Actor Julianne Moore has played a range of film characters from a cocaine snorting porn star in Boogie Nights to a homosexual cheating wife in The Kids Are All Right and she’s been Oscar nominated four times for movies including The Hours.
This weekend, the 51-year-old takes on another complicated role, portraying real-life conservative firebrand politician Sarah Palin in HBO’s Game Change. The movie, which is based on Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s book of the same name, offers a dramatisation of the Republican 2008 campaign and failed presidential bid of John McCain (Ed Harris), as told through the eyes of senior strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson).
With a strong vocal impression and uncanny physical resemblance to Palin, Moore delivers the one-time vice president nominee Palin in a role that already has some industry watchers buzzing with Emmy predictions.
Was it hard playing someone who is still living?
I’ve never played a living figure and the responsibility of that is enormous. She’s extremely well-known and still very present. I certainly felt a real responsibility not to do anything that was not corroborated by the writer.
How did you prepare to play the role of someone so well-known and often satirised, most famously by Tina Fey?
It’s probably the most intense preparation I’ve done for a part. Her television appearances including the debate are on YouTube, I listened to all those. My children laughed at me because I put anything ever documented or said by her on my iPod. I also worked with a vocal coach and moved on to the physical mannerisms once I had that down.
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t an actor?
Sometimes I think I’d like to be a librarian because I love books so much, and sometimes I think I’d like to be a doctor. I love so many things. I love design. I love decorating.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m the best cleaner I know. I’m excellent. My sister and I are a tremendous team, if you ever need anyone to clean your house. It’s just an innate skill I have.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2012.