We all know Julianne Moore as the scene-stealing, radiant redhead, but she wasn't always so confident in her fiery, freckled self. The Oscar nominated actress just released her third book, "Best Friends Forever," in her Freckleface Strawberry children's series. Here she talks about finally fitting in and keeping her kids close to home.
Were you teased for having red hair?
Freckleface Strawberry was my nickname till I was seven. It’s not mean, but I felt teased by it. I was living in an area in the Midwest where there were very few people who had the kind of freckles I had. I thought it was really embarrassing, but then of course you grow up and it’s cute.
Ever been to Ireland?
Uh huh, where I look like every girl there.
Were you like, ‘Ah, my people’?
Not only did I look like everybody, but I had one child in a stroller and one was four so I saw myself coming and going. Every girl had red hair and freckles and at least two kids with her.
In the new book there’s a boy whose nickname is Windy Pants.
I wanted his nickname to be something people are teasing him about, that this was a kid that maybe others are teasing.
Don’t you think kids, especially boys, think farts are the funniest things in the world?
Yeah they think it’s funny. It’s also clearly an attempt on my part to be funny to kids and grown-ups. I would read books to my children and the ones I enjoyed the most were the ones that made both of us laugh a lot. We loved Mo Willems, Kevin Henkes. I actually ready "Hugo Cabaret" to my 9-year-old daughter all in one afternoon.
Are you theatrical when you read?
I’m not particularly. I’m a little bit but I also feel you need to allow room for your kids' own imagination. If you set it up too much as performance, then it becomes less about the book.
And more look at the Oscar nominated actress reading a book.
Exactly! Look at all the voices I can do! I try to be more neutral.
I love reading to my kids but there are some nights when I just can’t because my eyeballs hurt.
Well you’re exhausted. Sometimes my kids would pull out a book and it’d be so long and I’d say, ‘Please don’t make me read this now, it’s too long.’ When you’re reading to a child and they are between two and seven and going to sleep you want something that’s peppy, that’s fun, that’s emotional but it’s not like you’re reading the Holy Bible. It can’t be really long.
Your kids are not little kids anymore. Do you miss them being little?
I do and I don’t. They grow up so quickly. There’s always a grieving process about missing your baby, but there’s so much in front of you that’s exciting.
Ever hear "Sunrise, Sunset" in the back of your head?
Are you kidding? Constantly. I think that’s the scariest thing about parenthood. If you’re doing your job really well, you’re preparing them to move out, move away from you, and that’s heartbreaking.
You almost feel like maiming them a little, not badly, just so they can stay with you.
I always tell my daughter, you’re free to go to school anywhere in the New York City region, Columbia, NYU. You can live at home. Think of all the money we’ll save. It’ll be great.’