Why Was Julianne Moore Fired From ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’

It’s never easy to get fired from a job, but while this is a universal truth, many refuse to talk about it much. This is especially true in Hollywood, where cast changes frequently occur, but most actors don’t like to talk about what really happened openly. Accomplished actress Julianne Moore recently spoke about an instance in which she was fired, showing a sense of humility that is rare in performers of her stature. Here’s what she said about the experience.

Julianne Moore on Watch What Happens Live
Julianne Moore | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Julianne Moore is an acclaimed actress

For those not in the know, Moore has made a major impact on the entertainment industry. She got her start in theater and on the soap opera As the World Turns. Moore’s first film 1990’s Tales from the Darkside: The Movie. She began to gain notoriety in the early to mid-1990s.

Moore’s first Oscar nomination came for her supporting role in the Paul Thomas Anderson film Boogie Nights. Though she was nominated three times in between, it wasn’t until 2015’s Still Alice that she took home an Academy Award. In addition to her many acclaimed film performances, Moore has made a number of TV appearances, most notably her arc on the NBC comedy 30 Rock and her HBO TV film Game Change, in which she portrayed former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

She appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen

In March 2019, Moore appeared on an episode of Watch What Happens Live. The actress appeared with host Andy Cohen and designer Diane von Furstenberg to answer fan questions and promote her new film, Gloria Bell. Moore answered many interesting questions, including being asked to choose between her three different on-screen female love interests, played by Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Amanda Seyfried (Chloe), and Ellen Page (Freeheld) as to which was the better kisser.  

Here’s what Moore said about being let go

When asked, Moore said that it was screenwriter Nicole Holofcener that fired her. She told Cohen, “I think she didn’t like what I was doing.” Though shooting hadn’t started at the time, Moore said that “I think that her idea of where the character was different than [where] my idea of the character was.”

Moore acknowledged that it was painful to be let go, but also turned it into a light moment. She said that the only other time she’s been fired was when she was 15 years old and working at a yogurt stand.

She also said that she hasn’t seen the movie

The question Moore was asked was a two-parter, with the viewer also wondering about her opinion of McCarthy in the role. Moore said that she hasn’t seen the movie yet, saying, “it’s still kind of painful.” However, she added support for McCarthy, saying, “I love Melissa McCarthy. I worship her. I think she’s fantastic. So I’m sure she’s great.”  

Melissa McCarthy took over the role of Lee Israel

The film in question, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, stars Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel, an author who begins to create false letters from deceased notable figures. The film is based on a true story, and was nominated for numerous Oscars. McCarthy was nominated for her part as Israel, earning her second nomination. Though Moore obviously would have done an amazing job, McCarthy clearly was the right person for the role in the end.

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