Cannes: Julianne Moore Talks About the Year's "Traumatic" Events in the Film Industry

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"Because of our unity and solidarity we feel the ability to manifest change," the actress said as she was joined onstage by festival director Thierry Fremaux.

Julianne Moore called the events surrounding the Harvey Weinstein case and others in the film industry “traumatic,” but said the results have been positive during remarks Wednesday at the Cannes Film Festival.

“We were fortunate enough — or unfortunate enough, depending on how you view it — to have had several really traumatic events in our industry, events people were not disclosing and a lot of people were not aware of,” said the actress, speaking at L’Oreal’s Worth It stage on the Croisette. She said the women that came forward were “a few very, very brave individuals” that allowed entertainment and other industries to follow. “What has been so marvelous is the bravery of this group of people has allowed it to happen all over the world.”

Continued Moore: “Because we are human beings who crave community and crave solidarity — in a sense we are herd animals — when people step forward that way, it allows other people to come forward, too, and it’s a sea change. … Because of our unity and solidarity, we feel the ability to manifest change. It’s not just entertainment. It’s really, really important to stress that it’s about equity and safety all over the world.”

The best actress Oscar winner (Still Alice) also said that her children were “very, very affected by the things that were happening and we discussed them.”

Moore also addressed the gender swap in her upcoming project After the Wedding, an adaptation of the Danish Oscar-nominated film being penned by her husband Bart Freundlich. He made the decision during the writing process, and she decided she wanted the role. “Suddenly it became that much more enticing to me because that was an interesting role,” she said. “Things don’t have to be bound by gender and it’s very easy to switch things around, and so we did.”

Moore was joined onstage by festival director Thierry Fremaux, who downplayed criticism of the fest having only awarded the Palme d’Or to one woman — Jane Campion for 1993's The Piano — and said that the festival has changed the gender makeup of the selection committee following a conversation with Jessica Chastain last year.

After a press conference where Chastain criticized the negative portrayal of women onscreen, Fremaux said he initially defended the films as “freedom of the artist,” but when the actress pointed out the gender imbalance, he decided to change the festival’s policies. “She was right, and we hired more women because their taste is not the same,” said Fremaux.

However, when asked what more needs to happen in the film industry or at Cannes, he compared it to the world of three-star chefs. “How many are there in France? Only one. It’s not only cinema, and it’s not only in Cannes,” he said.

Fremaux added that Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem’s discussion of equal pay for their fest-opening film Everybody Knows would help the cause. “It was cool to hear,” he said. “Little by little, you say some stuff to people and let them think.”