A Fatal Attraction reshoot initially caught star Anne Archer by surprise, leading her to tears because she thought the original version of the film was so good.
Archer felt that the original Fatal Attraction ending was so good that it could have landed her an Oscar for acting. Archer has had a change of heart since then.
What happened with the Fatal Attraction reshoot?
Fatal Attraction came out in 1987, and it was a physiological thriller that kept people guessing about how it would end. The story revolved around a man (Dan, played by Michael Douglas) who has a weekend affair with a woman (Alex, played by Glenn Close), and the woman wants much more than a weekend with him.
In the version of the movie that made it to theaters, Alex shows up at the home of Dan and Beth (Anne Archer) to kill Beth. Dan ends up drowning her, but she survives, leading to Beth shooting Alex in the climax. But that’s not how it was supposed to end.
Archer spoke to SAG Foundation Conversations about the original ending, going into detail about what was supposed to happen to end Fatal Attraction.
“I was in Paris before the movie came out and I got a call from the producer, Stanley Jaffe, saying they were going to reshoot the ending. In the original ending, the police take Michael (Douglas) away and he yells to me to call his lawyer.
I run up to the attic and see a cassette and it says, ‘Play me Alex’, which was of course Glenn Close’s character.
While I’m waiting for the attorney to answer the phone I play the cassette and she basically says, ‘If you don’t come through for me I’ll kill myself’, so I realize I have the evidence to save his life.”
Archer spoke about her reaction to the reshoot, stating that, “I kind of thought the original ending might be an Academy Award nomination for me because it was very rich emotionally, so I burst into tears.”
Fatal Attraction a star at Academy Awards
Archer didn’t need to worry too much about that Oscar buzz, because the character she portrayed did end up landing her an Oscar nomination. Fatal Attraction was nominated for six Academy Awards, including a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Archer and a Best Actress nomination for Close.
The film didn’t win any of the Oscars that it was nominated for — which also included a nod for Best Picture — but it has been a film to stand up to the test of time. It is still a taut thriller, all these years later.
Archer even noted in her interview how she didn’t need to worry, stating that, “Well, I was so wrong. It turned out to be so tense and strong for me, Glenn, and Michael, that without question, the movie became a hit because we redid the ending.”
It’s also worth noting that Archer wasn’t alone in her frustrations. A report by Vanity Fair states that Glenn Close was furious about the script changes, as she felt the original ending was better for her character.