'Hi, I’m Julie' - a typically understated greeting from Hollywood queen Julianne Moore.
Despite a film career that has spanned over three decades - featuring multiple Oscar nods along the way - and being widely considered as one of the greatest actresses of her generation, Marie Claire's March issue cover star maintains a determinedly unstarry sense of cool.
Meeting us at a local café in her native Manhattan, Julianne talked about her latest role opposite Ellen Page in Freeheld, the true story of same-sex couple Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree, who battled to secure Hester’s pension benefits when she was diagnosed with cancer. Despite recent same sex marriage legislation, in the interview Julianne revealed her belief that America still has a long way to go on gay rights. ‘I think it’s easy for us in New York to say “Oh, things are different” but they are not’ she says, ‘people can still be discriminated against at work, or for housing. In some States they can be fired for being gay; they can be denied opportunities.’
She also talked about the struggles of her Freeheld co-star Ellen Page, who was partly inspired to come out by her involvement in the film. ‘Ellen was miserable’ Julianne said, ‘she talked to me very frankly about her own experience – what it felt like, about the nature of the discomfort. A lot of people I know came out a long time ago. None of my friends were celebrities when they came out; they were college students. So here I was talking to this very young woman, who had recently come out, about experiences that were very, very fresh, so it was a different kind of conversation.’
She was equally open and frank about the issue of ageism in Hollywood. ‘It’s very difficult to find parts, no matter how old you are, no matter where you are and whether you’re a man or a woman’, she said, ‘the movie industry is not in the business of finding good roles for actors or actresses; it is in the business of creating films that will make as much money as possible.’
Read the full interview with Yael Kohen in the March issue of Marie Claire, on sale now
Photographs by David Roemer, styling by Jane Pickering