Julianne Moore’s latest film, Freeheld, may be the real-life story of a lesbian couple fighting for domestic-partner rights, but as she recently told EW, she doesn’t want it to be labeled a “gay movie.” And during an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show airing Wednesday, the actress spoke further about the real-life people the film was inspired by.
Moore plays Laurel Hester, a police detective who is diagnosed with terminal cancer and isn’t permitted to pass her pension benefits to her partner, Stacie Andree (Ellen Page), because they’re a same-sex couple.
“It’s a really inspiring story about some very, very special people,” Moore said. “[LGBT activist] Edie Windsor said that Laurel Hester [whom Moore plays in the film] was a hero because she demanded to be treated like everybody else. So that’s really it. There was no special treatment involved; it really was what by all rights should have been theirs. I mean this is a true story and these are real people.”
Moore and DeGeneres also talked about the importance of the film for Page, who publicly came out as gay last year.
“I think it was a meaningful project, because she had been attached to it as a producer for so long, that it meant so much to her personally,” Moore said. “It was meaningful for me to talk to Ellen about her experiences and for her to talk about what it means to be closeted and to then come out and what the repercussions in your personal life and in your professional life. Ellen and I got very close.”
The real-life Andree was in attendance during Moore’s Ellen appearance, and Moore thanked her for her cooperation with the film.
“What they did for us, what Stacie and Dane [Wells, Hester’s police partner] did, they basically opened their homes and were on the phone with us and talked to us about every little detail because Ellen and I wanted to get it right,” Moore said.
Freeheld is out in wide release Oct. 16.