Julianne Moore has a different view of one of her classic roles.
In a new article at Variety, the cast and crew of “The Kids Are All Right” look back on the family drama 10 years after its release.
In the film, Moore starred opposite Annette Bening as a lesbian couple with kids, but in the years since there has been backlash to the fact that both actresses are straight.
“I can see why people took issue with a lesbian character having an affair with her sperm donor,” Moore said. “On the other hand, I think that Jules’ character was someone described as being very fluid, sexually and personally. She was floating, in the sense of her entire identity — as a woman, as a person, in her career.”
She added, “I’ve thought about that a lot. Here we were, in this movie about a queer family, and all of the principal actors were straight. I look back and go, ‘Ouch. Wow.’”
Moore continued, “I don’t know that we would do that today, I don’t know that we would be comfortable. We need to give real representation to people, but I’m grateful for all of the experiences that I’ve had as an actor because my job is to communicate a universality of experience to the world. The idea that, rather than othering people, we’re saying we’re all the same. Our humanity is shared.”
Director Lisa Cholodenko, who is openly gay herself, responded to the controversy, saying, “When I cast Julianne and Annette, I really felt like, on the continuum of gayness, I could feel their gayness. It didn’t feel phoney to me. I didn’t feel like I was putting somebody in an outfit and asking them to parade as something that was false.”
The filmmaker added, “I tend to err on the side of, ‘It’s make believe,’ and it’s of the discretion of the director who’s the most compelling for that job. So, I don’t think it’s mutually exclusive,” she added. “While I want to promote gay people representing gay people, trans people, all the rest, queer people — it’s also a commercial prospect. It’s all those things.”