“I DON’T THINK THERE ARE ANY RULES WHEN IT COMES TO RELATIONSHIPS.”
for best actress—in addition to the fact that she’s the sort of person who’s even more wonderful in person than everyone says she is (and they all say she’s “the nicest”). She is also an activist, a mom and a L’Oréal Paris spokesperson, but she is not—how do we say this?—a competent parallel parker, guys.
“And I have no desire to learn,” says Moore, laughing, when we meet her in a restaurant while she’s in town for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). “My husband [director Bart Freundlich] says, ‘We’re going to a parking lot and you’re going to learn,’ and I tell him: ‘No! I’m not going to waste my time.’” Gleefully unashamed of her one (admittedly minor) failing, she adds: “I don’t want to spend a whole day of my precious life learning to do something I don’t value. I’ve always been pretty independent about only doing things because I want to do them.” Which leads, of course, to why Moore is doing what she’s doing these days (like appearing at TIFF in George Clooney’s Suburbicon, for instance) and a surprising admission that she thinks about that whole “sliding doors” aspect of life just as much as we do. At this stage in your career, what makes you say yes to certain parts and no to others? “They are the same things that have always made me say yes or no—whether or not I’m interested in the story, the director, the writing. I’m always very concerned about location because I have a family. Toronto, especially when the kids were little, was actually a great place to work because we could come up here in the summer and rent a house. They both learned to swim at a little community centre in Rosedale! But, first and foremost, it’s whether I respond to the material.” Do you respond to different things now than when you were younger? “Of course. What you respond to when you’re just starting out is not going to be something you respond to 30 years later. Sometimes it’s informed by what’s happened before: If you’ve spent some time doing a comedy, maybe you want to then do something a little more serious. I think that this applies to every circumstance in your life. That’s why people always write those movies about ‘What if she’d picked up that glass and gone out the door instead?’” That whole “sliding doors” alternative-life thing? “Yeah! Like what if I’d gone this way? Would I have met my husband? We actually met on a job, and I sometimes think ‘What if I had said no to that project? Would I be married to somebody else?’ Everything feels that way, certainly with your children. You realize that any number of circumstances could have changed the child you have— like you decided to have a child that particular year, so you had that particular child. If you had waited a year, you would have had another child, another human being. I always think about the miracle of conception. It seems so random, yet it gives you something so specific. That’s heavy, I know!” But you seem really comfortable in this kind of philosophical space. “I am, because it helps put things in context. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything. If we start thinking about the miracle of us even being here, it allows us to settle down and appreciate everything that’s happening here and now. You’re like ‘Wow! I got to be born!’ That’s a win.” That response makes it feel like you’d give great love advice too. “I don’t think there are any rules when it comes to relationships. The worst place to get advice is the movies. I did that when I was a teenager. I thought every relationship had to have drama in it: You were going to have fights, slam doors; you would break up and there would be tears. I was talking to a friend who said her 12-year-old son just had his first girlfriend and he’d said, ‘She’s too dramatic for me.’ And you realize they’ve been learning all this behaviour from TV. But it really is just about whether or not you want to be with that person and develop an actual real relationship with them.” n
Moore is a spokesperson for L’Oréal Paris, which just launched Superstar XFiber Mascara ($15). For details, see Shopping Guide.