Narrative by: Marcelo Bernardes
FROM Sarah Bernhardt to Marlon Brando, every acting legend has
created and evolved his own method to achieve the greatness for
which he is known and celebrated.
The intensity of Julianne Moore, 43, by far the best –
and also the most charismatic – American actress of her
generation, comes from unusual internal sources.
"I talk, I talk a lot," she reveals, laughing with
gusto. "I talk, talk and talk. It is my way of relaxing.
If I sit and start struggling with something emotionally, the
less I will get. If I’m relaxed, if I’m comfortable
and have cracked some jokes, the more I am able to draw."
And Julianne draws beautifully. In the short span of one decade,
she has created such pungent and visceral performances in movies
like Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, Magnolia,
Far from Heaven, Safe,
Short Cuts, The Big Lebowski and The
Hours, all of which garnered her four Academy Award nominations
(and also left some wondering why she did not have an Oscar already).
Talking and having fun, it seems, is a great source of inspiration.
"It is amazing how she can be laughing and talking about
something like cheese, and in the next minute, when they go ‘action’,
she would burst into tears," says British actor, Dominic
West, who witnessed 'Julianne Moore’s sharp method' on the
set of The Forgotten.
Directed by Joseph Ruben, The Forgotten is an urban thriller
that yields another deeply emotional and overpowering performance
Moore plays Telly Paretta, a New York mom trying to cope with
the loss of her 8-year-old son, who died in a plane crash.
But her grieving is unexpectedly challenged, when she hears
from both her psychiatrist (Gary Sinise) and husband (Anthony
Edwards) that she never had a son and, consequently, there was
never a plane crash.
To help Telly go through her delusions is the ex-pro hockey
player Ash Correll (Dominic West), who also might have lost a
daughter in the same accident.
"I was really hooked while reading the script, because you
don’t know what is happening. Most of the thrillers these
days don’t get you emotionally," explains Julianne.
"And the movie creates a compelling combination. The audience
right away starts questioning her sanity and veracity. But when
she says ‘wait a minute, my car wasn’t parked here
before’, the audience goes with her as she tries to figure
out what is going on."
Julianne says that she loves to be scared and recalls her favorite
movies of this genre - Rosemary’s Baby and Marathon Man,
'which is tremendous'.
One of her favorite movies of last year was 28
Days Later, the zombie flick by the British filmmaker Danny
She also enjoyed The Others, by
the Spanish cult director Alejandro Amenábar.
"I would love to work with Alejandro," she says.
Like Rosemary’s Baby and Marathon Man, The Forgotten was
also shot in New York City.
Director, Joseph Ruben, was contemplating the idea of shooting
the movie in Toronto, Canada, but Julianne convinced him to change
the location to New York.
"We need to offer the same incentives to New York crew too
and allow an industry once in crisis to flourish again,"
says the dedicated New Yorker.
In the end, Ruben’s powerful
movie reveals another great hidden part of the city: the quiet
and elegant neighborhood of Brooklyn called D.U.M.B.O. (Down Under
the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), which once served as one of the
locations for Sergio Leone’s masterpiece Once Upon a Time
Although she has appeared in more than 40 movies, Julianne hasn’t
shot many movies in her own hometown.
The Forgotten is only her fourth movie in New York, after Far
from Heaven, Laws of Attraction and the upcoming Mary and Bruce.
"It tremendously helps my performance," she says. "My
life is here, my family is here. It is a wonderful feeling."
Being a New Yorker at heart (she was born in North Carolina,
before moving to the city) makes Julianne more inclined to play
the part of the perfect city hostess.
When her co-star, Dominic West mentioned that he was looking
for a serious girlfriend, Moore quickly arranged a blind date.
"He is just a great guy and I said to him ‘I have
somebody perfect for you’," she laughs. "I called
a friend of mine, a wonderful woman, and set them up.
"It turned out that he wasn’t looking for a serious
relationship. He was just going to play the field," she says,
Julianne revels in her matchmaking missions.
"I am a big believer in relationships," she says.
Last year, Moore finally decided to marry her companion of eight
years, the American filmmaker, Bart Freundlich, with whom she
worked on two independent movies well received by the critics
- The Myth of the Fingerprints and The World Traveler (on November
1st, she will start the third collaboration with her beau, a comedy
also starring David Duchovny).
The couple have two children - Caleb, six, and Liv Helen, two
- and they currently reside in downtown Manhattan, 'where everybody
People stare at her on the streets but don’t bother the
astonishing red-haired actress.
"It’s only recently that New York started getting
more paparazzi, which is not a nice thing for the kids, because
they hide in the playground, that sort of thing.
"Suddenly, there is great interest in celebrities, with
too many shallow magazines around. I’ve been lucky. I am
not the kind to be chased on the streets."
When the weather in New York was favorable during the shooting
of The Forgotten, Julianne allowed her kids to visit mommy in
her work habitat.
"Caleb is a classic Yu-Gi-Oh fan," she says. "I
know more about Pokémon that I care to mention. My daughter
is a big princess.
"She dresses and likes to wear lipstick or to walk in my
As for the inevitable question of inheriting the acting genes,
Julianne says: "They know about my job. I always tease them,
especially when they are ‘supposedly crying’ that
they have to do it better than that because I know," she
"They can be whatever they want to be as soon as they graduate
Asked about what makes a good mother, Julianne gets pensive
"I think a mother’s mission is to facilitate the lives
of her children, from feeding and cleaning them to taking care
of them emotionally and psychologically," she says.
"That’s why I loved The Forgotten’s screenplay.
The idea of losing your child or to have her out there alone can
be so terrifying for a mother, because she knows they are not
equipped at all to do things by themselves."