedford, N.Y. and didn’t push her only child into show business.
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“I had a profoundly normal childhood,” Starke explains. “I’m a little boring. I was a barefoot kid, outdoorsy, never had siblings, but I had cats and dogs, and really surrounded by nature. I credit my parents for keeping me grounded and keeping it normal. I still have my oldest friends since high school. It was a wonderful place to grow up.”
Starke did watch some of her mom’s movies, though. “101 Dalmatians was the first movie of my mom’s [films] I watched,” she recalls. “She’s made so many kids cry over the years with that laugh. I forbade her doing it!”
The Wife opens in theaters on Aug. 17.