AE: When you were reading the script, what stuck out to you?
JM: The thing about families is that they’re with you from the beginning to the end and they’re with you through some tough stuff. Mia (Wasikowska, who plays Moore’s daughter, Joni) was saying in an interview that they’re the only people who go through that whole life experience with you; they see everything. There’s something incredibly intimate about that.
Moore and Mia Wasikowska
What’s so interesting about this movie is that it really highlights how important a family is. What a long-term relationship is. What it means to stick it out with somebody; to forgive people’s mistakes; to punish people within your family; to guide them toward growing up and leaving after you’ve been so attached — all of these things. The film is a really interesting exploration of that.
AE: Did the Jules character appeal to you instantly? Or did you consider playing Nic?
JM: I liked Jules right away. Jules was the one I responded to. I liked how searching she is, how in between she is. I just really responded to it.
Annette Bening and Moore in The Kids Are All Right
AE: She’s very playful.
JM: Yeah she is. And she’s very emotional, too. She feels first and she thinks second. Her gift is her ability to connect with people. Somebody said, “You have chemistry with everybody.” I said, “That’s kind of what Jules is.” She’s the kind of person who people are like, “Hey, I really like her.” She’s all out front like that. That was a fun thing to play.
AE: How would you rate Annette Bening among the love interests you’ve had on-screen? You’ve had so many!
JM: I know! I’ve had a lot! [Laughs] I’m doing a Steve Carell movie right now and I turned to the writer and said, “I think this is the first movie I haven’t kissed anybody in!” And the writer said, “No, you kiss Kevin Bacon!” I forgot that I had to kiss him. I’ve kissed so many actors! And actresses! Actors and actresses are great kissers. That’s our secret — we’re all really good kissers.
AE: Some of the sex scenes had to be trimmed to get the R rating. Did that surprise you?
JM: Who knows what those people are looking at, I really don’t know. It seems crazy. I have less of an issue with that kind of stuff than with things exploding. Sex is OK, everybody does it. Most of us don’t throw bombs. [Laughs]
AE: You have no problem showing your body on-screen. It’s very honestly exposed.
JM: Thank you, but everyone has a problem showing their bodies. There’s not much exposed in Kids — there are no body parts. The stuff in Chloe — that was harder! Particularly with a 24-year-old on top of me. [Laughs]
It was easier in Kids because it was more covered up and it was more comic — we were just rolling around and stuff like that. It’s never easy to do; you’re trying to give people an authentic experience at the movies and this was supposed to be funny.
AE: Are you nervous before you do a sex scene?
JM: Everybody’s nervous before that stuff, yeah. But it’s part of our job and you figure out how to do it.