In the interview, Julianne Moore talks about aging, her favorite roles and writing books
© Miller Mobley 2015

“I’m very thankful for what I have”


Ms. Moore, Your new movie Freeheld tells the true story of a lesbian couple fighting for their rights. Are you making a statement?

Yes, partly. But more important than the civil rights aspect, for me, is that this film is a love story. Having a partner, having a home and having a life together in a  community is something most people want most of all.

You’re a committed liberal, aren’t you?

Absolutely. I support equal rights and I’m for diversity in every respect. My parents raised me that way, and as a child and young person, I was exposed to many different ideas. The more you are exposed to something, the less foreign or “other” it becomes. I have an American father and a Scottish mother. We traveled a lot, and I got to know many different cultures, so from an early age, being different from one’s surroundings was not a big deal.

You were the one who was different when you lived in Germany as a teenager …

My father was in the army, and we lived in many different states in the U.S., as well as in Panama. We moved to Frankfurt when I was 16, and I was “new” and “other” more than ever before, even though I attended an American high school and was part of a very large American community.

In Freeheld, you play a policewoman who is terminally ill. Do difficult circumstances like this affect your personal life?

When I go home, I drop everything atthe door. Honestly, I have no truck with people who say “Oh, I’m an actor, oh my God, don’t talk to me.” After all, I’ve got a responsibility to my family. My work is important, but so is my husband’s, and my kids are also doing their own thing …

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Freeheld: Official Trailer

Do your roles leave their mark?

Films like Still Alice or Freeheld have not turned me into a completely different person, but new experiences always leave their mark. Roles like these make you very thankful for what you have, and I always feel this way after a shoot.

I’m not afraid of birthdays

You’ve been in the movie business for a long time, but you’re still considered a late starter when it comes to fame. When did you realize that you had finally broken through?

There was no moment or particular film after which everything changed, but what affected my career fundamentally was the independent-film boom in the 1990s. Suddenly, directors like Robert Altman, Paul Thomas Anderson and Todd Haynes starting giving me not just an opportunity to be creative, but to call attention to myself. And they had great roles for me – all of a sudden I was a movie actor!

In addition to playing parts in more serious films, you have also taken roles in comedies like Crazy, Stupid, Love, or The Hunger Games. What were you looking for – contrast?

What’s important to me is always the script. There has to be something about the story that grabs me, otherwise, why waste even one day on it? The exception is a director with whom I have a long, personal relationship. If Todd Haynes asked me to play a small role in his next film, I wouldn’t need to see a script.

You don’t look it, but you recently turned 55. Is that a problem for you?

I’m not afraid of birthdays, they’re an occasion to celebrate that you’re alive and in good health, something nobody can take for granted. Our lives are a gift without a guarantee, there’s no changing that.

You can see it all in Julianne Moore’s eyes: mockery, playfulness, wisdom and fighting spirit

You can see it all in Julianne Moore’s eyes: mockery, playfulness, wisdom and fighting spirit

© Contour by Getty Images
Julianne Moore with Ellen Page in Freeheld

Julianne Moore with Ellen Page in Freeheld


Aging in Hollywood isn’t easy, is it?

That’s a complex subject. So far, I can count myself lucky, because I am offered wonderful parts, even if there are roles I will obviously never be offered and films I will never make. But in my experience, there are still great opportunities for women around the age of 50. So, I will not join in the chorus and complain.

Where do you keep the Oscar you won for Still Alice?

Nowhere very glamorous at all, just in my office. But I am always surprised when people act as if winning an Oscar weren’t important and tell you you, oh, they just threw it away.

You have written a number of books. What inspires you?

Oh, they just come out of me; I’m no Philip Roth. I write books for children, and also books for early readers. I choose topics that loom large in childhood: losing a tooth, or what not to put into your backpack because it could get all over your homework.

Your husband, Bart Freundlich, is a director, and you are an actor. Are your children at all interested in acting?

Right now, I think they’re not. My daughter is crazy about fashion and wants to become a stylist, but she’s not even 14, so that could change. My son is 18, and he’s very interested in music.

Are they interested in your films?

Maybe The Hunger Games, which I hadn’t heard of until they read the books. My daughter is too young for most of my films, and my son doesn’t care. Who wants to watch their mother work?