Actress Glenn Close headed to Michigan Tuesday to boost Sen. Debbie Stabenow — and mental health.
“I’m going to go do a fundraiser for Debbie Stabenow because if we lose her in Congress – Debbie Stabenow has been one of the great champions for mental health in the Senate,” Close told The Post, previewing her plans during a trip to D.C. last month.
Close has been a longtime advocate of de-stigmatizing mental illness and first met Stabenow when the senator was working on the Excellence in Mental Health Act, a bill she got passed in 2014.
The actress recalled traveling to Washington to “just be a presence,” bringing along her sister and nephew – two family members who have mental illnesses – and watching Stabenow do her work.
“And we hung out in then-Vice President Joe Biden’s office and [Stabenow] would just shuttle people back and forth,” Close told The Post. “And I learned then how important it is to get people who are really, you know, living with these situations that we’re funding to show up.”
In Michigan on Tuesday the topic again was mental health, as Close joined Stabenow for a Detroit panel discussion.
While talking about her sister and her nephew’s struggle, Close also discussed her own diagnosis of depression.
“Work was easy. It was how to get through the day that was harder, so I went to a testing and they came out and said, ‘You’re depressed,’” Close recalled. “And then I realized that I had gotten so used to kind of functioning under this kind of cloud, you know?”
She described having to motivate herself to do the little things: “The top of your toothpaste tube falls on the ground and you have to say, ‘Pick it up, screw it on, it’s like eeehhh.’”
“I don’t have serious depression, I have whatever is that low-grade, and I take some anti-depressant for it and I think it’s actually helped a lot,” the actress said. “But that was a surprise.”
In D.C., Close had said she was concerned about Stabenow getting voted out. Michigan was one of the formerly blue states that went for President Trump in 2016.
Last Tuesday, Michigan Republicans chose the Trump-endorsed candidate John James to run against Stabenow in the November election.
Adding another pop culture element to the race, James has also been backed by musician Kid Rock, who briefly flirted with running against Stabenow himself.
Beyond Stabenow, Close had inserted herself into the midterms once before. She went door knocking on behalf of the candidate who’s running against Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), who received national attention for body slamming a reporter.
“He punched out the guy in Montana,” Close recalled, in a re-telling that was not quite right.
The Democratic nominee for the seat, Kathleen Williams, is the widow of Close’s ex-brother-in-law.
“She is a fantastic candidate … she has been three terms in the statehouse and she’s a gun owner … she’s worked on the ground with ranchers and she believes in Made in Montana,” Close said. “She is a fantastic female candidate.”
Close noted how it was Montana, electing Rep. Jeannette Rankin in 1916, that was the first state to send a woman to Congress. It hasn’t elected a woman to the Senate since.
“So it’s a great story and she’s a great candidate and Jessie and I went door to door for her in Bozeman,” Close said of Williams, name-dropping her sister. “It was fabulous!”
Source: Read Full Article