We’re not used to seeing Julianne Moore doing an old-fashioned romantic comedy, but fans will be pleasantly surprised seeing her in Laws of Attraction, an old-fashioned Tracy and Hepburn style comedy about two opposing divorce lawyers who begrudgingly fall in love. She spoke to Paul Fischer.
Question: Pierce Brosnan said he picked you because of the red hair.
Answer: Oh yeah, the old Irish thing. It had to work with me at some point in my life.
Question: HOW DID YOUR HUSBAND FEEL ABOUT YOUR HAVING TO KISS PIERCE IN THIS ROMANTIC COMEDY?
Answer: The thing about the whole movie thing and being with guys and stuff, everyone’s husband, everyone I know hates it, hates it. And they make a lot of noise about it and they won’t come to the set and they say, ‘How many times do you have to kiss him and what do you have to do and are you in bed with him ever?’ I mean, it’s completely unreasonable, but Steven Spielberg is this way about Kate [Capshaw]. He hates it when she has to kiss anyone and you always want to say, ‘Honey, it’s just a job. It’s just a job,’ but universally, I’d say that most husbands are…
Question: WHAT ARE YOUR SECRET CRISIS FOODS?
Answer: Candy, that’s why I could relate to her.
Question: WHICH CANDY?
Answer: Just about anything. I like cakes and cookies and actually ice cream. I like a lot of ice cream. There wasn’t any ice cream eating in this because it’s hard to eat ice cream in movies because it goes all over the place.
Question: DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE FLAVOUR?
Answer: I like Baskin Robbins praline’s and cream right now.
Question: WHAT’S THE WORST THING THAT YOU HAD TO EAT IN THE MOVIE?
Answer: The snowballs were the worst because they are shockingly dry. It was terrible and they got them in Ireland where they’d been sitting on a shelf for God knows how long. They don’t sell that stuff. They had to find some specialty American disgusting store. They’re not what I remembered as a kid. I used to love that stuff when I was a kid.
Question: HOW MANY DID YOU HAVE TO EAT?
Answer: It was like four, it wasn’t that bad, we did it pretty fast.
Question: PIERCE HAD MENTIONED THAT YOU HADN’T DONE COMEDY BEFORE WHICH ISN’T QUITE CORRECT…
Answer: ‘Nine Months’, ‘Evolution’, ‘The Big Lebowski’, ‘Cookie’s Fortune’.
Question: WHAT WAS THIS ROMANTIC COMEDY LIKE FOR YOU?
Answer: This was the first time that I’d done straight up romantic comedy. I’ve never kind of come across one, and I never had one that I liked so much before. I really liked this and I thought that it was kind of interesting, and believe it or not, although in this movie these two people accidentally get married, you know how that happens all the time. But other than that, I found that it was sort of within the realm of the possible, that these very professional people meet each other, and kind of gradually fall for each other, and it’s about learning how to take responsibility for your personal life. He says, ‘If this is something that you want, you have to work at it. You can’t just expect it to happen. It takes some effort and some need.’
Question: HAVE YOU EVER FELT ANTI-MARRIAGE LIKE YOUR CHARACTER?
Answer: You know, she feels that marriage, she’s a divorce attorney and she’s seen most marriages fail and I think that it is a challenge in this day and age to be married when you know that the odds are stacked against you, but that’s one of the reasons that I do like the message of this movie. It’s not something that is going to happen to you, you have to work at it and you have to maintain it.
Question: WHAT’S THE SECRET OF MARITAL LONGEVITY?
Answer: I don’t know. I’ve only been married like six months or something. I got married last August [Laughs]. I think that, let me see, I don’t know if there is a secret to it. You simply need to make time for each other. Everybody’s busy. Everybody works, we have children, we have lives and the thing that I think ruins more relationships, it’s that lack of contact. You cannot spend a lot of time away from the person that you’re married to and expect your relationship to work and I’m talking on a daily basis, a weekly basis, you simply have to have contact everyday.
Question: IS THERE A DIFFERENCE RAISING KIDS WITH A HUSBAND RATHER THAN JUST BEING PARTNERS AND RAISING THEM?
