Long before she became a movie star, Julianne Moore played lookalike half-sisters on the TV soap opera "As the World Turns." She won a Daytime Emmy Award for the dual parts in 1988, nine years before her big-screen breakthrough in "Boogie Nights."
"When you're young and starting out, you can't be selective about the jobs you choose," Moore said during an interview in New York, where she was promoting her new film "Chloe." "You have to work and earn a living. Besides, every job is an education. You learn something from every one."
Moore, 39, can be selective these days. A four-time Oscar nominee, she has a thriving career and a busy personal life raising two children - a 12-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl - in Manhattan with her director-husband Bart Freundlich.
"I'm very lucky," she said. "I love my work and I have a wonderful family. My husband and I try to stagger our work schedules so one of us is always home. Today he's on a field trip at the planetarium."
In "Chloe," directed by Atom Egoyan, Moore plays a doctor who suspects her husband (Liam Neeson) is having an affair. She hires a call girl (Amanda Seyfried) to test his fidelity, but the hooker turns out to have her own agenda and the plan goes awry.
"It's about a woman who's disenfranchised from her own marriage," Moore said. "She's begun to feel it's not the same anymore ... but she chooses a very twisted way to try to understand him."
Moore was reluctant to remarry after her divorce from actor John Gould Rubin in 1995. She married Freundlich in 2003 after her second child was born.
"Marriage is not for the faint of heart," she said. "It's challenging and rewarding, but it's not easy. Someone recently asked me, 'What's the craziest thing you've ever done for love?' And I said, 'Get married.'"
Neeson's wife, actress Natasha Richardson, died in a freak skiing accident a year ago while he was shooting "Chloe" in Toronto.
Moore declined to talk about the tragedy out of respect for Neeson's privacy. She did speak about her itinerant childhood as an Army brat, her nude scenes on camera and her failure to win an Oscar.
The daughter of a military judge and a psychiatric social worker, Moore moved two dozen times as her family shuttled from one Army base to another in the U.S. and Germany.
"I think growing up that way teaches you a lot about universality," she said. "There are huge cultural differences as you go from city to city, state to state and country to country. But you also see what everyone has in common. Having that broad experience is helpful as an actor because you get to see such a variety of human behavior."
Moore has been nominated twice for best actress ("Far From Heaven" and "The End of the Affair") and twice for best supporting actress ("The Hours" and "Boogie Nights"). She's still waiting to hoist an Oscar statuette.
"Sure, it would be wonderful to win," she said, "but you also have to keep things in perspective. I've had a lot of Oscar nominations and I feel that's a commendation for my work. A lot of great actors have never won an Oscar."