Julianne Moore (3 December 1960 -)
The Oscar-winning actress has the kind of career that few can ever dream of, but she’s known mostly for her dramatic roles in movies such as Savage Grace (2007), Short Cuts (1993), Boogie Nights (1997) and Still Alice (2014). But ever since her first big screen appearance in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), she’s flitted from genre to genre and made lasting, indelible impressions in all of them – even in something like Next (2007). Here are five movies you may have forgotten she was in, and which serve as evidence that she can do a wide range of movies and genres and not just drama.
Assassins (1995) – Character: Electra
As the target for both Sylvester Stallone and Antonio Banderas’ titular assassins, Moore plays a nervy computer hacker who (somewhat inevitably) earns Stallone’s trust and protection. In real terms it’s a supporting role, but Moore’s presence is welcome amidst all the testosterone flying around, and she invests the character with a will to survive that plays well against Stallone’s taciturn hitman.
Evolution (2001) – Character: Dr Allison Reed
Moore does comedy in this sci-fi extravaganza, as the clumsiest CDC scientist you’re ever likely to see, and matching old hands David Duchovny and Orlando Jones for laughs. It’s nice to see her doing something lightweight and angst-free, and she seems to be enjoying herself at the same time, displaying a flair for comedy that hasn’t been exploited nearly enough over the years.
Shelter (2010) – Character: Cara Harding
This horror mystery gave Moore a chance to do scary as the forensic psychiatrist who learns that the multiple personalities displayed by one of her patients (played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers) are all murder victims. It’s not the best movie in her resumé, but Moore is as compelling as always and makes her character’s crusade for the truth more understandable and credible than in most movies of this type.
Surviving Picasso (1996) – Character: Dora Maar
In this biopic of the famous artist (played by Anthony Hopkins), Moore gets to appear in a Merchant-Ivory production, and play one of Picasso’s muses, the photographer Dora Maar. Moore is excellent as one of the many women Picasso mistreated during his life, and while this is definitely a dramatic role, here Moore rises to the challenge of playing a real person, and steals the movie.
The English Teacher (2013) – Character: Linda Sinclair
As the character of the title, Moore mixes comedy and drama to disarming effect as a teacher who discovers she’s obsessed by a former student (played by Michael Angarano) who returns to their respective hometown after writing an unsuccessful play in New York. Linda’s determination to put on his play leads her to take risk after risk where she’s never done so before, and Moore makes her obsessive/compulsive behaviour both sweet and disturbing at the same time.