Before Sarah Paulson, the most lesbians could hope for in terms of representation was to be represented at all. So while gays often saw themselves as quintessential sad sacks on the big screen in classic Hollywood, lesbians had it much worse: They were usually weird, twisted spinsters utterly obsessed with a straight woman. And nowhere was that trope more perfectly portrayed than in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca, in which Judith Anderson served face for the ages as the malevolent housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, determined to preserve the memory of her beautiful employer against the gauche tackiness of poor Joan Fontaine.
Since Anderson set the bar for vicious closeted lesbians, Mrs. Danvers has been portrayed by Diana Rigg in a 1997 miniseries and now Kristin Scott Thomas adopts the permascowl for Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of the Daphne Du Maurier Gothic classic. Will her Mrs. Danvers be even more obviously besotted by her dead boss? Will this be one of those situations where woke filmmakers try to “fix” a problematic portrayal and utterly defang it and eradicate everything that made the original breathtakingly memorable? Judging from the trailer, she seems even more deranged now than before, so that may be promising! See for yourself below: