Julianne Moore Dishes On Her Penchant For Taking On Emotionally Challenging Roles

Pam WrightLife

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Julianne Moore's latest role Still Alice, which follows the heartbreaking story of a successful Columbia University suffering through the horrors of early-onset Alzheimer's Disease, is already creating Oscar buzz, with many predicting she's not only a shoo-in for a nomination, but could very walk off with the coveted prize.

In an interview with Los Angeles Times, the 54-year-old actress said she prepared for the role by meeting with the head of the national Alzheimer's Association, undergoing a battery of tests and spending time with dozens of patients suffering from the condition.

"I didn't want it to be this general thing, where you just give this mannered performance of someone who has a disease," Moore said of her preparation for the role. "People think personalities get obliterated with Alzheimer's. And I found people's personalities come through loud and clear."

If the pundits' prediction of an Academy Award win becomes a reality, it would be The Hunger Games actress' first Oscar after four nominations without a win.

"I'm not cool enough to say I pooh-pooh it all," she said. "I wish I could say 'Eh, whatever.' I really do. But I'm not. I like a prize as much as anyone."

Still Alice, which also stars Kristen Stewart as one of Alice's three adult children, is not Moore's first foray into emotionally challenging roles. In fact, she says playing women going through incredibly difficult circumstances could very well be her defining strength as an actress.

"Oh, God, I think it says that on my Wikipedia page," Moore joked, then added, "I don't know if that's true. I like playing women dealing with their circumstances."

"There's a Zadie Smith line I always get wrong that says that people denigrate family movies as being less important, and 'How can that be when it's the most important narrative of our lives?' I feel like I'm just playing regular people in relationships. I like those stories better than 'Hey, I discovered Antarctica.' Which actually has to do with somebody's parents anyway," Moore said.

"No one's leading a typical life," she added. "Everyone's story is a big story."

Pam Wright