INTERVIEW: Julianne Moore Says She Based Havana On An Amalgam Of Hollywood Casualties

On the roof terrace of a hotel on the Croisette Julianne Moore talks all things Havana Segrand with ‘The Guardian’

Read an excerpt of the interview below and head over to The Guardian for the full interview


Moore stars as Havana Segrand, the fading queen of a debauched Hollywood elite, who barks her orders while enthroned on the toilet, flapping one manicured hand to dispel her own stench. Havana is grotesque, gaudy and ruthless; a nightmarish Norma Desmond for the 21st-century. I’m tempted to file this one as her most autobiographical role to date.

“A-ha, that’s so right,” exclaims Moore, who is always accommodating, at least up to a point. “You know me so well. But no,” she adds. “No. At least I hope it’s not me.”

She is so abidingly polite, she won’t even deride Havana, a woman who strikes me as an out-and-out monster. “Oh, I wouldn’t say she’s a monster, although it’s true she does behave monstrously at times. She’s one of these creatures that are very common in our industry, in that all of her self-worth and affirmation is projected from outside as opposed to inside. And the longer you live that kind of lifestyle, the more empty you become, until there comes a point when you just implode.” She shakes her head and smoothes her dress. “You know, maybe that’s a danger in any profession. But in the movie business it’s heightened because it’s all tied up with your face and how you look and the world’s perception of that. But the only people who can affirm you are your family. They are the ones who are close to you. They’re the only ones who can really see you.”

Moore explains that she based the character on an amalgam of Hollywood casualties she has encountered on her travels – although perhaps there is a glimmer of her own early experiences in there too. “There, you see. So maybe you’re right. I do remember when I was starting acting, going from one set to the next, with not much else going on in my life. And at the end of the day you get back to your hotel room and just feel this awful loneliness, because the cameras have stopped rolling. If you ever want to have an existential moment, that’s the time. You sit there and think, ‘Who am I?’.”

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