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Trust The Man - Julianne Moore interview

Julianne Moore in Trust The Man

Compiled by Jack Foley

FOUR-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore has one of the richest and most varied resumes in Hollywood.

She has starred in two previous movies directed by Bart Freundlich, to whom she is now married and with whom she has two young children.

Her third outing with Freundlich, Trust The Man, sees her mining her comedic talent, playing opposite David Duchovny as Rebecca, a working mother of two who is striving to balance her work commitments with the needs of her family and her fraying relationship…

Q. What is it like working with your husband, while trying to manage a household?
A. That’s the hardest part. He is great to work with and he’s a great director. It’s an enormous cast, everyone’s very experienced and yet he knew how to speak to everyone in a way that they like to be spoken to. Every actor likes to work in a different way and he instinctively figured it out, which is a gift.

So because of that we’ve always had an easy time working together. The hardest part was him working as the director and me as an actor. We have two kids who have to be at school every day, get picked up, get taken to basketball, we have a house, from which we were moving when making the movie, and it was Christmas, so by the time everything was over we were fried. He got mad at me because I said: “I don’t think we can do this again.” Not that I didn’t love working with him, but I was feeling the stress of getting everyone where they needed to be, moving home…

Q. Neither of you is known primarily for your comedy work, so was this a lot of fun to make together?
A. It was loads of fun for me. Bart is very funny and his friends have been encouraging him for a long time to write a comedy. Everybody always says, after they say how handsome he is, how funny he is… [laughs] It’s true and I feel like: “You be the movie star, man, I’m tired!”

Q. How do you keep the love alive in your own relationship?
A. I don’t know. I guess we’re lucky. The thing with relationships is that you do always worry that it’s going to go bad. You do worry and then when it doesn’t, you’re happy about it. I don’t think either of us takes the relationship for granted and we certainly don’t take our children for granted. I think that’s something – the miracle of happy, healthy children, and we’re all in that together. But also, the same as all the silly magazines say – take time for yourself, go away. It’s hard, but it’s valuable. You ask anyone about their life and usually the first thing they talk about is how their wife or husband or children are doing. They don’t talk about their job, it’s always the family.

Q. Did you ever feel that the script was too close to reality?
A. No, I liked it. I liked the fact that Rebecca is an actress but she’s also someone who has a job. It’s not like she’s walking around all, ‘I’m an actress, I’m an actress’. She has to go to work and she needs to do all these normal things, and that’s the reality of my life. I love my job but it is a job, it’s not like this calling I have, where I go into a trance or whatever… so I love the way that was presented. And I think also it does deal with Bart’s real life in that the reality of living with an actress is different from the fantasy. The fantasy is that you’ve got this very glamorous woman at your beck and call, not someone with a retainer in your bed!

Q. Was it weird playing David Duchovny’s wife? Because he’s your husband’s best friend and your husband was directing…
A. No, I love David and I think we had this nice energy together and we feel like we’re a realistic couple. He’s very funny and very smart, and we’re really friends. We have been for a long time, so there’s a degree of comfort that you have. That was one of the nice things about this movie, that there wasn’t a getting to know you period with everybody. Maggie was the only one. At the first reading she was feeling a bit nervous because we all knew each other. But I just said to her: “Don’t worry. Everyone’s an asshole.”

Q. Do you feel that most of Bart’s movies come from the male perspective?
A. I do think this movie comes from a man’s point of view, with all these men sitting around saying: “How did this happen?” as their relationships get into trouble. And that’s the funny thing about Bart, he’s very male orientated. Having had a boy and a girl, their different orientation is something I’ve become aware of. I watch my daughter and I see her complications and her volatility, but that’s the way men and women are… and Bart’s very male.

Q. How do you and Bart not tread on each other’s toes when talking about your work – you being an actor and him being a director?
A. We’re both very bossy! And Bart especially, he’s so bossy. Oh my gosh and always with directions! I’ll say something like: “I’m leaving the city at about 3 o’clock.” And he’ll say: “Well, don’t take the mid-town tunnel…” But like with any relationship, you have two personalities together and one person will want to do one thing, the other another thing, so that stuff does happen.

Q. Bart said that once you’re on set you don’t like to talk about your part. Is that true?
A. I don’t like talking about my acting or the scene or any of that stuff. I need the space to do it; I don’t need a whole load of other words in my head. But every actor’s different. Bart understands my need very well. He came up with this metaphor for what I’m like on set. He said: “If I could tell someone I’d tell them that ball is prickly, and do not pick up the ball. Even if the ball rolls right up to you and asks to be picked up, don’t pick up the ball.” And it’s right, because I’m there doing my thing and it’ll look like, to someone who doesn’t know me, that they can to talk to me about it, but I’ll be: “Don’t talk to me!”

Read our review of Trust The Man

Read our interview with David Duchovny