The Moore The Better
Article taken from Harper’s Bazaar.
Julianne Moore has just arrived back at her hotel in L.A. after an Oscar nominees’ luncheon. She is resplendent in a poppy-colored Prabal Gurung dress—that perfect shade that makes redheads look as hot as a match. “My style has gotten better, hopefully,” she says, laughing. “It’s like everything—practice makes perfect. There was one year when my kids were little, and every time I was photographed, I was wearing a pair of cargo shorts, a T-shirt, and a bandanna. It was so bad, my publicist was like, ‘Get it together!'”
Moore got it together and then some. She has been dressing for the occasion for weeks, on a stilettoed, couture-clad sprint toward what became her first Oscar win for her performance as an Alzheimer’s sufferer in Still Alice.
For an indie movie she shot in New York in one month last year (when given time off from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2), the red carpet has been rather longer. Moore will twirl as much as you like, but she ain’t doing no mani-cam. “I’m 54 years old,” she explains. “I can’t make my fingers walk; it’s humiliating! And a guy asked me to lift up my skirt to show them my shoes, and I said, ‘I don’t need to do that. Let’s keep some dignity.’ “
What Moore possesses is more than that—a wonderful combination of innate grace and dorkiness. Her performance as a woman slipping away in Still Alice is astonishing. How does she not only disappear before our eyes but also disappear in hers? Her answer is a swift little honk: “I don’t know!”
Moore’s diversity is remarkable. “Some people say, ‘You play happy people,’ and I’m like, ‘No.’ Or ‘You play people who have affairs,’ and I’m like, ‘No.’ Or ‘You play lesbians,’ and I’m like, ‘No!’ I’ve made 50-something movies, so there’s a lot of different people. I like really human stories.”
On the notion of grace, she is pragmatic. “The older you get, you have a clearer understanding about what you care about, what you value, and you begin to think laterally and not vertically. Who are these people around me; let me try to experience this. That’s what makes everything more valuable and more interesting.”
Moore has a solid base of family: her partner (now husband) of 19 years, director Bart Freundlich, and their son, Cal, 17, and daughter Liv, 12. “It helps that the children are older,” she says. “When I did this before—all four of the other nominations—my kids were babies. It’s easier doing it without an infant, put it that way.” She continues, “Poor Rosamund Pike. She just had a baby. It’s really tough. And she looks fucking awesome. But I’ve been there! With my daughter, I’d been nursing her almost a year, and one of my boobs conked out, so I was completely uneven.” Cutlets to the rescue? “Oh, yeah! It’s not glamorous at all, by the way.”
Awards season also means fitting into your dress. “We’d all be lying if we said we aren’t watching what we eat,” Moore says. “Of course we are! I think we’re also really stressed. I’m not a stress eater. I get nervous and I don’t eat. But, you know, I had a dress on the other day, and I said to my manager, ‘When you see my back fat sticking out, tuck it back in!’ ” Chuckle. “Be a friend.”
Then there’s real life. When not shooting or red-carpeting, Moore stays close to home in downtown New York. “I have great kids. I have a great husband—and I know it sounds queer! My son and daughter both play basketball, and my husband and I do our best to go to every game. We try to spend time as a family. We just try to be super involved in each other’s lives.” The four have been hitting the red carpet as a unit more often lately. Moore waves her hands around her fancy dress. “The fact that they get involved in all of this—it’s a good thing!”
Now, there’s glamorous, and then there’s fabulous. Ask who she admires, younger and older, and Moore replies, “Ellen Page [who stars as Moore’s girlfriend in the upcoming Freeheld]. Kristen Stewart, I just love her. Emma Stone is fabulous. I love Catherine Deneuve. I love Tilda Swinton.”
“But,” she adds, “women are fabulous. I like our camaraderie, our similarities, how we collaborate. When my daughter was born, I looked at her in the bassinet and I said, ‘You’re one of us.’ ” She mists up. “I’m going to cry if I think about it too much. I had this little girl and was like, ‘Yup. You’re one of us. ‘”