Julianne was cast as the cop early a year ago (14), and Ellen admits she was emotional as she realised they would finally be able to move Freeheld into production, thanks to the Still Alice actress’ star power.
“I found the story of Laurel and Stacie to be incredibly moving”. In 2005, Hester tried to pass on her pension benefits to her partner, Stacie Andree (Page), after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Possibly more troubling is that the film seems to argue that there’s only way to win the small-minded over on issues of human rights: by putting the arguments in the mouths of people exactly like them.
“Ellen Page has been an inspiration for LGBT youth around the world”, HRC President Chad Griffin said. While it’s an undeniably powerful film, it also seemingly feels the need to tread carefully – for a story that’s ostensibly about two lesbians, the script by “Philadelphia” writer Ron Nyswaner (based on Cynthia Wade’s documentary) spends an terrible lot of screen time on Michael Shannon as a straight guy who learns that gay people are OK, and that discrimination is bad. Instead it’s a grave matter of life and death – Moore plays a dying detective who wants to leave her pension to her partner.
“It makes you want to do the right thing and live your life in a true, authentic way and be a visible person to the community”, she said. Moore makes the point that the the Supreme Court decision on marriage this past June was achieved in large part thanks to women like Laurel Hester and Edith Windsor. They wanted to be treated equal.
She described being closeted as toxic and said she was happy to share stories and meet inspiring people since coming out.
Fortunately, Moore decided that message of the movie was important and signed on, which was a huge relief to co-star and producer Ellen Page (along with her manager Kelly Bush Novak, who is also openly gay).
Moore and Page’s 26-year age gap mirrors the difference between the actual couple, and their chemistry on screen is authentic.