Sexism in Hollywood is a vicious beast, one which established actors like Julianne Moore know especially well. Despite years of success in the industry, the When You Finish Saving The World star recalls being criticized for her looks early in her career.
“Someone in the film industry said to me, ‘You should try to look prettier.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can,’” Moore said in a recent interview with The Times UK (via IndieWire). “Obviously, ours is a business where there is some physicality involved, but beauty and prettiness are subjective.”
She continued regarding the lasting effect of this critique: “My red hair made me feel like an outsider growing up. 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.”
Moore adds her voice to an ever-increasing list of actresses calling out the misogyny they’ve experienced throughout their careers. Recently, Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Sarah Michelle Gellar spoke out about her experience working on a “toxic male set” where “women were pitted against each other.” Chloë Grace Moretz also recalls being “infantilized” by older men, not to mention the countless other women who have raised their voice about this issue over the years.
Moore was also one of the many actors to lend her support to Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative of the University of Southern California’s project to “monitor popular entertainment content for issues related to reproductive rights, marriage equality, interracial relationships, and gun violence, and offer insights to create change” in the wake of the overturning of Roe V. Wade.
Moore’s newest film, When You Finish Saving The World, premieres January 20.