Part II: New York City Interview with Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore
Dorri Olds: So, you’re not a Karaoke girl?
Julianne Moore: Oh my God, no! My daughter who’s 11 said, “Mom, we should do family Karaoke,” and I’m like, “Nooo.” I don’t understand Karaoke. It seems so scary to me.
You’ve played a lot of roles now, was there something special about this film?
Certainly the musician part. That was really challenging. I don’t play the guitar and I had to learn those three chords to play, “Rockabye Baby,” and had to sing. I’m not inherently that cool. [Laughs]
Have any of your movie roles stayed with you after the cameras stopped rolling?
Julianne Moore: [Shakes her head no] I can’t. I have two kids and don’t have time to sit and wallow in it. Nor do I want to. My husband says I’m really good at compartmentalizing. You know, I think I am. That’s work stuff and then there’s home stuff. I think you can choose to sit around in it but that wouldn’t be tolerable for me, or my children.
What do you think the message of the film is?
The movie and the book are both warnings about what the dangers are for behaving that way and the collateral damage in divorce. Clearly Susanna and the Beale character are locked in a power war that’s not about custody of the child because neither one of them wants to parent the child they just want to win so it’s a cautionary tale.”
As a mother yourself was it challenging to play this woman who was so neglectful?
No. I’m so compartmentalized and know that’s not me. My biggest concern was that Onata felt safe, that she knew we were pretending. My kids made a lot of jokes about me playing a bad mother. My daughter was right next door so she’d come in and see me flailing around. But it’s not who I am, and as long as Onata knew it was make believe then I felt okay about it.
What was it like working with Onata Aprile?
You met her. She’s bright and trusting and seems to really like it [acting]. This was not a child under duress. She wanted to be there. As a parent, I wanted her to always feel safe so I told her everything I was going to do in the scene beforehand and explained to her that it was all pretend. If I yelled or cried or slammed a door I told Onata it wasn’t real and she understood. Onata was great, really terrific and [Moore smiled at Onata’s mom seated nearby] she has a loving mother!
It sounds like there is a director inside of you. Would you like to do that?
You know, I’d like to try. I have interest in it it’s one of the things on my bucket list. If I don’t do it I’ll be disappointed so we’ll see. It’s a really big job and I don’t know if I’d want to direct something that I didn’t write. I’d like to try to write a screenplay.
Do you write?
I write children’s books but [Laughs] I don’t know if that’s a movie. I have three books in the Freckleface series and I have a fourth book coming out in September called, My Mom is a Foreigner But Not to Me. It’s about the experience of growing up with a mother from another country. I have an app out right now that’s free.
Do you like Twitter and Facebook?
I tweet. I don’t do Facebook because it seems to be a major time suck. Also, the people that would Facebook me are the people I see that would say, “Hey, it’s me. I just saw you at school this morning.” I wonder, ‘Then why are you Facebooking me?’ I do tweet and follow people that are funny. I retweet political things like marriage equality. I tweeted Jason Collins the other day.
Have you learned anything from roles you play in movies?
I think you learn from life. I don’t think you learn from work. It’s a little bit like saying, “How do films influence culture?” It’s the other way around. Film doesn’t do anything original. Art reflects culture back to the world at large. It’s like that with my work. What I’ve learned as a human being, what I’ve done as a parent, spouse, friend, I take all of it and put that into my work.
With that Moore got up, smiled, and turned with her beautiful auburn hair flowing behind her.
Rated R. 99 minutes. The movie opened this week. If you can’t see it today, go see it this weekend at the Angelika Film Center at 18 West Houston Street.