Julianne Moore Has It All In New Movie, Life
Article taken from Forbes.
Oscar and Emmy winner Julianne Moore stars in and serves as a producer on the family drama After the Wedding, an adaptation of the Susanne Bier-written Danish film Efter Brylluppet.
The American adaptation, distributed through Sony Pictures Classics, is written and directed by Moore’s real-life husband Bart Freundlich, whom she met while they were filming 1997’s The Myth of Fingerprints. Like that earlier film, which delved into the depths of family relationships, After the Wedding probes emotional and genetic ties that bind people together long after they feel they have disconnected.
Moore (2014’s Still Alice, TV’s Game Change, in which she played Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin) plays Theresa, a philanthropist and mother who runs a successful multimillion dollar media company in New York that she has built from scratch.
She faces two major milestones in her life. It’s the eve of her daughter’s wedding and the sale of her company, and yet Theresa juggles work and personal tasks with remarkable aplomb. She also has invited a woman who operates a financially struggling Kolkata orphanage to New York to consider making a sizable donation for her facility. Isabel (four-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams) reluctantly leaves the orphanage, expecting only to be away for a few days. Instead, Moore’s Theresa coaxes her to stay longer and attend her daughter’s wedding. Isabel arrives late to the wedding on the family’s expansive estate, and discovers that her connection to Isabel and her family is more direct than she expected. A painful secret from the past emerges and has to be resolved. While Theresa’s life seems to be perfect—three beautiful children, a successful career, a loving husband—appearances can be deceiving, and Isabel eventually realizes that Theresa has called upon her for an entirely different mission.
An outspoken supporter of women’s and gay rights, Moore reveals her fondness for the original source material and about the adaptation that delves into the inner-workings of a woman who has achieved both personal and professional success. Much like her onscreen character, Moore has worked tirelessly for the past three decades on building a successful career. She and Freundlich have two children, and have enjoyed a long happy marriage—no easy feat in Hollywood. She spoke about tackling the sensitive drama, flipping the gender of the main characters and working again with her husband.
Why did you choose to play Theresa instead of Isabel, when you could have probably done either role?
Julianne Moore: Bart (Freundlich) had been approached to do an American adaptation of Susanne Bier’s beautiful Danish film. We were just in our house watching it and I was really enjoying it. Right away, I was so struck by what Rolf Lassgård was doing. I was like, “I love that guy.” He had such a big presence, and he was also so opaque. I didn’t know what was happening with him. And then with the final reveal, I was like “Whoa.” I just turned to Bart at the end. and I said, “Now that’s a part I’d like to play.” Later on, when they were talking about me and mentioned the gender flip, I got very excited. And I was like, “Well, I’m in.”
I was also really compelled by the idea of somebody, especially with the gender flip, that she had built this huge life for herself, this big, big career, this company that she cared about. It was very personal. She cared about her employees, she cared about who she was going to sell it to. At the same time, she had this really wonderful family that she was very invested in. Sometimes when you see those boss ladies from whatever movie, they’re paper thin. They’re usually evil and they exist to be a foil to somebody else. But I know a lot of women who’ve built big lives, who have big careers and big families and care about it all equally. I wanted to see that represented and I wanted to play that. So, I was very excited. Also, sadly, I think we both knew a couple of people who had done exactly what Theresa had done.
What was it like playing a mother to a young adult?
Moore: I’m a mom. I have a 21-year-old son.
Your character in the movie has an age gap between her and her younger husband. Your personal marriage has a similar age gap. What is the beauty and challenge of this in your personal life?
Moore: I don’t honestly think it makes a lot of difference. I talk about it with my kids too. When you are 11 versus somebody being 20, it makes a big difference, obviously. Those are really different life stages. But now that Bart is 49 and I’m 58, it’s not shallow. That being said, if our ages were reversed, no one would comment on it. Of course, when I was growing up, girls would never would go out with a guy who was a couple years younger than they were, but nowadays no one cares. There’s been a culture shift. It becomes more human and I think that’s something.
How did this experience of working on this with your husband compare with your work on The Myth of Fingerprints?
Moore: Probably not at all. We communicate very clearly. I’m always very clear about what I want to accomplish in a scene and I felt comfortable communicating that with him. One of the things that he did that so impressed me in The Myth of Fingerprints, as a first-time film director, was how easily he adapted himself to all the different styles of the actors he was working with. There’s always his real generosity as a filmmaker and gives everybody the space they need to do the work that they’re doing. That’s remained consistent throughout his career.
Would you like to someday direct Bart as an actor in something?
Moore: I always tell him he should act. I’m like, “You should just do it.” Sometimes I’ve made him do it, I’m like, “Just try it.”
How do you juggle your life and career?
Moore: Initially, one of the things that really attracted me to it is that I’ve managed to do what I’d hoped to do which is to have a career that I love, that I care about, that I’m very invested in. I also have a family that I love and that I care about, and that is the whole center of my life. I wanted to represent that. I really hated that whole period where they kept saying about women, “You can’t have it all.” I’m like, “What? Yes, you can! Yes, you can!” It’s not easy. There’s a person in the world who has a job and a family thinks that it’s like, “Well, this is easy.” There are always things that go on either side. But it’s valuable; it’s worth it. It’s the most valuable thing in the world to have that. It’s wonderful for you as a human being. It’s wonderful for your family. Everybody needs to have love and work. That’s what Freud said. It doesn’t have to be paid work. But you have to have something you care about, that’s personal to you and then to have someone to love. If it’s a human being and family, animals, whatever.
What are you doing next?
Moore: I’m doing a limited series for Apple called Lisey’s Story based on Stephen King’s book of the same name that Pablo Larrain is directing. We start shooting that in New York in a couple of months, and it’s super exciting. It’s the story of a marriage, and there’s a very strong kind of horror slash fantasy element to it as well.
You’ve done a great deal of philanthropy throughout your life. What are your focused on now, charity-wise?
Moore: I’m the founder of this organization called The Creative Coalition for Everytown for Gun Safety. I’ve been doing it for about four years. Everytown has aligned with Moms Demand Action. We work on changing culture and legislation around gun violence.