Julianne Moore Says She Was Told To Get Prettier

Julianne Moore said someone told her to look prettier early on in her career.

By Jessica Scott | Updated

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore may be a highly successful actress with an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and an Emmy to prove it, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still feel insecure from time to time. It’s easy to understand why, too, when you learn that, according to The Times, she was criticized for her looks at the beginning of her career. “Someone in the film industry said to me, ‘You should try to look prettier,’” she said. “I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can.’”

Everyone knows that beauty and glamor are big aspects of show business, but these things are highly subjective. As Julianne Moore points out, there is no single definition of beautiful: different people find beauty in different things. So, who is to say that she wasn’t already beautiful?

This wasn’t the first time Julianne Moore felt like the odd one out because of her looks, either. “My red hair made me feel like an outsider growing up,” she went on. “Redheads are two percent of the global population. Nobody wants to feel like they’re in the minority, particularly as a young child.”

“Now, I feel very identified with my hair and freckles, but there’s still a part of me that would rather be a tanned blonde,” she admits. 

It seems bizarre to think that an actress with such talent and so many accolades could ever feel less than, but Julianne Moore is human just like everyone else. Her sharing her struggles with self-consciousness and insecurity can go a long way toward helping others feel encouraged to speak out when they are made to feel as if they are less beautiful than others because of the physical aspects they were born with.

amanda seyfried julianne moore chloe
Amanda Seyfried and Julianne Moore in Chloe (2010)

In 2021, the Lost World: Jurassic Park actress spoke with As If magazine about how sexist Hollywood and the media can be as well. She said that the phrase “aging gracefully” is “totally sexist,” as it is only ever used when describing a woman who is getting older. 

It also implies that there is a right way and a wrong way to age, when getting older is something that happens whether you want it to or not. “Is there an ungraceful way to age?” she asked. “We don’t have an option of course. No one has an option about aging, so it’s not a positive or a negative thing, it just is.”

Aging and beauty are on Julianne Moore’s mind recently due to her upcoming film, May December, which recently wrapped up production. The movie is about a woman, Gracie Atherton-Yu, played by Moore, who married a man 23 years younger than her, providing the tabloids with plenty of fodder. 20 years after they were in all the headlines, the couple must deal with their twins graduating high school and their home becoming an empty nest.

Julianne Moore’s character’s life is further complicated when an actress comes to stay with them to better understand their family’s life for an upcoming movie about their infamous romance. This actress (played by Natalie Portman), causes Atherton-Yu’s husband to take a look back at what happened when he was a teenager – and at what life will be like as an empty-nester at just 36 years old.

Julianne Moore is also starring in the Jesse Eisenberg-directed When You Finish Saving the World, which hits theaters on January 20.