Compiled by: Jack Foley
Excerpts from a syndicated interview with Julianne Moore (JM)
and Meryl Streep (MS), by Sheila Johnston
Q (to JM): What drew you to Laura, your character?
JM: I have a little boy and I know how intense it is - I think
all of us can remember our relationships with our mothers. When
you're so little, her moods determine everything . If she feels
awful, you feel it intensely. Laura and her son are so wrapped
up in each: he knows so much about her and she about him. That
core relationship was incredibly moving. It was a short shoot,
about three, maybe four weeks - we all had like these mini movies.
It would have been difficult to sustain, had it been more. We
had really, really long hours, plus I was working with a little
kid. It was intense.
It was tough playing Laura because she's so sad, but nice to feel
my life was not resembling hers. My own son [Caleb, five] was
with me the whole time we were shooting and we'd have what we'd
call a 'dark date'. He wouldn't go to sleep until I got home,
so he would get ready for bed and I'd come in around 9.00. I would
get into bed with him, turn the television on with the sound off
because it's all adult programmes at that time and he'd talk about
Q: Do you think the film is pessimistic about women's lack
of freedom? That it's saying things haven't changed since Woolf's
JM: I think it says things are getting better because you
do realise by the end that these women have had different choices,
based on the times in which they lived. Clarissa was a woman who
was able to choose who she lived with, who understood her own
sexuality, who chose to have a child on her own - she had choices
that Laura and Virginia did not. For Laura, the sad thing is that
she has a choice whether to live or die, whether to stay or go
and that's kind of it. There aren't enough options.
Q (to MS): What drew you to Clarissa's character?
MS: Clarissa lets the needs of the day distract her from the
central dilemma of her existence, which is that she lives in a
moment that occurred twenty years before. At the end she is enlivened.
Into her life comes some clarity and she discovers, not what she
doesn't have, but what she has. She comes to understand that her
authentic happiness resides all around her and she can actually
touch it. The whole film is poised between hope and despair and
that's why it's so interesting. It's about that precarious point
where we all live.