Julianne Moore 'Can't Believe' She's Been Working in Hollywood Nearly 40 Years: 'I've Had Good Fortune'

"I continue to enjoy it. That's the other thing that's really great," the Oscar-winning actress tells PEOPLE of making movies

Julianne Moore arrives on September 5, 2022 for the screening of the film "Love Life" presented in the Venezia 79 competition as part of the 79th Venice International Film Festival
Photo: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

Julianne Moore is reflecting on her incredible career.

In the new issue of PEOPLE, Moore, the star and producer of the new Apple TV+ thriller Sharper, says she marvels at the fact that she's been consistently working for the past four decades.

"I look back, and I'm like, 'I can't believe I've actually been doing this for this length of time.' I've had good fortune," says Moore, 62, who got her start on the soap opera As the World Turns in 1985, playing good-and-evil twins.

After winning a Daytime Emmy for her performance in 1988, Moore went on to nab small roles that made big impressions in movies like 1992's The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and The Fugitive the following year.

She has since become one of the most celebrated actresses of her generation, earning five Oscar nominations and winning once, for her performance as a woman with early-onset Alzheimer's in the 2014 drama Still Alice.

"I continue to enjoy it," she says of making movies. "That's the other thing that's really great."

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Moore, who has children Liv, 20, and Caleb, 25, with her husband, director Bart Freundlich, 53, credits her success with her willingness to put in hard work. "When I'm prepared, I feel like I can do anything in life," she explains. "If I feel like I understand the situation, if I've learned about what I have to do, if I know my lines, if I know what I want ... those things help you."

So does working with people who know how to behave on set. "It's always been important to me, really, from the very beginning of my career," she says of collaborating with cool-headed costars and directors. "Certainly, a lot of actors that I worked with when I was first starting out in the soap opera, there were people who were very kind to me and really set an example of how to behave."

"And I think that stays with you," she continues. "And so when you realize, when you've seen that behavior and know that there's no need for anything outrageous, it's like you want to continue that."

Moore had an incredible time making the movie Sharper. She plays Madeline, the enigmatic wife of a billionaire (John Lithgow). "Everything she's doing, she's doing because it's for her," explains Moore. "The people that she hangs out with, the way that she dresses, the way that she shops, all of it is because she's driven by her own desire and her own sense of pleasure."

John Lithgow and Julianne Moore in Sharper (2023). A24/Apple Studios

After reading the script, "I flipped out," says Moore. "It was so surprising, so funny and shocking. I was never ahead of it; it was always ahead of me."

She loved it so much, in fact, she wanted to produce it too. So she called screenwriters Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka and said, "Let's get together and try to get this made."

Moore is particularly proud of the end result. "It's nice to have it out in the world right now. And people seem to be enjoying it," she says. "So I'm very excited."

Sharper streams on Apple TV+ Friday, Feb.17.

For more on Julianne Moore, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE.

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