Late Night: Julianne Moore says ‘Game Change’ is fair to Sarah Palin
Though John McCain and Sarah Palin loyalists have preemptively voiced their disapproval of HBO's upcoming film "Game Change," based on John Heilemann's and Mark Halperin's bestselling account of the 2008 presidential campaign, actress Julianne Moore insists that she and her collaborators made every effort to be -- ahem -- fair and balanced in their portrayal of Palin.
In an appearance on "The Daily Show" Tuesday night, Moore, who plays the surprise vice presidential pick in the film, said, "We were careful to be as balanced as possible in our portrayal." She explained how director Jay Roach reached out to Palin's representatives, who declined to cooperate with the project.
"This is less of a story about Sarah Palin than it is those 60 days between her pick and the loss," Moore said. "We're really trying to tell that story. And it really is: How do we choose our leaders? Why is it we're so drawn to magnetism, charisma, good looks, all those things that movie stars have. Do our leaders need to have those too?"
The actress acknowledged the difficulty of playing such an instantly recognizable cultural figure without lapsing into caricature. Luckily, she said, there was no shortage of research material at her disposal. YouTube was an invaluable resource, according to Moore, as was the memoir "Going Rogue," and even the TLC reality series "Sarah Palin's Alaska."
She said she also worked with a vocal coach to master Palin's peculiar, geographically mysterious accent. "Now I've been to Alaska, and they don't sound like that," observed host Jon Stewart. Agreeing, Moore put forth her own theory as to its origins. "She speaks most like her father, so it seems to be based on the Idaho accent, but then she even takes it further, so it seems to be her own particular way of speaking," she said, noting Palin's habit of emphasizing her prepositions. (Linguistics nerd alert!)
Whatever you think of Palin or "Game Change," you have to admit: Moore has certainly done her research.
-- Meredith Blake
Photo: Sarah Palin, left, and "Game Change's" Julianne Moore. Credit: Stephan Savoia / Associated Press, left, and HBO.