Indie Horror Month Exclusive: Julianne Moore Discusses the Indie Thriller 6 Souls, Carrie and More
Today, March 1st, the psychological thriller 6 Souls, directed by Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein and starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, arrives on VOD platforms everywhere courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
We here at Dread Central thought there was no better way to kick off 2013's Indie Horror Month than with an exclusive interview with Moore, one of the greatest modern actresses who has carved out an incredible career in the independent film world throughout the last 16 years. Her impressive body of work has garnered her four Oscar nominations, seven SAG Award nominations (one win) and seven Golden Globe nominations, with Moore taking home the Best Actress award this past January for her performance as Sarah Palin in the HBO political drama "Game Change."
Moore proved her versatility early on in her career after racking up several awards for her work on the long-running daytime drama "As the World Turns" in the late 1980's, eventually making a smooth transition into the world of film with supporting roles in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Body of Evidence and The Fugitive.
In the mid-90's, Moore began snagging more leading roles in studio fare like Nine Months and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, but it was her performance as tragic porn star Amber Waves in 1997's Boogie Nights that vaulted her to the forefront of independent 90's cinema, racking up several award nominations and wins for that role alone. After Boogie Nights, Moore continue to win over audiences and critics alike with her work in films like The Big Lebowski, The End of the Affair, Magnolia, Far From Heaven, The Hours, The Kids Are All Right and one of my personal top ten flicks of all time, Children of Men.
Her latest role in 6 Souls as a criminal psychoanalyst finds the actress once again taking on a part unlike any we've seen her in before. Recently we hopped on the phone with Moore for an exclusive chat about her latest thriller and heard more about what attracted her to the project, her thoughts on collaborating with the directorial team of Marlind and Stein as well as with her co-stars Rhys Meyers, Jeffrey DeMunn ("The Walking Dead") and her onscreen daughter, Brooklynn Proulx.
And since we had her on the phone, we couldn’t help but ask Moore about taking on the role of Margaret White in Kimberly Peirce's upcoming retelling of Stephen King's classic novel Carrie- check out all the highlights below, and look for more on 6 Souls next week and more Indie Horror Month coverage throughout the entire month of March.
Dread Central: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today about 6 Souls; how did you get involved with the project?
Julianne Moore: You know, I love a scary movie. I really do. Not slasher movies or ones that are super gory or violent but the ones that make you think and that creep in without you even realizing it. I think sometimes people often mistake gore for horror when horror, when at its best, is subtle and creepy. That's the horror I enjoy and love to watch.
And so I really liked this story and I really liked the directors when I met with them; they impressed me right from the start with their vision for this story. I was very interested in the psychological aspects of my character and how she's very much a scientist but also religious, too, which was a nice character dichotomy for me to use in my performance. Neither side of her beliefs were wholly right, and that's a great conflict to explore.
Dread Central: Because you were working with a pair of directors on this project, did that change up anything for you while working on set?
Julianne Moore: Throughout my career I've found that pretty much all pairs of directors work very differently so it wasn't any harder or easier; I was prepared to work with whatever their style was, and I have to say those guys really had a unique but great approach. Each of them would direct one day, and the other one would be off that day- if Mans (Marlind) was directing that day, then you don't ask Bjorn (Stein) questions that day at all, you ask Mans. It's a style that really works well for them and it wasn't hard at all switching between the two. They've got a great back-and-forth and I think some of that was always there, regardless of who was directing that particular day.
Dread Central: We spend a lot of time in 6 Souls with just you and Jonathan (Rhys-Meyers), and I thought you guys had wonderful chemistry together- did you get a lot of rehearsal time before shooting?
Julianne Moore: We did get to do a little bit of rehearsal ahead of time, yes. I have to say, though, that Jonathan played this role so beautifully; he's just such a sensitive soul and his performance in 6 Souls is so compelling to watch. It's remarkable just how deeply he thought about this role and he just threw everything he had into these characters. That was easy to feed off of and I loved working with him- you never get enough time on these things of course, but when you're working with a guy like him (Jonathan), it's easy to get that chemistry going when you're working with someone who has that kind of energy, even if you don't have a lot of time at your disposal.
Dread Central: How was it collaborating with your onscreen family in 6 Souls?
Julianne Moore: Well, I absolutely loved working with Jeffrey; he's so brilliant and we had such a great time working together. And my onscreen daughter, the lovely Brooklynn (Proulx)- she just really touched me with her performance in this movie. I loved her to pieces; she was always so responsive, and some of my favorite moments in the movie are the quieter ones when it was just the two of us together. I really felt a sense of responsibility for her- she was just a young girl when we made 6 Souls - like 8 or something - but for such a young actress, she's amazingly talented.
Dread Central: I just have to ask because I did a set visit for it last year- was the appeal of coming on board the new Carrie the fact that this wasn't really a remake at all but more about digging deeper into the novel and all that great character stuff?
Julianne Moore: Oh definitely; that was the biggest thing I appreciated about Carrie, that we were revisiting Stephen's (King) novel instead of trying to remake the original movie. There's so much character going on in the novel that never made it into that film, and I think Kimberly (Peirce) really tapped into that with her film. Stephen originally based the story of Carrie on these two girls he knew who were bullied and both mysteriously died in their 20's, and even though it’s a story he wrote several decades ago, it's still so very relevant today. His themes are universal and timeless, and I think that's why people still care about these characters and why you can have multiple takes on Carrie; there's so much material you couldn't get all of it into one movie really.
Dread Central: Margaret White is absolutely one of the more iconic characters in horror; people often see her as the villain, but I feel like despite her actions, they're still coming from a place of love. How did you balance all of that out in your performance in Carrie?
Julianne Moore: Well, I do think Margaret is a woman who is a bit psychotic so it is easy to view her as the villain of the story, but there WAS something very tragic about her because above all else, she really did love her daughter. I mean, if you think about it- she's right. Margaret White was absolutely right- she said the world was going to laugh at Carrie, and that's what they did. They tormented that young girl, and had she listened to her mother, it wouldn't have happened so there is a sense of truth to some of the things she does say even if they seem crazy or their cruel or they're awful to hear.
Margaret's experiences with the outside world have never been good and so in her mind she wants to shelter her daughter from all of that; it just sometimes comes out in very extreme ways. The biggest challenge to me was to find the humanity in Margaret and make her into something more than just the villain; she's strict and she's complicated, but she's not a villain. Not at all.
Special thanks to Julianne Moore for taking time to speak with us; look for more Indie Horror Month 2013 coverage soon!
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