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Demi Moore Says She Almost Quit Acting After ‘Questioning My Own Ability’

Demi Moore Almost Quit Acting
Demi MooreDave Benett/amfAR/Getty Images for amfAR

Demi Moore is pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction to her latest film, The Substance, after she considered stepping away from the big screen for good.

“It’s not like I ever officially left, but I understand the sentiment and appreciate it,” Moore, 61, shared with Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Thursday, May 23. “There hasn’t been a project or a role that has come along that has been this dynamic for me to really dive into and sink my teeth into.”

The Substance tells the story of an aging actress who resorts to a black-market drug to create a younger, better version of herself. The horror thriller from French director Coralie Fargeat recently premiered at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival and reportedly earned Moore a 13-minute standing ovation.

It’s a special moment Moore didn’t know she would experience after contemplating an exit from acting altogether.

Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet gallery 415

Related: The Best Red Carpet Fashion From 2024 Cannes Film Festival

“I went through a period of even questioning whether this is what I should still be doing,” she told the publication. “In the last four years or so, I felt that it was a personal question that I wanted to explore and see. Was this where I should be putting my energy? When you plant seeds, you wait to see what grows.”


Demi Moore The Substance
Demi Moore in ‘The Substance’. CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

After the release of her films G.I. Jane and Deconstructing Harry in 1997, Moore took a sabbatical to spend time with her children. She shares daughters Rumer, 35, Scott, 32, and Tallulah, 30, with ex-husband Bruce Willis. Moore later returned to the big screen with a fresh mindset.

“I re-engaged and did Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and a few things,” she shared. “It’s changed, but at that time, there was a feeling like I didn’t quite know where I fit. I worked, I did some things — some good things I’m proud of, like Margin Call.”

At the same time, she was still “questioning my own ability, my own value, my own place.”


Related: Demi Moore’s Dating History: A Timeline of Her Marriages, Flings

After saying yes to The Substance, Moore is grateful to have another chance to act and showcase another side of herself. (She participates in a “full-frontal” nudity scene for the first time.) The actress is also excited to channel a character she believes many moviegoers will be able to relate to.

“Like the film, it doesn’t matter what’s going on outside of you, it has to do with what’s going on inside of you,” Moore shared. “Dealing with aging, feeling rejection and also that external seeking of validation. There were aspects of it that I feel we’ve all had moments with.”

A release date for The Substance has not been announced, but the film has been sold for distribution around the world.

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