By Nadine Bubeck
There’s just something enticing and intriguing about the redheaded, green-eyed acclaimed film and TV actress, Julianne Moore. The 56-year old flaunts an impressive acting resume and has starred with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. And in 2015, she added a Golden Globe and Oscar to her list of accomplishments with her lead role in Still Alice, portraying a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s. But what you might not know is the North Carolina born bombshell wasn’t always the cool and confident woman you see on the big screen.
Due to her father’s military service, Moore had a transient childhood, constantly changing schools and moving around. The young Moore became the bully’s punching bag, always being teased and harassed over a look that would eventually make her a household name.
“When I was 7, these kids in the alley behind our house in Omaha called me ‘Freckleface Strawberry.’ I hated my freckles and I hated that name,” she explained to Redbook.
After attending high school in Germany, Moore studied at Boston University’s School of Performing Arts before moving to New York City and embarking on the path to stardom.
Moore’s first major television role was in 1985, joining the cast of As the World Turns. That role scored her a Daytime Emmy Award and resulted in a transition from TV to film.
Her first notable movie was her supporting role in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), and things took off from there. She appeared in Madonna’s dramatic dud Body of Evidence, as well as the quirky romantic tale Benny & Joon with Johnny Depp. Moore also landed roles in The Fugitive and Robert Altman’s Short Cuts.
Becoming a leading lady
In 1997, Moore was cast in Steven Spielberg’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park; she also picked up her first Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress in Boogie Nights, where she played a porn star.
Her career continued to grow stronger from there, as she landed roles in The Big Lebowski (1998); a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho; and Hannibal (2001), the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs.
In 2002, she took on challenging roles in Far From Heaven, playing a 1950s stay-at-home mother whose picture-perfect life unexpectedly shatters. She also starred in The Hours, portraying another 1950s housewife who contemplates freeing herself from her suburban shackles.
“People say, ‘Oh, you’re so brave,’ or ‘You’re such a brave actress.’ But to be brave connotes that you have to be afraid. I’m not really afraid of things that are imaginary. I enjoy it. I enjoy big narrative, and I enjoy big feelings. Having a feeling is never going to kill you,” says Moore.
Moore has since joined the elite team of Hollywood’s most esteemed actresses. She is most known for tackling rather “tough” characters and diverse roles. In fact, she and Annette Bening starred as a lesbian couple in the 2010 indie film The Kids Are All Right, co-starring Mark Ruffalo.
In the most recent years, she played mommy dearest in the Carrie remake, and co-starred in the sci-fi blockbuster The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. After five nominations, the A-lister finally nabbed an Academy Award for her role in Still Alice.
“I read an article that said that winning an Oscar could lead to living five years longer,” the actress said as she began her acceptance speech. “If that’s true, I’d really like to thank the Academy because my husband is younger than me!”
We’ll get to her love life in a bit.
In 2015, Moore starred in the lesbian rights biopic Freeheld, alongside Ellen Page and Michael Shannon, and reprised her role as President Alma Coin for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
In addition to acting, she has found great success as a children’s book author. She drew from her own experiences to write Freckleface Strawberry, which was published in 2007. Moore has since written several follow-up books in the Freckleface Strawberry series, as well as My Mom is a Foreigner, But Not to Me, published in 2013.
A picture perfect family life
Moore’s first marriage was to stage director John Gould Rubin, but their matrimony was not everlasting. At the time of their divorce, Moore admitted she got married too young, a common mistake among youthful Hollywood A-listers.
She eventually connected with Bart Freundlich who ultimately became her husband and father to son Caleb and daughter Liv. They wed in August 2003 and reside in Greenwich Village, a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan.
“We have a very solid family life, and it is the most satisfying thing I have ever done,” says the devoted mother and wife.
Moore has definitely been vocal among politics; she’s a campaigner for gay rights, gun control, and sits on the board of advocates for Planned Parenthood. When asked on Inside the Actors Guild Studio what God might say to her upon arrival at heaven, she gave God’s response as, “Well I guess you were wrong, I do exist.”
Moore has said she finds little value in the concept of celebrity and ultimately strives to live a “normal” life. Journalists refer to her as the most unostentatious of stars, attracting little gossip or tabloid attention. Oh, and she’s anti Botox and plastic surgery, believing in aging gracefully and naturally.
When asked about her profession, Moore replies humbly: she’s just a person with a job. And in our opinion, a person with a very fascinating one.