October 14, 2013

Julianne Moore Shocks as Deeply Religious Mother of “CARRIE” (Opens Oct 16)

Academy Award®-nominated actress Julianne Moore plays a troubled girl's ultra-religious and controlling mother, in Columbia Pictures' gripping thriller “Carrie.” A reimagining of the classic horror tale, “Carrie” tells the story of Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz), a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.

Says director Kimberly Peirce, “Having Julianne play Margaret was a dream come true. She’s a brilliant stage and film performer with an extraordinary intelligence, sensuality, and playfulness to her and her work. She deepened the entire film, making it more fun, emotional, and powerful.”

In addition, Peirce adds, “When Julianne came on set a couple of weeks into production, she helped trigger a profound growth in Chloë. Julianne is a brilliant actress, a consummate professional, and one of the most generous actors I have worked with. She’s also a great mother to her own children. She brought all of these qualities to her relationship with Chloe -- they really bonded and became a mother-daughter unit. You feel their connection in every one of their scenes - the emotion, the intensity, and their love and need for one another. Their relationship, both as a love affair and as a duel, forms the heart and soul of the movie. It’s what drives the movie forward from scene one to the climax.”

Chloe Grace Moretz says working with Moore was “one of the most amazing experiences” she’s ever had as an actress. “If I could work with her on every movie I do for the rest of my life, I would. She brought so much to this project and she really made both of our characters even more advanced. What Julianne showed, because Julianne is a mother, is that Margaret is never trying to harm her daughter. Margaret is trying to be the best parent, and she doesn’t know how to because she is so paranoid and terrified of what might happen to her daughter. She wants to keep her in the house, keep her in the closet, keep her safe, keep her a child.”

Moore credits Peirce coming onto the project and her approach to the material as key factors in clinching her involvement. “It’s such an iconic film and amazing story, so you approach it with some trepidation, but I think Kim Peirce is a wonderful director and this take on the story has a great point of view,” says Moore. “A lot of things Kim did go back to the original book by Stephen King. You have to definitely do your own thing, rather than remake it.”

Although the adolescent story is the same, Moore notes, “so much has changed in the ways teenagers communicate, so I thought the social media element was a compelling way to update it. I also loved that more of Margaret’s shocking and scary back-story from the book was incorporated into this script.”

Though she has portrayed many complex characters over her illustrious career, the versatile actress had never tackled a role quite like this. “Margaret is a miserable person, and quite frankly, she was miserable to play,” Moore adds, laughing. “At its core, `Carrie' is about adolescent rebellion; it is certainly extreme in the relationship Carrie has with her mother, but at a certain point in everyone’s life, they grow up and away from who they are as a child. Carrie’s at that moment when she wants to move forward and claim her adolescence but has a parent who’s obstructing that path. In addition to all that, she’s dealing with being at the bottom of the high school social hierarchy.”

Moore was impressed by her onscreen daughter’s ability to channel the ups and downs of adolescence into her performance. “Chloe’s so talented and incredibly hard working and very present,” says Moore, “and she brings a tremendous amount of herself and her ability to the role. I think one of the things that’s so lovely about this is that she is actually an adolescent, so I’m working with somebody who’s in the midst of that change, and that’s kind of unusual.”

Opening across the Philippines in October 16, “Carrie” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

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