Julianne Moore: Same sex parents deal with universal family problems in 'The Kids Are All Right'
BY GENE TRIPLETT
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Julianne Moore seemed amused that it was Father’s Day morning and she was here to talk about her role as one-half of a couple of lesbian moms in “The Kids
Are All Right.”
“Happy Father’s Day,” was her bright greeting to all the male reporters around the interview table as she entered a sun-filled suite at the Four Seasons Hotel. “Oh my goodness, it was so nice of all of you to come out on Father’s Day to work.
“I have a pedicure planned for my husband,” allowed the radiant, lightly freckled redhead with the smiling blue-green eyes as she pulled up a chair.
“That’s awfully nice,” a journalist remarked.
“Yeah, I’m not gonna do it,” she quickly assured everyone.
Moore has enjoyed a long-term relationship and marriage to director Bart Freundlich and is raising two children, much like the woman she portrays in “The Kids Are All Right.” But the big difference is Moore’s character, Jules, is married to a woman named Nic, played by Annette Bening, in director Lisa Cholodenko’s comedy-drama about family ties and trials.
Jules and Nic are also raising two kids, Joni (Mia Wasikowska), 18, and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), 15, both happy and well-adjusted youngsters, until one day they decide to find and meet the anonymous sperm donor who fathered them.
Enter Paul (Mark Ruffalo), a hip natural-foods restaurant owner and footloose bachelor who is an immediate hit with the kids, then with the vulnerable Jules in a way that she’s never experienced. Even the brittle family breadwinner Nic begins to warm to Paul’s easygoing charm after a while — until his presence begins to cause family ties to unravel.
Sure, a gay marriage is part of the premise here, Moore said, but it’s certainly not the issue.
“I thought it was incredibly charming,” she said. “Really, really moving and important, because it’s a portrait of a marriage, you know, a middle-aged marriage and what it means to be committed and what it’s like to be in a family and how you grow up, and how do you move away from your parents and still stay connected, and stuff that’s pretty universal.”
Moore was the first actor to become attached to the project in 2005, and she believed in it enough to hang in there through all the struggles an independent production faces, including financing, casting and personal matters, such as Cholodenko’s pregnancy from artificial insemination.
“I met her, I think it was in this hotel at a Women in Film luncheon, and told her how much I loved her work. I loved ‘Laurel Canyon,’ I loved ‘High Art,’” Moore said. “I said I hoped we’d work together, and by the end of that year, she sent me the script to ‘The Kids Are All Right,’ and it was a long process. … But it was always there and always kind of alive, and I had every intention of doing it. I love Lisa, and I love her work.”
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