I like to be alone... you want to have time where you’re just by your­self

Ju­lianne Moore plays a di­vorcee who spends as much time in her own com­pany as she does on the dance floor in a new film, Glo­ria Bell. She talks to LAURA HARD­ING about the joy of soli­tude, nu­dity and the free­dom of danc­ing

Bangor Mail - - The Big Interview -

JU­LIANNE MOORE does not look like her sleep was dis­turbed last night, so serene and com­posed does she seem. But it turns out she was rudely ripped from her slum­ber in her Lon­don ho­tel room in the early hours of the morn­ing.

“Some­body was above me this morn­ing and I don’t know what they were do­ing,” she says with a laugh.

“I think they were mov­ing fur­ni­ture or some­thing.”

The cul­prits can­not have known they were dis­turb­ing the dreams of one of the most tal­ented ac­tors of her gen­er­a­tion.

An Os­car winner for her turn as a woman di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s dis­ease in Still Alice and star of ac­claimed films such as The Hours, A Sin­gle Man and The Kids Are Al­right and box­of­fice hits such as The Hunger Games films and Crazy, Stupid, Love, she has long been praised for her ver­sa­til­ity.

Her lat­est film, Glo­ria Bell, is a per­fect show­case for those con­sid­er­able tal­ents, telling the story of a free-spir­ited di­vorcee in her 50s who spends her evenings danc­ing and flirt­ing in lo­cal night­clubs.

“I found it so joy­ful,” she says of the first time she read the script.

“I re­ally did. It was some­thing that I left feel­ing so full and ap­pre­cia­tive of life and pos­si­bil­ity, and all of that in­ti­macy.

“It was the in­ti­mate ex­am­i­na­tion of a per­son’s life, it was just in­cred­i­ble.”

The film is a beat-for-beat retelling of Chilean di­rec­tor Se­bas­tian Le­lio’s 2013 film Glo­ria, this time in English and re­lo­cated from San­ti­ago to Los An­ge­les.

The film-maker took the un­usual step of re­mak­ing his own film be­cause of Ju­lianne.

“To imag­ine Ju­lianne chan­nelling Glo­ria in all her im­per­fec­tions, with such grace, was too tempt­ing,” he says.

“It was re­ally a lux­ury to see her bring­ing Glo­ria back to life, and to see how her pres­ence and her aura some­how changed the DNA of the story.”

What makes the new ver­sion, again penned by Se­bas­tian, more un­usual than its Chilean coun­ter­part, is that it of­fers the rare op­por­tu­nity for an Amer­i­can ac­tor not in her 20s or 30s to

ex­plore a woman who is dy­namic, sex­ual and lib­er­ated, some­thing still lack­ing in US cin­ema.

“It is un­usual,” Ju­lianne con­cedes. “And so is the fact it’s also about the drama of ordinary life.

“I al­ways say there is more drama in some­body’s reg­u­lar day or reg­u­lar life than there is in any of the things we con­struct in film, and even in theatre.

“When you see a girl­friend and she’s like: ‘So, what’s hap­pened?’

“And she tells you: ‘Well, to­day I went to work and then I met this guy for a drink and then I picked up my kid from school.’

“But within that, all of this stuff has hap­pened emo­tion­ally.”

The film spends swathes of time with Glo­ria by her­self, in her apart­ment and in her car, alone but not lonely.

Ju­lianne says: “It’s that idea of: What are you like when you’re alone?

“All of us have that sin­gu­lar ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing who we are and of be­ing some­times ob­served and some­times not ob­served.

“The au­di­ence is see­ing her in a way where only she sees her­self, so it forces this weird sense of em­pa­thy – you al­most feel you’re look­ing at your­self alone.

“I like it, to be alone. I think ev­ery­body does, you want to have time where you’re just by your­self.

“I was just think­ing about that, you’re just be­ing, you’re not ob­serv­ing. That is why we can look at Glo­ria Bell and go, ‘This is just some­body who is liv­ing her life’.”

That nat­u­rally in­cludes a cer­tain amount of nu­dity, some­thing 58-year-old Ju­lianne takes in her stride.

“I think that Se­bas­tian and I both share the idea that, if you don’t re­flect some­thing that’s real, the au­di­ence feels it.

“The minute an au­di­ence mem­ber is sit­ting there say­ing, ‘I don’t be­lieve that,’ you’ve lost them, and you’ve lost their con­nec­tion to that char­ac­ter, and to that story, and to them­selves.

“That is what we are al­ways try­ing to re­flect, that some­body was watch­ing a real story of an ordinary per­son.”

And Glo­ria is never more re­lat­able than when she is singing (im­per­fectly) in her car, or danc­ing with wild aban­don in Los An­ge­les night­clubs.

She’s so nat­u­ral and seem­ingly

One of the hard­est things to do is to be able to just be, and not act

Ju­lianne Moore on scenes in Glo­ria that fo­cus on her char­ac­ter’s soli­tude

care­free that it’s hard to know in those mo­ments where Glo­ria stops and Ju­lianne starts.

The ac­tress says: “It’s in­ter­est­ing be­cause as an ac­tor, all you have is your­self, that is where you start.

“So I think what I was go­ing for, with both the singing and the danc­ing, is this idea of not be­ing self-con­scious and it not be­ing crafted.

“But you have to craft that place where you are able to let it go, let go of that judg­ment.

“So when you sing, I had to be will­ing to sing at the top of my lungs

and know that it was not go­ing to be per­for­ma­tive, that it’s re­ally about that feel­ing.

“So if you hit the wrong note, go with it, go with it, don’t pull it back.

“The same with the danc­ing, too. As we were work­ing on it, I was work­ing on stuff that was in­nate to me, but then put through the lens of who she would be, how big she would make it and what she liked.”

Some­times it was dif­fi­cult for Ju­lianne to just lose her­self in those mo­ments, though.

“But it’s what we do,” she has­tens to add. “That is the thing about be­ing an ac­tor and that is one of the things you’re sup­pos­edly learn­ing when you’re in act­ing school.

“One of the hard­est things to do is to be able to just be, and not act.”

Glo­ria Bell is in UK cin­e­mas now.

The minute an au­di­ence mem­ber is sit­ting there say­ing, ‘I don’t be­lieve that,’ you’ve lost them

Ver­sa­tile: Ju­lianne flits be­tween block­busters like The Hunger Games frachise and artier projects

Ju­lianne Moore at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val Ju­lianne’s char­ac­ter be­gins an un­ex­pected love affair with John Tur­turro’s char­ac­ter Arnold

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.