Answer: Probably, yeah. Yes and no. We’re not any less [committed]. We were just as committed, before we were married, to each other and to our children, but I think that it gives kind of a box, it gives you a kind of container as a family which is why this whole gay marriage thing is important. It’s very, very important because it does make a difference. People are saying, ‘Oh, it’s a piece of paper, it’s whatever,’ but I do think that if you want to be a family and if you want to say to the world, ‘We really mean this,’ and the fact that people are opting for it, I think is a positive, incredibly pro-family, pro-marriage kind of thing.
Question: HOW DID YOU GET INTO BEING A LAWYER?
Answer: Well, my father is a lawyer, my sister is a lawyer, that kind of helps. I think that a lot of the people that I know, a lot of the professional people are lawyers and stuff. I’m not unlike her in that I think if you work really hard and you play by the rules and you do it right, this is how you do it, and I think that a lot of people who are in law are like that too, it’s very structured. It’s just that there are theatrics to it particularly in trial law and stuff, but there is structure, and it’s like, ‘This is the rule, and this is what I do,’ and she was very much on point that way.
Question: WHAT’S HARDER, A DRAMA OR A COMEDY?
Answer: They’re different. I mean, they both require different kinds of skills. In a drama, you just have to rely on emotional truth and as long as you can stay true to it, you’ll probably have an outcome that you’ll be satisfied with. With comedy, you have to have emotional truth and technique. So, sometimes, you’ll just miss a moment and you’ll have to go back and look at it and you think, ‘How can I make that? It’s not as funny if my arm goes too far into the frame,’ and so, there’s a certain amount of kind of…you can see why comics get obsessive about certain things because it is very exacting.
Question: IS THERE A VAST DIFFERENCE IN THE MATERIAL YOU’RE OFFERED IN THE INDEPENDENT WORLD AND THE MAINSTREAM HOLLYWOOD WORLD?
Answer: Probably, but then, there are camps within that as well, that’s what is interesting because now what’s happening is that you’re having, you still have the groundbreaking independent stuff that’s being made for no money because they can’t get any money because the subject matter is too difficult or something, but then you have these movies that are such small budget, but very Hollywood that they want to make for five million dollars, but they could also make them for 70 million dollars if they wanted to, depending on who they cast. So, it’s less sometimes of a budgetary thing. It’s a weird kind of time in film right now, I think, just because low budget doesn’t necessarily mean that it has an independent kind of quality to it.
Question: DID YOU WATCH ANY OF THE CLASSIC ’40’S AND ’50’S ROMANTIC COMEDIES, ARE YOU A FAN OF TRACY AND HEPBURN, CAREY GRANT?
Answer: Yeah, those movies were wonderful. I mean, they were wonderful because they were dialogue driven and character driven and I think that we’re kind of starving for that kind of material. We don’t see it anymore. Also, those movies were always about grown-ups. They were about adults, and not that there’s anything wrong about two twenty year olds finding each other, but I don’t think that you have to worry about falling in love and getting married when you’re twenty. You have a lot ahead of you, but it interesting when people kind of make a choice to fall in love and be together when they’re adults, they’ve had a career and stuff because you think, ‘Wow, this is important now.’ Now, if you’re going to have a family, if you want to have a romantic life, you should choose. So, the stakes are kind of higher and I love the fact that it’s just about people talking and trying to figure it out. They’ve already developed themselves and they are who they are together.
Question: CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW YOU FELT ABOUT IRELAND, WAS IT ROMANTIC AND MAGICAL FOR YOU?
Answer: It’s beautiful. It’s gorgeous and I mean, they’re not kidding about it being green and stuff like that. It really is just astonishingly green and it’s gorgeous and we were standing there on, it’s called Sally Gap, and you look at all that. It’s a lovely, very romantic place with lovely people in it. So, it was a nice place to be in the summer. It was a nice place to make a movie.
Question: WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT AS A HONEYMOON SPOT FOR PEOPLE?
Answer: People love it. It’s crammed with Americans [Laughs], crawling with Americans. I don’t know Ireland needs any advertisement for a honeymoon spot or vacation spot because everyone visits and it’s a very welcoming, lovely country. It’s got a great culture.
Question: WHAT KIND OF INFLUENCES WERE IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU WERE STUDYING TO BE AN ACTOR?
