Julianne Moore believes in ageing gracefully. Forget plastic surgery, the 53-year-old actress has no qualms donning unflattering make-up. Moore, known for her intense roles (like her Oscar-nominated role in Boogie Nights), is back on the big screen with Carrie. The second remake of Stephen King’s teen horror classic, the latest film stays true to the characters, scenes and dialogues of the 1976 original, but has a modern setting with social media weaved into it. Moore talks about scary movies and being a script mum:
How important was Stephen King’s novel when you were working on your character?
It was very important for us to go back to the source material. I had read Stephen King’s book On Writing, where he talks about the inspiration for the story-the two young women who inspired it. Carrie is a fascinating and really sad, dark book about the effects of social isolation. One of the girls that inspired the story was marginalised by poverty. The other girl was marginalised by her parents’ extreme religious beliefs. So they were both shunted to the outside of this town where King grew up. And he said neither one of them lived very long.
Did you re-watch the old Brian De Palma film?
I didn’t. I was a huge fan of that movie and watched it when it came out. It was one of my all-time favourite movies. But, no, I really worked from the book, although there are some images from the movie that are obviously indelible.
For your character, it is almost exclusively about her relationship with her daughter…
Yes. Carrie is the one person that my character has any kind of relationship with at all, and it’s a completely fundamental one. And Chloë (Grace Mortez) and I had a great time together. I found it really compelling to explore the nature of the closeness of that mother-daughter relationship and of the danger for them both as they move away from one another.
What can you say about the role that bullying in the social media plays in the film, as that’s one of the new elements in this adaptation?
I think it’s interesting that so much of social media seems to be anonymous and, frankly, I think that’s very dangerous. When I was in junior high, they had those ‘slam books’ that went around. Inevitably, they would be confiscated and the teachers would try to find out who had started it. And now we have it occurring legally in social media. I find that confusing.
Is the movie a cautionary tale?
Yeah. It makes everybody think. Movies always reflect culture. They don’t determine culture.
Clearly, the events unfolding in Carrie are very extreme but how were your own teenage years?
Compared to this, pretty benign! There is always some drama. My son is 16 and my daughter is 11. The one thing that you want for your children is that they can come home and tell you what is worrying them, because that sense of isolation is most damaging.
Are you a strict mum at home?
Well, I have a hard time with time-outs. You threaten, ‘You’re going to have a time out. You’re going to. You’re going to.’ And yet it’s hard to do.
What are you afraid of, personally?
I don’t like skiing and I don’t like to dive, that kind of stuff. It is important to try something. Whether or not you persist at it? I don’t think that is important. Life is short, so enjoy what you do!
Carrie is scheduled to release on January 10.