This article originally appeared in the November 2002 issue of OUT.
Julianne Moore in her own ultra-nice way has pushed sexual buttons in films as different as Boogie Nights and the upcoming The Hours. Now, in Todd Haynes’s Far From Heaven, the two-time Oscar nominee plays a '50s suburban wife who finds that hubby (Dennis Quaid) has a secret. She kept none from us!
Musto: My life spent watching Douglas Sirk movies has finally paid off! I brilliantly notices how Far From Heaven brings the subtext of all those flicks to the surface.
Moore: That’s what’s wonderful about it. Todd runs with it. There were gay actors then—Monty, Rock—but though there was a sensibility afoot, there was nothing explicit.
Your character has an interesting response when she finds her hubby with a man.
She wants to fix it and make it OK. It represents that sense of American optimism.
Which later was revealed to be denial.
Dennis Quaid was wonderful. He played it with such humanity, like someone struggling with his sexual identity. It was tortured and complex.
You’re not chopped liver either. You’re a gay icon.
That’s my people. That’s my community!
Wait—are you coming out?
[Laughs] The gay community has tremendous taste. It’s very flattering.
Thanks. I only didn’t quite get what you were doing in Psycho—playing Lila as an aggressive dyke.
I didn’t know what I was doing. I was mainly trying to display a true lack of sexual interest in Viggo Mortensen.
Which is not that easy to do.
[Laughing] I’m not going to comment on that. Anyway, it was something silly.
And your character in The Hours isn’t exactly straight.
Almost everybody in the book is bisexual. The book is really about a bunch of gay people. The movie is very faithful. I told [Hours author] Michael Cunningham, “You’re going to be very happy.”
Are you still happy living in sin [with filmmaker Bart Freundlich]?
It’s fine, pretty much the same as being married, especially when you’re on your second child. We live in the same house and spend all our time together.
You’re just like a gay New York couple.
I think so! It’s interesting that the gay community wants the acknowledgment that marriage gives you, and a lot of straight couples I know no longer care about it. It’s wanting what you can’t have. I didn’t want the approbation of the state in my personal life.
But it gets you all sorts of benefits and rights, I hear.
That’s true. Not to take a tragic detour here, but if I were hit by a car and unconscious, Bart wouldn’t be considered the person who’d decide what to do.
He should write it down right now—"Unplug her." Are you 100 percent straight?
Yeah, I guess so. I mean no. To tell you the truth, I think sexuality is probably fluid. Intimacy is about being with a person, not being with a sex.
I should try that!