Julianne Moore – Exclusive: “I had to work very hard to learn American Sign Language (ASL) but I had excellent coaches helping me.” – ‘Wonderstruck’

NEW YORK –  There’s no stopping Julianne Moore.  Sexy, smart, and sensationally beautiful at 57, she’s one of those rare few actresses whose career has gained momentum past the age of 40.  The Oscar-winning performer (for Still Alice) is busier today than at any other point in her career and this year alone she has three films slated for release and another two in pre-production including a biopic on the life of feminist trailblazer Gloria Steinem.

First up on the horizon is WONDERSTRUCK, directed by Todd Haynes, a touching drama in which she plays two roles: Lillian Mayhew, a silent screen star (whom Moore patterned after real-life silent movie actress Lillian Gish) who is idolised by a 12-year-old deaf girl named Rose (Millicent Simmonds);  and Rose’s 62-year-old elder self,  a museum employee who helps a runaway deaf boy, Ben (Oakes Fegley), deal with his grief over the loss of his mother.  The film marks Moore’s fourth collaboration with Haynes who previously guided her to an Oscar-nominated performance in Far From Heaven (2002).

“I was so happy to have a chance to work with Todd again and it was also a thrill to get to play two parts in the same film,” Moore says.  “To play Lillian, I studied the silent films of Lillian Gish.  And to play Rose, I had to work very hard to learn American Sign Language (ASL) but I had excellent coaches helping me. It was absolutely enriching to be able to enter this (deaf) culture and gain insight into a world that not many hearing people ever get to experience or understand.  But what is really moving about this story is how these kids searching for their parents end up finding their community.”

Adapted from the eponymous 2011 best-selling novel by Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck showcases Moore’s extraordinary gravitas and ability to seamlessly disappear into her characters.  The film is also notable for the remarkable performance by Millicent Simmonds who was just as awestruck in meeting Moore as her character was in meeting Lillian Mayhew.  “I didn’t recognise her at first – my mom had to point out to me that it was Julianne Moore!  It was incredible!”

 

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