Answer: Just like actors? Well, I think that I kind of came to acting late as a kid. A lot of people talk about wanting to do it when they were ten and stuff. It wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I really started paying attention to stuff, and I think it was Meryl [Streep]. I remember seeing Meryl on the cover of ‘Time’ magazine which was the one magazine that we got in my house, and my dad and I were talking about it, and I read this article and I said, ‘You know,’ and I had seen her in the ‘The Holocaust’ and I said, ‘I want to be an actress like that, that’s what I want to be.’ Then, Robert Altman who’s movies I saw and I kind of I was like, ‘What is that?’ That sort of astonished me. So, those two early on were the ones that I was inspired by.
Question: WHY SO LATE FOR YOU?
Answer: I was going to be a lawyer or a doctor. I was a really good student and my parents kind of encouraged me to be a professional person because they felt like you can’t fail that way. You go to school, you get a degree, you get a job, whatever, and that’s what I was going to do, and I did plays in high school and stuff, but I didn’t do it with any eye towards doing it in the future.
Question: WHAT WAS THE FIRST PLAY THAT YOU DID?
Answer: The very first play was ‘You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown’ in the sixth grade or the seventh grade and I played the little redheaded girl. I didn’t have a speaking part in it. It was like a charity part. [Laughs]
Question: WHAT DID YOUR PARENTS SAY WHEN YOU TOLD THEM THAT YOU WERE GOING TO BE AN ACTOR?
Answer: Oh, they were so upset. My mother was really upset. She said, ‘Why waste your brain?’ When I look back on it now and I think, ‘Oh my gosh, if I had a seventeen year old daughter at the dinner table who I thought was going to go to an Ivy League school or something and she suddenly says, “I want to be an actress,” you’d be like, Ah.’ We lived in Germany at the time, and my mother got on a plane with me and we flew to New York and I auditioned for schools and I said, ‘If I don’t get in, I’m going to go to a regular college,’ and I got in and they said, ‘Okay.’ They were astonishingly supportive.
Question: WHAT CHANGED THEIR MINDS?
Answer: It wasn’t like they changed their minds. They always felt like they’d prefer me to do something else, but they wanted to give…I said, ‘I feel like if I want to try this, I should try it now. You try it when you’re young and not later, and if it doesn’t work, go do something else. They said, ‘That’s fair enough,’ and I did it. They paid for my education and it was amazing.
Question: WHEN DID THEY REALIZE THAT YOU MADE THE RIGHT DECISION?
Answer: Well, it was always incremental with me. I said, ‘If I don’t get into a school, I’ll go to a regular school. If I don’t do well in college, I’ll transfer out. If I’m out of college and I can’t get an agent, I’ll go to graduate school,’ and I always said that I would do something else, and along the way, it was just step by step. Like, I got in. I did well. I got an agent. I got a job. So, by the time that I was twenty five, I had gotten out and was working and could pay for everything. They just wanted to make sure that I could take care of myself, but I think that they are kind of surprised now. It’s kind of weird, and weird to me, frankly.
Question: DO YOU WANT YOUR KIDS TO ACT?
Answer: When they’re adults, they can make whatever decision that they want to make.
Question: WHEN THEY’RE SEVENTEEN?
Answer: Well, I didn’t do it professionally when I was seventeen. I went to college, and that was the thing that my parents said to me. They said, ‘You may not go to a conservatory. You have to go somewhere where you get a degree. So, then, if you want to go to graduate school if you want to be something else, you can be something else.’ I really believe that. I think there’s no reason to start acting when you’re eighteen years old or younger. You should go to college, get an education and decide what you want to be.
Question: HOW MUCH LONGER ARE YOU SIGNED FOR THE REVLON STUFF?
Answer: I don’t know when my contract is up. It’s like a year and a half.
Question: WHAT ARE THE BEST MAKEUP PERKS OF THAT?
Answer: I like the lip gloss. That’s my favourite. There’s a great lip gloss that’s sparkly.
Question: WHAT ARE YOUR WEARING TODAY?
Answer: I don’t know. It’s a pinkie something of other.
Question: WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO AND WHAT YOU DOING PROFESSIONALLY RIGHT NOW?
Answer: Well, I have this movie coming out in the fall called ‘The Forgotten’. That comes out in September, I think, and that’s a thriller and then, I have another movie called ‘Marie and Bruce’ that’s a comedy. It’s a Wally Shawn play. It’s with me and Matthew Broderick.
