Monday, January 26, 2009

Julianne Moore Talks Motherhood

Julianne Moore is featured on the cover of the March issue of Redbook Magazine. In the interview, this busy working mom opens up about her family - her husband, writer-director Bart Freundlich, and their two children, son Caleb, about to turn 11, and daughter Liv, 6.

On enjoying the simple things:
"My son had to go to the orthodontist to have his braces off yesterday. We celebrated by chewing gum."

On taking a birthday trip to Paris with son Cal:
"Two months ago, apropos of nothing, my son said, 'Mommy, for our birthdays, instead of a party, let's go to Paris, just the two of us.' This is probably the last time in his life Cal will want to go somewhere alone with his mother. I was flattered and thrilled."

On her involvement with the charity, Save the Children:
"A friend of mine is their artist-ambassador person. She gets people involved. I didn't realize Save the Children had a U.S. program; it reaches communities through the public school system with after-school programs in nutrition, exercise, literacy. We moved a lot when I was little because my dad was in the military, and I went to one public school after another. I lived in Lincoln, Nebraska; Fayetteville, South Carolina; Juneau, Alaska; Falls Church, Virginia. In Juneau — I've told this story many times; it was a formative experience for me — there was a girl in my class. She looked different, very small for her age, very thin, eyes very wide; there was something wrong but no one knew what. I now realize she had fetal alcohol syndrome. It makes me want to cry. I look at our public school system and think there's so much we can do to pick up the slack. So now I'm Save the Children's U.S. ambassador."

On being a working mom:
"I try to work in the summer, or shoot in New York City. I'll try to come back every weekend, or schedule around school breaks. No one likes it, but you're trying to make a living. People say, 'Then don't do it,' but I do have a career. Every woman I know strives for flexibility, and I fortunately have a tremendous amount of it."

On who is the the disciplinarian in their household:
"We both are. But I think moms and dads get angrier at different things. When I talk to other mothers, they say that sometimes dads get mad at things that kids can't help. If a kid is having a tantrum, dads will be, 'Stop that right now.' Moms will be like, 'He's out of control. You can't discipline; you have to find a way to contain it.' Whereas moms get angry if someone breaks a rule. The rule is: Don't wipe dirty hands on the wall, and dads will say, 'What's the big deal?'"

On motherhood changing her:
"You do learn a tremendous amount of patience. Children's pace is glacial, and you can't change that. Literally, just walking down the street with them, I thought I was going to tear my hair out, but that's where they are. It's not difficult to take care of a child; it's difficult to do anything else while taking care of a child. Trying to clean up the kitchen after you've had a baby is a nightmare. You have to wait for the baby to be asleep, you're exhausted, you don't want to clean up the kitchen now. My kids still don't like me to read the newspaper in the morning. I'll be making their breakfast, and I'll have The New York Times there and want to read it, and they'll be like, 'Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.'"

On her daughter, Liv:
"She's incredible, so smart. She's in first grade. I have these pictures of her at kindergarten, I'm sitting on a chair and she's sitting on my lap and I'm talking in her ear and she looks so worried. Kindergarten is the hardest for me — that's the year I cry. I walk out of that classroom and I burst into tears. They're entering the school world."

On what she loves about being an actress:
"The stories. My whole life, my whole personality, my whole raison d'ĂȘtre is about reading stories. It changes your life. It's why I'm obsessed with literacy and children. It's how you learn to want different things and realize that you're part of a collective consciousness and community. When you read, you don't feel like you're alone."

Look for her new book Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully due out in April!

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