Given the roles she has chosen in her four-decade-plus career, it seems Julianne Moore is something of a complex creature.
Be it her portrayal of a struggling veteran porn star in “Boogie Nights,” or her version of an accomplished scholar who suffers from progressive Alzheimer decease in “Still Alice,” which won her an Academy Award, Moore projects as much onscreen as she does offscreen. Most recently, she has fought arduously for LGBT rights and become a powerful voice on the issue of gun control.
“It’s what I feel compelled to do,” she explained during a break from the dizzying series of red carpets at this week’s Cannes film festival. “For anybody, caring about things is about having a life and being a citizen. I think my recent involvement with [Everytown for Gun Safety] really came about because I couldn’t stop thinking about the recent incidents of gun violence in the United States. I was like: ‘This is crazy. This does not have to be a divisive issue, it just doesn’t.’ It’s not something that is partisan, it’s not antiweapon, it’s not even anticonstitutional, but really talking about raising safety standards, so that we can reduce the incidents happening in the U.S.”
Moore has also used her platform to fight for LGBT rights both off and onscreen — in last year’s “Freeheld,” she and Ellen Page tell the story of a female detective fighting to leave her pension benefits to her girlfriend. “These are basic human rights,” the actress says. “When you look around, you think how you’re going to be quiet when someone is being discriminated against? It’s ridiculous,” she laments, though says that her acting choices are not made to push a political agenda. “Movies reflect what is going on culturally. We are not necessarily standard bearers, but as people talk more of LGBT rights and as we’re seeing more and more diverse families, that gets reflected in the entertainment world as well,” she noted.
Moore admits that this is also what she likes about L’Oréal, for which she has been an ambassador since 2012. “It salutes women all over the world, all cultures are represented. They don’t promote this singular idea of what is beautiful, you know?” Her concern for others is immediate. Asked about the secret behind her undamaged, fair skin, she replies: “I have been wearing a sunscreen every single day since I’ve been 24, and now I use Age Perfect by L’Oréal, which has a sunscreen built in.” Then she pauses, and asks this reporter: “You have fair skin, too, you should wear sunscreen every single day. Do you?”
Perhaps surprisingly, the actress divulges that her fear of getting older has its limits. “The reason why people talk about it is because it’s a reminder of mortality. Am I right?” the 55-year-old muses. “And the best way to combat that is to authentically think about what it is exactly that you are afraid of and to address that feeling. If you stay in the present and find meaning, those things will have less importance.”
Moore, who has been working on at least two films a year since 1996 according to IMDb, advises against blaming age or one’s failing beauty for not getting the part. “I think this idea that a lot of the great roles that are out are not available to you is a fallacy. The movie industry is an industry and their objective is to make a movie that will work all over the world, their objective is not to say: ‘How many great parts can we create for actors?’ So mainstream Hollywood is not necessarily where you will find the most compelling character work, but there are so many avenues these days — there is Netflix and Hulu, cable and independent film, but you have to be willing to kind of look all over. And this is true for everybody — young women, older women, and same thing for men.”
Clearly Moore has no shortage of roles from which to choose. This spring she stars in “Maggie’s Plan,” a romantic comedy opposite Ethan Hawke and Greta Gerwig; then it’s on to finishing “Wonderstruck” with Michelle Williams. “Kingsman: 2” and the crime mystery “Suburbicon” staring Oscar Isaac, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin are also on the docket.