While most women in their twenties drool over Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Beyoncé, and other celebrities with buckets of memes dedicated to their hotness, I’ve always admired the more mature landscape of Hollywood. When I was younger, it was Richard Gere (thanks, mom.) Meryl Streep obviously played the role of leading lady in my life for a while, but let’s be real, if you don’t get hot over Meryl, then you obviously don’t have a pulse. I loved Meryl twice as much after discovering that she inspired my ultimate woman crush Julianne Moore to become an actress because Julianne Moore started a fire in my heart similar to her fire red hair in 2010 when I first saw The Kids Are All Right. It was one of those moments when you realized you had been missing out on something great for so long, like when I tried Chick-Fil-A sauce for the first time in 2007.
I can’t place a steady finger on what it was about her that caused my love revelation other than the fact that, due to her role as a lesbian wife and mother, I was probably imagining what it would be like to kiss Julianne Moore (don’t act like you’re not wondering now.) She has Oscar-worthy talent, but she somehow still feels relatable. Her beauty is enough to dazzle Tom Ford who probably has beautiful people by the dozen on speed dial, but she’s not shoving that beauty down your throat. She’s intelligent and always looks put together, but she still comes off as down-to-earth in interviews. In her free time, she tries to change the names of Southern high schools that are still stuck in the racially charged past and helps to recognize women doing amazing work for charities. She has every right to roll around in her fame and success and act like she’s above the rest of us (because she is,) but, instead, she’s intent on making the world a less awful place through more than just existing.
Whether or not I have any interest in the film, if Moore is in it, I’m going to watch it (though I have yet to make it through her well-rounded list). Still Alice? Still watching. Aside from forming a cute friendship with K-Stew, Moore took her role as an Alzheimer’s sufferer so seriously that she immersed herself into the part and went to Alzheimer’s support groups. Though visions of Anthony Hopkins wearing a mask as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs still haunts my dreams, I recently watched Hannibal to see Moore kill the role of Clarice. On that note, Psycho wasn’t ever a movie I wanted to watch just for the hell of it in the Halloween off-season, but of course I had to when I realized Moore was in it. Over the summer, I binge-watched Jurassic Park just to see her play Sarah Harding in The Lost World. The Hours, of course, is a favorite because of the Meryl + Julianne duo that I’ve lovingly named Merianne. And even when she’s acting as a rather icy, grey-haired President Coin in The Hunger Games films, Julianne’s still fire.
Aside from her acting, Julianne Moore’s honest and insightful interviews strike a chord with me. When a DuJour interviewer asked her about parenting, she queried, “Do we have to talk about parenthood?” Not because her kids were annoying the her that week but because men are rarely asked the same question. “Men aren’t asked about age,” she says. “Men aren’t asked about their children. Not that these things aren’t important, but I do feel like it becomes reductive when a woman’s life becomes, ‘Talk to me about your kids and how you feel about plastic surgery’.” Thank you, Julianne, for pointing out that women are more than just baby-producing machines with expiration dates while men are constantly churning out success, getting promotions, and getting sexier with every year that passes.
On that note, she also has a very honest approach to aging, as she says, “Our fear of aging is really a fear of dying; aging is a physical manifestation of decay, and I think that is what’s so upsetting to most people.” And on advice that’s often told to young women that she thinks is nutty, she said, “You know, in the olden days, they used to say that you should never give anybody your age, which I think is ridiculous.” Couldn’t agree more, girlfriend.
To add to the list of touchy topics that she’s not afraid to be honest about, she’s also straightforward about her body and admits that, despite what we all might think, she’s a real human with flesh. Take, for instance, the time she told Harper’s Bazaar, “But, you know, I had a dress on the other day, and I said to my manager, ‘When you see my back fat sticking out, tuck it back in!’ Or the time that she admitted to eve magazine in 2008 that she hates that she feels compelled to diet in order to fit the Hollywood standard.
Basically, she’s as close to perfect as they come, and I’m envious of anyone who has ever sniffed the same air that she breathes. We could all use a little more Julianne sparkle in our lives, so let’s hope she keeps churning out films until she decides she’s tired of sharing herself with all of us unworthy of her talents.