On Thursday morning, Julianne Moore proved she was every bit the resilient New Yorker weathering Hurricane Sandy’s wrath. In order to speak with WWD about her recent appointment as a L’Oréal Paris spokeswoman, the award-winning actress ventured uptown from her powerless 11th Street apartment to use her brother-in-law’s car as a charging station for her cell phone. “I’m sitting in a car on the Upper East Side with my phone plugged into a cigarette lighter,” laughed Moore. “Meanwhile I’m getting e-mails from Paris and Los Angeles, where it’s business as usual.”
Moore said she and her family chose to stay put during and after the storm. “We are OK,” she said. “We didn’t want to go to a hotel because we have two dogs. One is a puppy.”
The new global brand ambassador and spokeswoman for an upcoming antiaging skin-care line called Cellular Renaissance, due in Europe in January, said partnering with L’Oréal offers the opportunity to share her appreciation for the brand’s universal appeal — across ages and ethnicities. “I’m an actual user of the brand and it’s hard not to be,” said Moore. “Every modern woman shops everywhere for beauty, but for me it’s mostly the airport or the drugstore. It’s nice to be promoting something that is accessible to everyone.”
Although L’Oréal executives would not reveal which U.S. products Moore would front, the brand said she’d make her L’Oréal Paris debut Stateside in the new year. They added she would also represent hair color in additional international markets in 2013.
Karen Fondu, president of L’Oréal Paris USA, called Moore “an inspiration to women all over the world. She is undeniably one of the most accomplished women of her time — an award-winning actress, children’s book author and supporter of several philanthropic efforts close to her heart. Julianne is the perfect addition to our family of spokespeople.”
Cyril Chapuy, global brand president of L’Oréal Paris, added, “This iconic actress—one of a kind in Hollywood— defies all stereotypes [and] symbolizes a free, sincere, and audacious femininity.”
For Moore, who has previously served as the face of Revlon and Kiehl’s, beauty is a natural fit.
“My mother was from Scotland and had very fair skin,” said Moore, revealing that her top beauty philosophy involves protecting her skin from sun damage. “She wouldn’t allow us to go in the sun,” she said, adding that layering face oil and SPF is a daily mantra. Moore also reiterated the importance of using a washcloth to cleanse the face. “It’s an old-fashioned beauty tip for exfoliating.”
Moore talked a bit about her acting career, as well as a number of exciting new projects, including her role as the abusive, religious mother, Margaret White, in the revival of the classic horror flick “Carrie.” “She’s scary but she is so sad and incredibly isolated,” said Moore of her character. “She is a religious fanatic living alone and her only community is her daughter, so I wanted to show how intense that relationship is. Let me tell you, I am not beautiful in it.”
Regarding the movie, which will premiere in March, Moore said one of the differences from the 1976 original, which was “extremely important to [her adolescence],” is that the casting skewed younger in the remake.
“Sissy Spacek was 26 at the time and in this case we have an actual adolescent [15-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz] playing Carrie,” said Moore. “I tried to make the mother and daughter relationship as important and intrinsic to the story as possible.”
At the opposite end of the acting spectrum, Moore touched on her experience embodying Sarah Palin in the Emmy award-winning political drama “Game Change,” directed by Jay Roach. “When playing someone in the forefront of American culture, the most important thing for me is being as accurate as possible with gestures [and] voice. If you can’t do that, you won’t capture people’s imaginations. Once you get there, then you try to embody that person’s emotional state.”
When it comes to her own personal life, Moore emphasized how lucky she feels to have both a career and a family. Mom to Caleb, 14, and Liv, 10, and wife to director and screenwriter Bart Freundlich, Moore said, “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t reflect on how lucky I am. I have a beautiful boy and girl and a job that affords a degree of flexibility. There are times I’m very busy with work and times I’m not working. I do my best to stay in the city and try to go out of town in the summer when everyone can come with me. We are a very close family.”
Looking to the future, Moore, 51, said she is open to whatever may come her way, including the possibility of directing and continuing to write children’s books.
“Ultimately, actors are freelancers,” said Moore. “There is an illusion of control but it’s based on what’s offered. You have to leave yourself open to whatever life presents. The most important thing, and I say it to my kids all the time, is to be where you are. There’s just the present.”
Like anyone dealing with Sandy’s aftermath, Moore said, once her electricity is restored, “the first thing I’ll do is clean up the house because it’s a mess. I have to go to work on Monday [she is filming “Non-Stop” with Liam Neeson in Queens] and the kids go back to school. Life will go on, but we will be able to cook.”