Julianne Moore Is Not Impressed With Your Filter Skills

Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock.
In addition to being an incredible actress, a passionate activist, and the very definition of poise and grace, Julianne Moore is — as anyone with eyeballs has probably noticed — a total knockout. Sitting in a room with her made me want to sit up straighter, impress her with my knowledge of current events, and ask her everything she's ever done to her face so I could immediately start doing it to myself.
I met with the L'Oréal Paris spokeswoman during Cannes, to talk about everything from mascara to Instagram filters — and to speak with her about her involvement with Every Town and the Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense coalition. Read on for her wisdom.
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For some people, taking pride in hairstyling and makeup skills is considered a vain, trivial thing. Why do you think it's important for us to expand that conversation around beauty to recognize its importance in our culture?
"I think when people say that beauty is trivial, they're diminishing the concept. Beauty is subjective, truly in the eye of the beholder, but we are drawn to what we find beautiful. Beauty has visual meaning, but there is also emotional meaning. They go hand in hand. Beauty doesn't have to be a superficial thing, and in fact it isn't! What we find beautiful in life is generally something that we're moved by and we care about deeply. Rather than saying it's trivial and throwing beauty away, it's important to broaden our understanding of what it is we find beautiful and why we find it beautiful."

Do you think there's been progress recently in that representation?
"I really do. What's interesting about social media — and kids are learning this very early, too — is that these images are manufactured. [Kids] go, 'Oh I put a filter on it, oh I stand this way, oh I do that.' So in fact there's a deeper understanding that the images that we consume daily are manufactured, and they're learning it because they're able to manufacture their images. Because people know that I think that the world has become much more aware of what real beauty is — this movement toward celebrating that in advertising and everything."
Speaking of advertising, why is representing a beauty brand like L'Oréal Paris important to you?
"Well, this is a great company. It really is, and when you look at it really, they're the only major brand that has women from all over the world, every ethnicity, every age group, every culture, and I think they're truly representing the idea that beauty is subjective and comes in many forms. And even the whole ethos of the company, the 'because you're worth it' slogan, is a pretty meaningful thing to say."

Moving on to activism: You're very involved with Every Town and just participated in the Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense March in New York. Why is it important to you to be so wholly involved and visible for causes like gun safety?
"What I'm trying to do as an individual and citizen is bring my voice, my voice as a citizen, to things that I think are important to all of us as a community. One of the things that's amazing about Moms Demand Action [is that it's] primarily a female group of very vociferous, caring women who decided in a grassroots way to bind together to do something about gun violence in the United States. I feel that any time I can lend my voice to something like that, that's primarily female-driven, I will. They're an astonishing group. What they've accomplished in four years has been absolutely amazing. I'm happy to join them — I'm not trying to bring them to me; I'm following them."
Tell me about your latest project, Wonderstruck.
"We just started [filming], and this is my fourth movie with Todd [Haynes]. I love him — he's a major talent and a wonderful person. It's great to be with a lot of the same people that I made Far From Heaven with, too — a lot of the crew members, we've all known each other a long time. It's exciting, it's a beautiful piece of material, and it's incredibly ambitious and very, very moving."

It's a bit of a fantastical plot, and your hair and makeup are pretty outlandish, from the paparazzi shots we've seen. Did you have a lot of fun with that, or was it a pain?
"It's always fun! I call it a game of advanced Barbie. It's like, Let's try this, let's try that! Everyone's working together to create this character, this image. From a practical point of view, if you're doing something with a lot of prosthetics, you like to take a break because it hurts your skin after a while. But then, sometimes you think, Well, I want to wear a wig in this, and I want to do this and that."
Obviously social media and digital media have been great conversation-starters and communities, but negativity and snark can come part and parcel with that. What are your thoughts on that?
"Refinery29 is a great site that I go on a lot, but it's geared primarily toward younger women, and I think unfortunately when we're young we are more apt to judge and tend to be less tolerant. I think that we're seeing that reflected in social media, because people have this voice. I truly believe that some of those same people who are doing this stuff will get a little bit older and go like, I can't believe I said that. I sometimes think it's a reflection of youth and immaturity, and just beginning to hear your voice and not understanding how powerful it is."
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