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Julianne Moore on motherhood, favorite Long Island spots, new children's book
Julianne Moore is no stranger to the big screen. The Academy Award winning actress starred in movies ranging from "Boogie Nights" to "Nine Months" to "Far From Heaven."
She's also a children's book author, penning the "Freckleface Strawberry" series as well as her new book, "My Mom is a Foreigner, But Not to Me" (Chronicle Books; $16.95), which is due out this month.
Recently Moore stopped by the 21 Club in Manhattan for a Mamarazzi event, a gathering of mom bloggers hosted by Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein of The MOMs, a lifestyle brand that's featured on TV, online and in print, to talk about her new kids book. I was able to catch up with her about her latest projects as well as her son, Cal, 15 and her daughter, Liv, 11. Here's what she had to say:
Q. What was your inspiration behind writing "My Mom Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me"?
"My mom inspired me. She is from Scotland, immigrated in 1950 to the U.S. She didn't receive her citizenship until 1968 when she was 27. It was a big deal for her. We talk a lot about assimilation and how the U.S. is a melting pot. But, it's not quite the experience I had. There was always a strong sense of another culture in our house. You're also aware as an American kid that there's something about your mother that's foreign to the culture that you live in, but to you, she's the most familiar person in the world."
Q. What were some of the cultural differences?
"My mom had an accent. Red hair and freckles. She looked Scottish, and I do too. We had special foods that we grew up with that my mother made. I had a kilt. She braided my hair. I've heard very similar stories from other women with mothers from different cultures. At the end of the day, that mother is your mother and she does everything perfectly. My mom tucked me in at night, sang me songs, cooked me dinner. We all have different cultures, and those cultures also define who we are."
Q. Why did you decide to write the "Freckleface Strawberry" series?
"I had a friend in the book business who suggested that I write about this subject -- that other kids would like. Children become very self-conscious around 7 years old. They come from an idyllic place and then they realize that they don't like their ears or they hate their hair. When I was growing up people called me Freckleface Strawberry."
Q. What's your favorite children's book?
"My favorite children's book of all time is 'Little Women.' It's a beautiful book and has an innocent feel to it. It's a great read for young girls, especially someone like Jo, who wanted to be a writer and made it happen."
Q. Do you feel your acting career and some of the roles you've played influenced how you are as a parent?
"No. I'm very compartmentalized. My family life, my children, my husband -- that's my real life. My acting life, creative life is a separate thing. They don't intertwine. Only in the sense in that I have to be very scheduled, like every mother. You have to make your work life accommodate your family life."
Q. Many moms struggle with balancing family and work. How do you balance it al, and what advice do you have for working moms?
"It's super hard. First of all, I feel fortunate to have this problem. It's something my mother's generation didn't have a choice about, so I don't take it for granted. I'm so grateful to have a family and to work, both of which I'm extremely gratified by. I have a ton of flexibility with my career. I've brought my kids to work with me in the trailer. I'm able to work certain periods and then have off. It's been happily flexible."
Q. What are your favorite things to do as a family?
"We spend a lot of time at the beach. We swim, we take walks. We watch movies and go to the movies. We eat out a lot because we live in Manhattan. We do all the things that regular families do. We spend a tremendous amount of time together."
Q. What are your favorite family things to do on Long Island?
"We love everything about Long Island. We love the beach, farm stands, we go pumpkin picking and to the corn mazes in the fall. We have a real attachment to the East End. We've had a place out there for a long time. The ocean is so amazing -- some of the most beautiful beaches in the world."
Q. What's up next for you?
"I have a new movie coming out, 'Don Jon,' this week, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In October, I have 'Carrie' based on the Stephen King novel. I play Margaret White, Carrie's mother."