Some in Hollywood are mistaking Glenn Close for her 102 Dalmatians character Cruella De Vil. The five-time Oscar nominee — whose sequel to Disney's live action smash 101 Dalmatians opens tomorrow — admits she's shocked that there are actors scared to work with her.

"I don't think of myself as an intimidating person at all, but I guess I can be in other people's minds," Close tells TV Guide Online. "I [recently filmed the TV movie] South Pacific, and [co-star] Harry Connick Jr. told me that he couldn't sleep the night before we had our first scene. It was so sweet, [but] it makes me feel a little weird.

"I have had a lot of experience," the 53-year-old film and theater vet recognizes. "I've learned tremendously. I've learned my craft. You don't know how much you've learned until you're in there and something comes up and you have an opinion and you're informed and you can articulate it. I'm proud of surviving in this profession. If there is any way I can help people who are starting out, I'd be very happy to."

Considering that Close is best known for her roles as a psycho stalker (Fatal Attraction) and a dog-hating diva (101 Dalmatians), it's any wonder she puts the fear of God in her fellow thesps. And although 102 Dalmatians likely won't do much to erase that perception, the actress explains she couldn't resist going another round with those rascally mutts. "I'm a sucker for a challenge," she says of the $80 million follow-up. "Cruella is an iconic character. I'm incredibly lucky to be able to play her.

"There's no comparable character for a woman in film," she adds. "To carry on the tradition of the really great family movie means a lot to me because that's what I grew up on."

And then there's the wardrobe! Close worked with costume designer Anthony Powell (who also designed her Sunset Blvd. duds) to create Cruella's outrageous and over-the-top look. "Every concoction was more creative and outrageous than the next," marvels the actress. "The hair is from the cartoon. We went through many configurations in 101 to try and figure out what the hair is. She has crazy, wild hair. It's her state of mind — she loves chaos."