Natalie Portman says working with Julianne Moore on May December was a ‘life highlight’

Natalie Portman (L) and Julianne Moore (R) star in May December.

Natalie Portman has spoken about working opposite Julianne Moore in Todd Haynes’ upcoming romantic drama May December.

The film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, follows Hollywood actress Elizabeth Berry (Portman) who travels to the state of Georgia to study a woman she will be portraying on screen, Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Moore).

Following Elizabeth’s arrival – and 20 years after Gracie and her husband Joe (Charles Melton) hit the tabloids for their scandal-ridden relationship, when the mother-of-two landed in jail for grooming him when he was barely out of seventh grade – old wounds are torn open and the marriage buckles under new pressure.

Backed by an acclaimed cast and crew, both Portman and Moore have been praised in early reviews for their standout performances and stunning onscreen chemistry.

In an interview with People magazine, Black Swan star Portman spoke about her joy at working with Dear Evan Hansen‘s Moore, who previously worked with Carol director Haynes on his 1995 psychological drama Safe and 2002 indie romance Far from Heaven.

“I’ve admired Julie for so long, and particularly her work with Todd,” Portman said.

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“Their collaborations have stayed in my mind as some of the highlights of films that I love,” she continued. “So, to get to be working with them together is absolutely a highlight of my life.”

Portman, who also serves as a producer on May December, brought the script to Haynes in 2020 before it was proposed to Moore.

“I loved this script when I read it,” Moore said. “It’s interesting. It felt slight at first, but the minute you get into it, it’s unbelievably sturdy. It holds a tremendous amount of feeling and humanity and complexity.”

Much like Portman, Haynes heaped praise on Moore for her portrayal of a twisted and complicated character.

“Julianne loves to enter into these places of inscrutability in her depictions of women, and in stories in general,” Haynes said. “She does not want to put the viewer at ease. How you ignite a viewer’s thinking and questioning, opening up something incredibly potent and special, a lot of movies sort of shut that down.”

May December is due in US and UK cinemas on 17 November and on Netflix from 1 December.

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