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The Surprising Cameo In The Woman In The House Across The Street From The Girl In The Window Explained

The limited series "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window" dropped on Netflix on January 28, baffling many viewers who didn't expect the spoof of "middle-class white woman caught in a harrowing psychological thriller" subgenre to be presented so seriously. Actors Kristen Bell, Tom Riley, Shelley Hennig, and Michael Ealy recite ridiculous dialogue as if it's ordinary, and characters act out absurd scenarios without cracking smiles. Bell stars as Anna, a painter suffering from depression, anxiety, and delusions after losing her young daughter in a tragedy. When a sexy new neighbor (Riley) moves in with his young daughter, Emma (Samsara Leela Yett), Anna is drawn to them, but she begins to doubt her sanity after she thinks she witnesses a murder in their home.

With only eight episodes, each running somewhere between 30 and 40 minutes, in the satirical first season, the story that unravels in "The Woman in the House Across the Street" leads to a finale full of shocking twists, including an unexpected cameo that might indicate another season is on the way.

An OG thriller actress makes an appearance

Near the end of Episode 8, Anna (Kristen Bell) boards a plane to New York City, where she plans to have a girl's weekend with best friend Sloane (Mary Holland). While reading a book titled "The Girl on a Cruise," she's interrupted by a passenger who tells Anna she's in the wrong seat. The two women then have a slightly ominous exchange before Anna later discovers the mystery woman's body in the airplane bathroom (or did she?). The mystery woman is played by none other than Glenn Close, famous for her role in 1987's "Fatal Attraction." 

In a January interview with "Entertainment Weekly," the creators of "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window" said it was their fantasy to have Close appear in the role. Showrunners Rachel Ramras, Larry Dorf, and Hugh Davidson explained they considered Close to be the "OG" actress for thrillers. "Never in a million years would we think we'd be able to get her, so I don't know what Netflix had to do, but before I knew it, I was on the phone with her and telling her an elevator pitch of what this was," Ramras said. "I was just talking and talking, and she was listening. And I kept thinking, "Oh, God, what is she thinking?"

Close told EW in a separate interview that she was surprised to be approached for the bit part, but she had availability and was eager to work with Bell, an actress she admires. "So I said, why not? Sounds like fun," she shared. Per the report, Close only had one request: that she be allowed to wear gloves and look fabulous.

The cameo is meant to set up a possible Season 2

The creators of "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window" revealed to Entertainment Weekly the final scenes of the season were a nod to the numerous thriller novels they read as research for the show (that might also explain Anna's choice of airplane reading). Showrunner Hugh Davidson explained, "I think there were two of them that at the end had an excerpt from the author's forthcoming book. We thought that's such a funny thing that goes on in books, but it doesn't go on really in shows. So we always knew with the last episode, after we fulfill the obligations of who the killer is, and all that stuff, we thought we wanted to do something like that."

The creators spent a few days crafting the ending, which was intended to be a joke, Davidson added. However, they also wanted to set up a potential Season 2 in case the opportunity arose. Showrunner Rachel Ramras clarified that "The Woman in the House Across the Street" Season 2 isn't certain, telling EW, "We'll see if people like this first one."