Interview: Julianne Moore of Chloe and A Single Man

Julianne Moore stars in a pair of art house movies that were released on Blu-ray and DVD in July 2010: Tom Ford’s A Single Man (Sony; DVD $19.94, Blu-ray $24.95; released July 6) and Chloe (Sony; DVD$19.94, Blu-ray $24.95; released July 13) by Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan. Disc Dish spoke with the always-candid Ms. Moore about her work in the provocative and quite-titillating adult drama Chloe, in which she portrays a doctor who, suspecting her husband (Liam Neeson, Unknown) of being unfaithful, hires an escort (Amanda Seyfried, Red Riding Hood) to attempt to seduce him, unaware that she is putting her family in danger.

DD: How did your involvement in Chloe come about?

Moore: Atom is someone whose work I had admired for years, so I was very aware of him. I met up with him at the Toronto Film Festival and we both spoke about how we admired each other’s work. And that was years ago! Finally, the script for Chloe landed on my desk and I was thrilled to get an opportunity to finally work with him.

DD: What were your initial thoughts about the material?

Moore: It’s a very difficult story and in the wrong hands, it could really be horrible. That’s what I initially thought, to tell you the truth. But because it was Atom and [screenwriter] Erin Cressida Wilson, I knew it wasn’t going to be like that. I wanted to make sure that we played it as truthfully as possible. I wanted every step that [my character] takes to be a logical one, even though what she does is seemingly illogical. Working with Atom, he’s always interested in finding the truth, so for me, it was great and reassuring.

DD: It’s a movie that depicts the real fear that people have about growing older and feeling they’re not still attractive to others.

Moore: You don’t see any depictions of middle-age marriage on the screen anywhere. So many movies are about, ‘Oh, I wish I could get married and, oh, I met a guy and, oh we’re getting married and oh, we’re so happy!’ And most of us know that marriage is anything but that. That may be the beginning of something, but that’s not what it’s about. Marriage is a major piece of real estate in your life — it’s a big, big deal and it can be wonderful and treacherous, and it has its ups and downs, but it’s certainly compelling and worthy of being the subject of a movie. In Chloe, we’re talking about people that are 20 years into their marriage and feeling disenfranchised from the person who’s supposed to be your life partner. It’s about aging and mortality and not being comfortable about the feelings and intimacies that happen at that time.

DD: Speaking of intimacies, you’ve appeared in a good number of intimate scenes over the course of your career, both psychologically and physically. How did you and Ms. Seyfried get on while working on the more intimate moments in Chloe?

Chloe movie scene with Amanda Seyfriend and Julianne Moore

Amanda Seyfried (l.) and Julianne Moore in Chloe.

Moore: Very well. Amanda is amazingly professional—she has been working since she was 12 years old, so she’s not a novice. She was very prepared, very present, very respective and very easy to work with. We had so many scenes together, and we spent a lot of time together before we worked on any of the sexual scenes. So by then, we knew each very well, and it was choreographed very carefully by Atom. The most important thing in those scenes is to know exactly what you’re doing.

DD: Did your working relationship with Amanda have a girlfriends feel, or was it more like or sisters, or mother-and-daughter?

Moore: Peers. We were peers. For years, I’ve always been asked things like ‘Who’s your mentor?’ or ‘Did you mentor her?’ One of the interesting things about being an actor is that, because of the way we work, we don’t always have a mentoring sort of atmosphere. Somebody who’s 17 years old can have more experience than someone who’s 35. So, the older person isn’t necessarily going to be the expert. You work with all sorts of people. I’ve worked with leading men who are 77, I’ve worked with boys who are 5, people of all different ages and levels of experience. It’s one of the few business where you get that opportunity. And it’s fascinating!

Click for Disc Dish‘s interview with Amanda Seyfried.

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.