Julianne Moore on her ‘very lucky year’
Photo credit: ©Mark Abrahams/MORE
By Susan Hornik
Few actresses have as much grace and poise as Julianne Moore. Indeed, Moore is the full package—a brilliant, beautiful actress, who has mesmerized audiences with a multitude of highly textured, multi-layered television and film roles.Who will ever forget her memorable Oscar acceptance speech for her nuanced role in “Still Alice”?!
“I read an article that said that winning an Oscar could lead to living five years longer. If that’s true, I’d really like to thank the Academy because my husband is younger than me,” Moore quipped.
The veteran actress was Oscar nominated four times and is one of 11 actors nominated for two Oscars in the same year; in 2003, for “Far From Heaven” and “The Hours.”
In “Still Alice,” which is based on Lisa Genova’s 2007 novel by the same name, Moore plays Alice Howland, a Columbia University linguistics professor diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Moore was happy the film shed light on a horribly debilitating illness. “I’m thrilled that we were able to hopefully shine a light on Alzheimer’s disease. So many people with this disease feel isolated and marginalized and one of the wonderful things about movies is it makes us feel seen and not alone. And people with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen, so that we can find a cure.”
Backstage, in the pressroom, a journalist told her he felt she was the most patient actress in Hollywood, since this was Moore’s first Academy Award. Her reply: “I believe in hard work, actually, you know…. Mostly I like stories about real people and real relationships and real families, and that’s what I respond to. And this movie had all of those things in it. It was about a real issue and relationships and who we love and what we value. And so that’s important to me too. …being able to do work that I love that’s been so rewarding. And this is just amazing.”
And she continued expressing her profound love for her husband. “My husband has been amazing. He has supported me….he was the first person to see the movie. The first time I saw the cut, he came with me. And I told the story about how I heard him crying, and I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ When we walked out of there, he said, ‘You’re going to win an Oscar.’ And I was like, ‘come on.’ I swear to God, that’s what he said to me. And I just couldn’t believe he said that! That’s how much he supported me from the very, very beginning.”
According to a recent article in USA Today, Moore also helped design the Oscars’ backstage lounge area, The Architectural Digest Greenroom. She was brought on board to help design even before she started receiving awards, said Roman Alonso, a partner with the design firm Commune. Alonso said the actress “wanted something casual, cool with retro-glamor.”
Moore is unafraid to take chances; her unraveling, has-been diva role in “Maps to the Stars,” which got huge recognition with a Best Actress award at the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival last year, has Oscar buzz around her performance as well.
Of the two films, Moore said: “It’s been a very lucky year… “They’re both fantastic movies with great parts. You know, I was so lucky to get these great parts, and so close together. I didn’t really think much about it except that I was fortunate to get to kind of explore these really interesting characters. But I never imagined this. I certainly never imagined that I would win Cannes in the spring and then kind of follow it up with an Oscar for another film. So that’s just ‑‑ it’s beyond ‑‑ I keep saying this to my publicist, I’m like, Is this happening? Can this be happening? It’s pretty crazy!”
It’s Moore’s hope that Hollywood will continue to recognize dramatic films with emotionally intricate plotlines, versus the big budget, special effect movies. “I think there’s an audience for movies like this. I go to the movies because I like to see complicated, interesting stories about people and relationships. So I think whenever there’s success with films like this, then they kind of ‑‑ people think about them more…You know, at the end of the day, Hollywood is also a business, so I think it depends on how many people buy tickets.”
An accomplished author, Moore recently released her fourth book My Mother is a Foreigner, But Not to Me, based on her experiences growing up with a mother from Scotland. Her previous 9 work includes the children’s book series– Freckleface Strawberry, Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully, and Freckleface Strawberry Best Friends Forever. Inspired by the book’s main character, Freckleface Strawberry, in 2013 Moore released her Monster Maker app via iTunes which allows users to make their own monster to send to family and friends. Julianne most recently unveiled her second app Dreamtime Playtime, an app that encourages math skills at a very early age. The original book was also adapted into a successful off-Broadway musical.
With age has come wisdom; in a recent interview with More magazine, Moore said: “When you’re starting out in this business, you feel like you’re not in charge, that you’re still looking to the world for a kind of validation. But as you get older, you realize that direction comes from yourself, from your own desires and responsibilities. You choose your work. You choose your life. That’s where your power comes from—and that’s a great feeling.”
She added: “I used to think, life’s really challenging. Things are tough, so they should be tough in a book, in a movie. They should be sad. But the older I get, the more I like happy endings.”