Julianne Moore will star in the upcoming 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay' movies (the third book in the popular trilogy has been split up into two separate films).
(Photo: Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY)
(USA TODAY) Julianne Moore may have one of the most unpredictable, audacious résumés in the business.
"There's never been a definite plan to any of it," says Moore, who this year alone has hopped from playing a messy, divorced rocker in What Maisie Knew to a sexy, older classmate of a porn addict in Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don Jon to the fearsome Margaret White in Carrie.
Next, she's headed to the much-watched set of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay to take on the popular franchise's steely rebellion leader, President Alma Coin.
Moore says she was drawn to the part after reading the dystopian series. "My son read them when they first came out ... and then my daughter a few years ago started reading The Hunger Games. We were on vacation and I didn't bring a book to read, and she went and caught up with her brother to play ping-pong. I picked up her book and read it that afternoon, and then downloaded the other two on my iPad and tore through them."
Moore praises author Suzanne Collins' deft navigation of strong political themes. "They're books about war but with adolescent overtones," she says. "It's about, what is totalitarianism, what is revolution? How do people compromise, how do we repeat our mistakes? It's heartbreaking. I was really impressed by the books, so I'm delighted to be doing it."
The actress has completed makeup tests to play the silver-haired Coin and is heading to the Georgia set to begin filming soon. She says the Mockingjay team is trying to give fans the Coin they've imagined from the text. "I think everybody tries very hard to honor the book because there's so many people who have invested themselves in it," she says. Mockingjay, the Hunger Games trilogy's final book, will be split into two separate movies.
The franchise is another notch in Moore's celebrated career, which has included lauded films such as The Hours, The Kids Are All Right and Game Change. Carrie's Chloë Grace Moretz says she learned a lot about how to conduct herself on set from her on-screen mom. "She's so little. She's like 5-foot-5 and little bitty hands and little bitty feet. She's very sweet and calm but she doesn't (suffer fools). When she knows what is right for a character, she'll say (so)."
Carrie director Kimberly Peirce calls Moore "the kind of actor that (directors) love to work with, because she's brilliant, because she knows her instrument, because she knows the business and because she knows how to be firm when she has to be firm."
But Moore, who brought her husband, Bart Freundlich, and children to her Walk of Fame ceremony this month, says she still feels like her "career could just evaporate at any moment. ... I feel like I could turn my head and be like, 'Whoop, it's gone!' "
She was surprised by how emotional she felt at the star ceremony. "Look, in 50 years someone could be like, '(Julianne Moore) who?' But now they'll be like, 'Well, she must have had a job at some point!' " she says with a grin.