Julianne Moore interview

Julianne Moore takes on another controversial role in Savage Garden

Four-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, 47, returns with yet another controversial role in Savage Grace – that of true-life Manhattan socialite Barbara Baekeland, who becomes embroiled in a suffocating and ultimately incestuous relationship with her son.

What was it that drew you to Savage Grace?

One of the things I said to somebody is that had it been fiction, you would think this was just sensationalism or just salacious. But because it’s non-fiction, you’re really struck by how epic this tragedy is. It’s a really classic tragedy of a family destroying itself. So that to me was very interesting.

Do you see this as a cautionary tale?

Yes. You see these very rich people with no boundaries. They have no job, they have no purpose, they have nothing to do, they have no focus. And their focus shifts to one another. They seek this incredible stimulation, because they’re not getting any stimulation in how they interact with the world. So you see a kind of sexual stimulation and stimulation with drugs…all this kind of stuff that happens to these people who have too much.

It’s not the first time you’ve been attracted to dark material. This isn’t you in real life, though, right?

What did Flaubert say? ‘Be ordinary in your life so that you can be violent and original in your work!’ I believe that. For me, that’s how it is. I have a very, very normal life. I really do, with the exception of being very lucky and privileged…I have a nice life. I have two children [Caleb, 10, and Liv, 6], a dog, a husband [director Bart Freundlich]. We live in New York, the kids go to school…I like that. That’s what I want.

Do your children support you in your work?

They don’t care! Children don’t care. I mean, they care and they don’t care. That’s what’s normal. In a normal life, your family is the centre of your life. We care about each other. My daughter has her ballet class. My son has his basketball. My husband writes and plays golf. And I act and like to decorate the house! Everybody has their thing. We all support each other.

Savage Grace opens on 11 July.  

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