Actress Julianne Moore: Military Brat Turned World Famous Movie Star

Julianne Moore at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, Photo credit to gdcgraphics
Digital artwork of Julianne Moore, the photo is done in black and white, and is a realistic styled drawing.
Digital Artwork of Julianne Moore, Art by David Alexander Elder, Feb. 4, 2015

Actress Julianne Moore has been in copious amounts of films since she began acting in 1985. Appearing in more than 80 movies, Moore has made a name for herself globally. Before she made it on the big screen, one of Moore’s most prominent traits was her highly mobile life.

Early life

Moore was born on Dec. 3, 1960. She was born at the Fort Bragg army installation in North Carolina, a military B.R.A.T. since day one. Her father, Peter Moore Smith, was a military judge, attaining the rank of colonel after fighting in the Vietnam War. Her mother Anne was a psychologist and social worker, moving from the United States (U.S.) from Scotland as a child. Moore declared British Citizenship to honor her mother who passed away.

Julianne Moore at a festival event, she is wearing a black blazer, posing for a picture.
66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra), Photo by Nicolas Genin – originally posted to Flickr, 11 Sept. 2009

Being a Military B.R.A.T. took Moore around the United States and into multiple countries throughout her childhood.

“It’s not something I’d recommend but it made me who I am,” Moore said in an interview with “The Guardian”. “It gave me adaptability, a sense of universality,” Moore said.

In Moore’s first 18 years of life, she had 23 moves total, attending nine different schools. Moore told “The Telegraph” that moving so often made it difficult to create friendships and revealed insecurities. She also told them that it strengthened her family’s relationship.

TCK turned renowned actress

Moore’s Third Culture Kid (TCK) up-brining made her adaptable, which proved to help her acting career. “When you move around a lot, you learn that behavior is mutable,” Moore said in an interview with the “New York Times” Style Magazine. “It teaches you to watch, to reinvent, that character can change.”

Actress Julianne Moore at a red carpet during a movie premiere, she is wearing in black strapless dress, smiling.
Julianne Moore at the premiere of the movie THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT at the 2010 Berlinale, Photo credit to Siebbi

In her interview, Moore noted that a lot of people in acting come from culturally fluid backgrounds. Because TCKs need to be flexible and change, a knack for acting may come naturally.

How Reading Led to Acting

Reading became a hideaway for Moore. “When I was growing up, the place I felt least alone was when I was reading,” More told “Elle Magazine.

At the age of 16, Moore had plans to be a doctor, but her avid reading led her to the theatre. Soon she began taking part in the theatre program at the school she was attending, Frankfurt American High school in West Germany. Escaping life through reading ultimately guided Moore to becoming an actress.

“My Mom is A Foreigner, But Not to Me”

Actress Julianne Moore wearing a black shirt, with sunglasses on.
Julianne Moore in 2017, Photo by John Bauld, September 10, 2017

Her love for reading also led to the creation of her book “My Mom Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me.” The children’s book, published in 2013, is about growing up in an environment with multiple cultures. It celebrates the differences that some mothers may have from others. Moore’s mother Anne, who moved from Scotland to the United States at the age of 10,  inspired her to write the book. 

“My mother’s culture was essential to her, and it was important to her that the three of us knew that we were a part of that culture as well,” Moore said in an interview with“First Book.” “As I grew up, I have met many 1st generation Americans, and I noticed similarities  – different ways of dressing, accents, sayings, etc. All so personal and idiosyncratic to that particular family – but so alike in sensation,” Moore said. 

Moore’s observations catch onto how TCK’s often share many sentiments, while their pasts still vary.

Uncovering Issues in the Education System

Moore was exposed to flaws within the U.S. education system during her time as a TCK. As she moved and lived in areas with different tax brackets, the quality of her education changed. Because of her highly mobile upbringing, she witnessed the lack of equality firsthand.

“We lived in Nebraska for awhile, and I saw what schools were like in areas that were just strapped. Then I went to school in Alaska, where the public elementary school served an array of economic needs,” Moore said in an interview with WebMD.

Moore uses her platform as an actress to promote programs like Save the Children that aim to alleviate childhood poverty.

For Moore, inspiring young people to read can level the educational playing field. “We will not be serving our children and the population at large if we do not educate everyone equally,” Moore told “First Book.

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