A Minute With: Julianne Moore on being Sarah Palin

Wed Mar 7, 2012 8:03am EST
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By Jill Jacobs

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Julianne Moore has played a range of film characters from a cocaine snorting porn star in "Boogie Nights" to a lesbian cheating mom in "The Kids Are All Right," and she's been Oscar nominated four times for movies including "The Hours."

On Saturday, the 51-year-old takes on another complicated role, portraying real-life conservative firebrand politician Sarah Palin in HBO's "Game Change."

The TV movie, which is based on Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's book of the same name, offers a dramatization of the Republican 2008 campaign and failed presidential bid of John McCain (Ed Harris), as told through the eyes of senior strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson).

With a strong vocal impression and uncanny physical resemblance to Palin, Moore delivers the one-time vice president nominee Palin in a role that already has some industry watchers buzzing with Emmy predictions. Reuters sat down with Moore to talk about her role in the film and her work outside acting.

Q: Was it hard playing someone who is still living?

A: "I've never played a living figure, and the responsibility of that is enormous. She's extremely well-known and still very present. She's a correspondent on Fox. I certainly felt a real responsibility not to do anything that was not corroborated by the writer."

Q: Sarah Palin is a polarizing figure who engenders many different opinions. Are you ready for viewers' responses?

A: "There's been already been a strong response to the movie. But the film is well-researched and well-documented. What became evident and what we dramatize is the fact that she was not vetted to the extent that they usually vet a candidate. They were in a hurry. They needed a running mate, and I think the vetting process was maybe somewhat more cursory than it should have been. And as they find out more and more about her, they realize that she doesn't know much about foreign policy, and that became evident to the American people, particularly with Charlie Gibson, Sean Hannity as well and Katie Couric."   Continued...

Cast member Julianne Moore poses at the premiere of "The Kids Are All Right" during the Los Angeles Film Festival in Los Angeles June 17, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni