Glenn Close is to star in a £10million movie version of the hit BBC television series Mother Love.
Hollywood bosses have picked her to play the osychotic Helena, the role made famous in Britain by Diana Rigg.
Miss Rigg won a Bafta best actress award for her performance and would have been a popular choice to take it to the big screen. But film chiefs insisted on a top international name to tempt American cinema audiences.
Last night Miss Rigg, who is on location in Hungary, said she is not disappointed and wished Miss Close well. "She is a wonderful actress," she added. "I can say in all honesty that I wouldn't have wanted to be in the film. I've done it, I've got that under my belt and I wouldn't want to revisit it.
"I think it is a wonderful sroty and I don't see why it shouldn't translate on to the big screen. Second time around they will have the chance to smooth out any rough edges that might have been left in the original." The movie story of a woman driven to murder through obsessive love for her son will have an all-American cast and will probably be set in Boston instead of London. Norma Heyman, who worked with Miss Close in Dangerous Liaisons, will produce it.
The Fatal Attraction star had tapes of the BBC series sent to her in New York, and as soon as she watched them asked to be cast in the film. "She really loved it and said straight away that she wanted the role," said Andrew Davies, who wrote the television screeenplay and is working on the movie version.
"I was very flattered that someone of Glenn's stature should be so interested. She is hardly someone you say No to.
"She will obviously bring so much more to the the film than someone who is not a big box office draw, even though Diana Rigg is a wonderful actress.
"It will be nice to see another actress's interpretation of the role. I think Glenn will play it differently. Diana was so over-the-top right from the start, whereas I always saw the role as a slow burner, finally boiling over. I think Glenn will be much better suited to that kind of performance."