A chat with Ju­lianne Moore.

Out­spo­ken, funny and am­bi­tious, Ju­lianne Moore is tak­ing on the most ex­cit­ing roles of her ca­reer.

ELLE (Canada) - - News - By Kathryn Hud­son

I DARE YOU to spend a few min­utes with Ju­lianne Moore and not be daz­zled. I know that sounds like the kind of ob­nox­ious hy­per­bole re­served for breath­less fan­girls, but Moore, 53, ra­di­ates a crack­ling en­thu­si­asm that is per­fectly in­fec­tious. She is cu­ri­ous, frank and happy to laugh at her own jokes. The fiery-haired ac­tress ruled the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, scor­ing ma­jor award-sea­son buzz for her lead in the up­com­ing drama Still Alice and for por­tray­ing a tor­tured ac­tress in last fall’s Maps to the Stars. While Moore was in Toronto, we sat down to talk about ev­ery­thing from her role as L’Oréal Paris am­bas­sador to her ob­ses­sion with flats to how we grap­ple with ag­ing.

You have killer style, but I heard that you have ar­gued about fash­ion with your friend Tom Ford.

True? [Laughs] “He hates a Birken­stock, and I love a Birken­stock. He would just be like ‘Oh, I can’t look at those shoes.’ I even have two pairs of the rarest-of-the-rare all-black Birkenstocks—with black soles and straps. Tom thinks peo­ple should al­ways wear a heel. I love a beau­ti­ful shoe, but I can’t wear them all day long—I can’t move around in them as quickly as I would like to. The trick, I sup­pose, is to find a way to look in­ter­est­ing

and stylish as you go about your daily life. It’s a tough thing to do.” As a red­head, you must al­ways have to deal with stand­ing out and, by de­fault, be­ing the “in­ter­est­ing-look­ing”

one. “It’s re­ally funny be­cause I was try­ing some­thing on in a store that I like to go to in Long Is­land and said, ‘I think this is re­ally cool, but I’m afraid that peo­ple are go­ing to look at me when I wear it.’ [Laughs] I don’t want to at­tract at­ten­tion to my­self. Hav­ing red hair is at­ten­tion enough! That’s why style is a tricky kind of thing:

I want to look beau­ti­ful, but I don’t want to stand out.”

Now, in Still Alice, you play a pro­fes­sor who is di­ag­nosed with early-on­set Alzheimer’s. It’s a pow­er­ful, painful

story. What drew you to it? “It’s fas­ci­nat­ing be­cause it’s a de­pic­tion of somebody los­ing her life right smack in the mid­dle of it: She’s 50. What’s in­ter­est­ing is that it is so much about our re­fusal to look at our mor­tal­ity. As we all say: None of us gets out of here alive; it’s just a mat­ter of when and how. In this case, this is a woman who is forced to con­front the end of her life and what that means. Do you de­fine your­self by your in­tel­lect? By your re­la­tion­ships? What is your re­la­tion­ship to your work? To your fam­ily? It’s an ex­plo­ration of what it is to be a hu­man be­ing and mor­tal. It’s very in­ter­est­ing.” Es­pe­cially in our so­ci­ety, where peo­ple as­so­ciate youth and vigour with in­tel­li­gence and value. “At one point, somebody was talk­ing to me about an Alzheimer’s

pa­tient ‘spac­ing out,’ and I got re­ally up­set be­cause that’s not what I ob­served. I did a ton of re­search with peo­ple who were re­cently di­ag­nosed and peo­ple who were in long-term care. I didn’t see any­one spac­ing out. What I saw was peo­ple try­ing re­ally hard to make the cog­ni­tive con­nec­tions they needed to per­form a task.” Do you think that peo­ple make as­sump­tions about you be­cause you’re an ac­tress? “I think we al­ways make as­sump­tions. Our brains are al­ways a few steps ahead of us say­ing ‘This is what I’m go­ing to pre­pare you for’ and then the re­al­ity of some­thing usu­ally dis­as­sem­bles that. I think the big­gest as­sump­tion peo­ple usu­ally make about me is that I’m go­ing to be very se­ri­ous.” [Laughs] You don’t strike me as the solemn type. “I’m not ter­ri­bly se­ri­ous when I’m work­ing. I mean, I’m se­ri­ous about my work, but I like to talk a lot. I make a lot of jokes. I like things to be loose.” That sounds like the op­po­site of your re­cent diva char

ac­ter in David Cro­nen­berg’s Maps to the Stars. “She’s aw­ful. What I en­joyed about that character is the fact that she is tyran­ni­cal and child­like all at the same time. I think about the scene in the bath­room, where she’s on the toi­let [and pees while Mia Wasikowska is in the room]. It’s so aw­ful, but you could look at it two dif­fer­ent ways: It’s a power play to force somebody into some­thing that’s phys­i­cally un­com­fort­able for them. But chil­dren in­vite you into the bath­room all the time be­cause they have no bound­aries—they’re so en­meshed with you. That’s what I love about that scene: You don’t know if she’s be­ing a tyrant or if she’s that por­ous. She’s both, which makes her kind of fas­ci­nat­ing and tragic.” You’ve been very vo­cal in the past about tak­ing a stance against plas­tic surgery. Is that a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion to take in your in­dus­try? “Ag­ing is go­ing to hap­pen whether we like it or not. I re­mem­ber work­ing with a makeup artist once who was my age and works a lot with fash­ion mod­els, which means she works a lot with teenagers. She was like ‘Oh, my God, I have to do this and this’ and I was like ‘It’s not you! You just can’t stand be­hind 15-year-olds all day long and com­pare your face to theirs. It’s sup­posed to be dif­fer­ent.’” ■

Moore is the face of L’Oréal Paris’ lat­est line of hair-care prod­ucts—which makes sense, since her mane is epic. L’Oréal Paris Fi­bral­ogy Thick­en­ing Booster and Con­di­tioner ($7.49 and $6, at drug­stores and mass-mar­ket re­tail­ers)

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