Julianne Moore doesn’t think she’d be “comfortable” being part of a mostly straight cast telling an LGBT+ story in The Kids Are All Right today.
The 59-year-old Oscar winner starred alongside Annette Bening in the 2010 drama, which was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to depict a married same-sex couple raising children conceived via a sperm donor.
A decade later, though, Moore has told Variety that some of the criticisms of the movie’s cast were valid.
Read more: Why Moore wasn’t in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
The actor said she had “thought about it a lot”, given the fact that all of the lead actors telling the story of a “queer family” were straight.
She said: “I look back and go ‘ouch, wow’. I don’t know that we would do that today, I don’t know that we would be comfortable.
“We need to give real representation to people, but I’m grateful for all of the experiences that I’ve had as an actor because my job is to communicate a universality of experience to the world.
“The idea that, rather than othering people, we’re saying we’re all the same. Our humanity is shared.”
Director Lisa Cholodenko — herself a lesbian who had a child using a sperm donor — said she could “feel the gayness” of Moore and Bening and that this influenced her casting choice.
“While I want to promote gay people representing gay people, trans people, all the rest, queer people — it’s also a commercial prospect. It’s all those things,” she said.
Cholodenko added: “It didn’t feel phony to me. I didn’t feel like I was putting somebody in an outfit and asking them to parade as something that was false.”
The filmmaker said there were discussions about casting Jodie Foster and so there was an LGBT+ performer in the frame.
Foster told Variety she didn’t recall being offered the role, but that she was working on her directorial effort The Beaver at the time and so would not have been available.
Read more: Foster criticises superhero movies
Also starring Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right went on to be nominated for four Oscars — including Best Picture and acting nods for Bening and Ruffalo.
It appeared on numerous lists of the best films of 2010 and is now held up as a key work of queer cinema.