Julianne Moore on ‘Wonderstruck’ by Uinterview

Julianne Moore stars in the upcoming Todd Haynes-helmed film Wonderstruck, based on the novel by Brian Selznick. The movie, which premiered at the New York Film Festival last week, follows two stories, set 50 years apart, switching between deaf children Rose in 1927 and Ben in 1977.

JULIANNE MOORE ON WONDERSTRUCK

Moore’s character is a silent film star in the ’20s, and someone that Rose looks up to. The actress grappled with the difficulty of acting without being able to speak. “The challenge is always authenticity in anything that you do. Todd always offers us lots of resources when you’re working, so he had a list of silent films that he wanted me to see… so that was extremely interesting to me, ’cause it wasn’t a world I’d seen [a lot of],” Moore explained. “And how do you express story, how are you naturalistic in a way that a modern audience is going to be able to know that you’re speaking the silent film vernacular but you’re also able to communicate what you need communicate to without being off-putting.”

Moore and Haynes have worked on many projects together in the past, so the fact that he was directing the piece drew the actress to the project. Beyond that, Moore was a big fan of the original book. “I actually am friends with Brian Selznick through the children’s book world, and I’ve read Wonderstruck and loved it, and I remember when he told me he really wanted Todd to direct it, I thought, ‘Okay?'” Moore noted. “Because Todd generally does his own things, and he actually managed to get it to Todd, Todd fell in love with it, and that’s how it happened. Then Todd called me and said, ‘Would you be interested in playing these roles,’ and of course I was, absolutely, being a huge fan of the book and a long time partner to Todd and his work.”

Their working partnership began back in 1994 when Moore auditioned for a role in one of his films. “I was in Pittsburgh making a movie, and my agent sent me the script for Safe,” she recalled. “I read it and thought it was extraordinary and I couldn’t believe they were holding auditions for it. I was like, ‘shouldn’t somebody be cast already, there should be somebody famous in this.’ And I loved it, and I flew home to New York and I went to audition for him and read three scenes and we barely spoke, and he cast me afterwards.”

Moore believes the film will be important to the deaf community showing how they can find their own culture. “It is important, these are two kids that are searching for something and they don’t know what they’re searching for, and what they find is their culture,” she says. “They find a world where they are able to communicate with people. They both learn ASL… it’s kind of a beautiful exploration of what it means to find your culture.”

Wonderstruck hits theaters Oct. 20. See the trailer below.