TORONTO, September 15, 2011 ( – Discussing her gender-bending role in the new movie Albert Nobbs, American actress Glenn Close has said that gender “doesn’t matter” and all those too outdated to reject natural gender and gender roles will just have to “die off.”

Albert Nobbs, screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, features Close as a cross-dressing woman working as a butler in 19th-century Ireland. The idea behind the film, a pet project of Close’s for fifteen years, is to help scuttle conventional ideas of gender – or any idea of gender.

“Gender is irrelevant. It basically should be irrelevant,” Close told the National Post.

The actress says she hopes her performance as a woman passing as a convincing-looking man “engenders a lot of conversation, because I believe there are a lot of people who put on faces.”

“I am not gay … but I feel very comfortable in the company of everybody, not just gay people. But I honestly believe that gay rights of [sic] the rights of people with mental illness are the last big issue,” she said. 

Close married longtime boyfriend David Shaw in February 2006 after two previous marriages.

Partially paraphrasing Close, the Post concludes that “Some people will change their point of view, and those who are either too old, or too blinkered, to accept the beauty of difference will just have to ‘die off.’”