For actresses Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore, playing mother and daughter came all too naturally. The women star in new drama Still Alice, which tells the story of a happily married linguistics professor and mother of three (Moore) who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, and how her family grapples with the tragic disease. Moore, who received the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Film for her performance on Sunday, stopped by HuffPost Live this week with costar Stewart to talk about the film, working together, and her acceptance speech regrets.
Moore, 54, and Stewart, 24, have known each other since long before filming the upcoming drama, out Jan. 16. The pair first met when Stewart starred in 2004’s Catch That Kid, directed by Moore’s husband Bart Freundlich.
“I was so excited to work with Kristen, I knew her, she was in a movie with my husband when she was 12, 12-and-a-half years old,” said Moore. “And Bart would come home from work and say this girl is amazing, she’s a star, she’s such a great actor, I can’t believe it.”
Stewart called herself “a little weirdo” at age 12, but admitted their long friendship aided in creating a believable mother-daughter relationship on screen in Still Alice.
“I didn’t have to fake anything. As an actor on any movie, that’s always an awful feeling, is when you go ‘oh I have to fill in the blanks because I am not feeling you,’” said Stewart. The Twilight star said this was not the case with Moore.
Portraying Alice, who is struggling to understand her disease, inspired Moore and Stewart to both consider how they hold onto memories.
“Memory is based on feeling and experience, and I think, for Alice, what she realizes, that as it goes the only substitute for those feelings is being as present as you can in the moment that you have, and I think that’s kinda the lesson of Still Alice,” said Moore.
While Moore is getting Oscar buzz yet again for her portrayal of Alice, she said she doesn’t make role decisions based on awards potential. Stewart echoed this attitude, calling her costar “perfect” for not aiming to only choose “perfect projects.”
“I think that anyone who worries about their trajectory or anyone that like, tactfully moves through their career, you have to question why they’re doing it,” said Stewart.
Moore, nevertheless, is being showered with critical praise for her turn as the linguist. The redhead took home the Best Actress in a Drama statue, but was also nominated in the comedy category for her film Maps to the Stars. (Which just so happens to costar Stewart’s ex, Robert Pattinson.) Despite that, she admits she didn’t prepare an acceptance speech, even with the double award nods.
“I also feel like it’s bad juju, I’m oddly superstitious, you feel if you’re too prepared then you’re asking for it,” said the mom of two. Moore did have some regrets from her unprepared acceptance speech however, including scolding herself for bad posture.
“I was trying to be as present as possible, that was the goal… and I kinda made it,” she said, continuing, “So now I wish that I had taken a deep breath and managed to get Kristen’s name out, for one thing.”
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