Close plays Albert Nobbs, a woman who is living her life as a man to survive in late 19th century Ireland.
"People think it's all about gender but I don't think it is - it's about how people survive and about how human beings need to feel safe," Close told The Telegraph.
"I think Albert is truly one of the great characters and the story, for all its basic simplicity, has a strange emotional power."
Close has earned nominations at the Screens Actors Guild Awards and the Academy Awards for her lead performance in Albert Nobbs.
Hosted by Billy Crystal, the 84th Academy Award airs on Sunday, February 26 on ABC in the US and Sky Movies in the UK.
Watch the trailer for Albert Nobbs below: