“I DON’T THINK THERE ARE ANY RULES WHEN IT COMES TO RE­LA­TION­SHIPS.”

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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.

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