“I think we are all incredibly flawed creatures, and some of us make bigger mistakes than others but we all will make mistakes and we also change, nobody stays in the same place they were even yesterday,” the actress, 71, told Us Weekly and other reporters at the AACTA Awards on Friday, January 4. “So if somebody’s life experience [has] put ‘em in a different place than they were back [then], I think that should be respected.”
Close, who noted that she did not see Hart’s interview with Ellen DeGeneres, added: “At least, he should be given a second chance if he’s expressed what he has expressed.” The Fatal Attraction actress also endorsed Jeff Goldblum as an alternate host.
The Night School star, 39, stepped down in December from the top job at the 2019 ceremony after his homophobic tweets resurfaced. However, DeGeneres encouraged him to take back the mantle during his Friday appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“[The trolls] can’t destroy you, because you have too much talent. No one can do that. And for them to stop your dream, from what you wanted to do, from what you have a right to do and from what you should be doing, it’s why they haven’t found another host,” she insisted during the sit-down. “As I said to you earlier, I think it’s perfect that this happened, because there needs to be a conversation about homophobia. Whatever [was] brought up and whoever was trying to hurt you, it brought up you reminding people that you’re a bigger person, that you’ve already apologized. You’re apologizing again.”
The Finding Dory star, 60, also revealed that she called the Academy to urge the organization to rehire Hart.
The Upside actor felt less optimistic in an interview that took place hours before he taped his conversation with DeGeneres. “Would I ever do it? No, it’s done. It’s done,” he told Variety. “The moment came and it was a blessing and I was excited at the opportunity and I still am. In my mind I got the job, it was a dream job, and things came up that simply prohibited it from happening. But I don’t believe in going backwards.”
The Academy Awards will air on ABC Sunday, February 24.
With reporting by Antonia Blyth
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