Question: WHAT WAS THE MOST INTENSE MOMENT ON THE SET OF ‘THE FORGOTTEN’?
Answer: Probably when it was cold. The cold days were very intense.
Question: DID YOU DO ANY STUNT WORK?
Answer: Yeah, I did do some stunt work, yeah. I’m not going to talk about ‘The Forgotten’. This is the junket for this one. I’ll probably see you in September for that junket.
Question: WHAT STUDIO IS THAT?
Answer: It’s Revolution, and so, it’s Sony.
Question: ARE YOU A FAN OF THRILLERS OR MORE OF A FAN OF ROMANTIC COMEDIES?
Answer: I like them all. You know what I’d really love to do, what I can’t wait to see is ‘Dawn of the Dead’. My favourite movie last year was ’28 Days Later’. I’m a horror fan but I’m very particular about my horror because most horror is bad. I don’t like slasher horror. I really like devil horror, but there’s not a lot of good devil horror around.
Question: ‘HANNIBAL’ WAS KIND OF THAT?
Answer: ‘Hannibal’, yes, but I like a good supernatural horror, but not too gory, and somehow ’28 Days Later’ was really good, actually, because it’s like it could actually happen maybe.
Question: DO YOU THINK THAT YOU’D BE A GOOD ZOMBIE FILM?
Answer: If they had asked me to do ’28 Days Later’…I was like, ‘How come I never saw this script.’ I really was. I was so scared that I got into my husband’s chair, but thrilled. Actually, a review this morning as I was getting in the car talked about horror films, it’s that mixture of dread and thrills that you get watching it. It’s true. It’s that thing where my heart goes [beating her chest], but I’m like, ‘Ooh, what’s next?!’
Question: ARE YOU GOING TO DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR HUSBAND AGAIN?
Answer: Probably not, at this point, to tell you the truth because of our kids. It’s harder with two children if somebody is working, we try to have the other one be present.
Question: WHY DID YOU GET MARRIED IN AUGUST?
Answer: I think that we were ready. I mean, that sounds really silly to say that, but I think that we were just kind of at a place in our lives where we weren’t going anywhere, and that’s what we wanted. We were a family and that’s what we wanted, and it was important for our kids too.
Question: THE THEME OF THIS IS OPPOSITES ATTRACT, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT?
Answer: I think that it’s about shared values and ideas and as different as these two seem, they’re not. They’re both very focused career people who are individuals who never married, who kind of have a longing for that but aren’t able to express it. They’re actually in the end I think very similar.
Question: HOW WAS FRANCES FISHER AS YOUR MOM?
Answer: She was great. She’s so beautiful and she’s so funny and a pleasure to be with. So, I had a great time with her.
Question: AS GREAT AS YOU ARE, SHE WAS A SCENE STEALER, DO YOU INVITE THAT, DOES THAT BOTHER YOU?
Answer: The best thing for an actor is for every other actor around them to be great. So, that’s when everyone is at their best, when we’re all, everybody’s at the top of their game.
Question: WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKE S A GREAT ROMANTIC COMEDY?
Answer: Oh, beats me. I don’t know. I don’t know. I think that I go to them because I want to see interesting people doing something- – The thing about romantic comedies is that it’s something that does happen to us in real life. You don’t always go to the moon or you don’t dig to the centre of the earth or fight back zombies or something, but most of us fall in love with somebody. So, in a sense, we’re watching something that we’re kind of familiar with and that is kind of wonderful to us. That’s one of the greatest things that can happen to somebody is to fall in love someone.
Question: WHAT MAKES CHEMISTRY ON SCREEN?
Answer: I think that if you like someone, I think that you just have a nice rapport with them, there’s an ease with them. Nobody ever knows why it happens or how it happens. You want it to happen and you kind of put all of your energy towards it, but sometimes it just doesn’t [work]. Sometimes people even look weird together. Sometimes, your friend will bring home a guy and you go, ‘They don’t look right together,’ and then they break up and you go, ‘I knew it.’ It’s dumb stuff like that sometimes. So, who knows, no one knows.
Question: WHAT’S BEEN YOUR WEIRDEST ENCOUNTER WITH A FAN?
Answer: The guys from prison who ask for your hair. “Can I have a lock of your hair?” It’s like, ‘Yeah, let me just send that right off.’ [Laughs]