Closer : 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.”

Brokaw adds: “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.”

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.”