Becoming ... Julianne Moore
"It's such a bright color that people can always find me in a crowd," Moore (in April) says of her red hair. "I sort of like it and loathe it because I've always been defined by it." Says Robert Altman, who directed her in 1993's Short Cuts: She's "such a beauty, yet when she starts playing, you see the character."
After meeting on the set of 1997's The Myth of Fingerprints and having two children together – Caleb, now 6, and Liv, 2 – Moore and writer-director Bart Freundlich married in a small ceremony in the backyard of their Greenwich Village home in August 2003. "They are very well matched," says actress friend Hope Davis of the couple, who have a 9-year age difference (she's 43; he's 34).
Moore gets a touch-up on the New York City set of the thriller The Forgotten (opening Sept. 24), in which she plays a mother coping with the loss of her 8-year-old son. "It's hard to find good roles, period," she told Entertainment Weekly. "I continue to work on things that move me, and it all just sort of falls into place."
"I keep fashion in perspective," says Moore (from left, in 2003; in Atelier Versace at the 2004 Academy Awards; and in a Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche gown, altered from rose to green to complement her red hair, at the 2003 Oscars). Moore admires Madonna for always reinventing her look. "I can't do that. I always look the same," she says.
The oldest child of Peter Moore Smith, a military judge, and Anne Smith, a psychiatric social worker, Moore (who has two siblings: Valerie, a lawyer, and Peter, a writer) was born in Fort Bragg, N.C., but moved 23 times to locales including France and Germany. By high school, Moore (left, starring in a Frankfurt American High School production of Tartuffe her junior year) had found her calling in acting.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
"This is the one thing celebrity is good for ... if I can call attention to an important issue," says Moore (with Sheryl Crow, left, and Susan Sarandon) of her work on behalf of various organizations, including the March for Women's Lives, an abortion-rights rally in Washington, D.C., in April.
Through her career, which has garnered her four Oscar nominations (two in 2002 alone, for The Hours and Far from Heaven), Moore has often played heavy, dramatic roles. But she likes to lighten things up once in a while – as she did in April for Sesame Street's 35th anniversary show. "It's nice not to cry because crying's hard. Crying sucks," she says.
WHAT A PAIR
Moore joined the cast of As the World Turns in 1985, two years after graduating from Boston University's School of Fine Arts. "If you're going to do a soap, you always want to play twins," Moore told Entertainment Weekly of her Emmy-winning dual roles as half-sisters Franny and Sabrina. "But then you learn that there's nothing more boring than acting with yourself because you know what's going to happen."
In April 2000, Moore played Principal-for-a-Day at the School of Performing Arts in Brooklyn, where she fielded questions from elementary-school-age reporters, including whether she had ever spent time in the principal's office. Her response? "I was a goody-goody. I was one of those kids who played by the rules. I used to have to take people (to the principal's office). Isn't that awful?"
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
"I get nervous every time I have a press event," admits Moore (pregnant with Liv at a benefit gala with close pal Ellen Barkin in 2002). Of her celebrity, she says: "I make a point to tell people that what we do is an illusion. It's not reality."
MOM'S THE WORD
Family time is priority for Moore (attending New York City's Halloween Parade in 2003 with her brood). Says makeup artist and friend Scott Barnes: "Sometimes we'll have her in a dress, her makeup and hair done, and she'll laugh, 'Can you imagine me going to a PTA meeting?' She's a mother before anything else."