A Closer Look at Julianne Moore’s Incredible Sarah Palin Transformation

We don’t know about you, but while others spent their Saturday night socializing with the outside world at various parties and events, we stayed glued to our couches to watch the highly-anticipated political docu-drama, Game Change. The HBO film directed by Jay Roach is based on the bestselling book of the same name, which recounts the 2008 US presidential election and the now infamous vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. As we hoped, the film was really, really good and left us all wondering: how the hell did Julianna Moore turn into Sarah Palin’s doppelganger? 

According to People, Moore’s transformation process wasn’t easy: it took more than two hours in meticulous hair and makeup to perfect Palin’s signature big eyes and bigger hair. For her bright peepers, Moore said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that they made "the iris on the contact lens larger than [her] iris so [her] eyes would look bigger." There was also a lot of contouring in the makeup chair to match Palin’s shape, as well as daily drawn-on lips and a deep tan to cover Moore’s freckles. A bouffant wig and fake nails also completed the look.

As for the accessories, Moore wore the same specs that the former Governor of Alaska wore and the clothes were replicas of the same "pricey wardrobe" from Neiman’s and Saks Fifth Avenue that she was slammed for during the campaign (though no brand names were dropped). 

We imagine Tina Fey’s transformation would have taken less time (she truly is a spitting image), but Moore definitely did the dramatic role justice. 

Photo via TV Informant

Evening Links: ‘Game Change’ Posts Big Numbers, Lana Del Rey Ready To Try Again

● You betcha Game Change was the most-watched HBO original movie of the past eight years! [THR]

● Clint Eastwood’s family is getting an E! reality series called Mrs. Eastwood & Company, intended in all likelihood to emulate the success of E!’s royal family, the Kardashians. [Vulture]

● Leonardo DiCaprio fancies himself and his fellow actors no more than "clowns for hire." We might have called him a celebrated and award winning actor, but if this is the way he wants it… [Page Six]

● After bombing on Saturday Night Live, Lana Del Rey is ready to give it a go again. This time, though, she’ll be performing live on one of the most watched shows on television: American Idol. [Prefix]

● The Weeknd’s Abel Tesfaye seems to think that The-Dream is a "ham burglar lookin’ ass." And The-Dream? Well, he doesn’t really seem to care. "Nothing but love from here lil homie," he responded, via Twitter.[Pitchfork]

Chatting With Melissa Farman About Playing Bristol Palin in ‘Game Change’

Less than a year after President Obama was inaugurated, journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin released the definitive chronicle of the heated 2008 election. Game Change was an immediate best-seller, offering a shocking behind-the-scenes look at four of the major presidential campaigns. While Obama, the Clintons, and John Edwards weren’t given any passes in the book, it was the McCain/Palin campaign that proved to be the most fascinating storyline. As Sarah Palin and her family were ripped apart by the national media and their personal secrets and faults exposed on front pages across the country, the story seemed ripe for a film adaptation. This Saturday, just two years after the book’s publication, Jay Roach’s Game Change will premiere on HBO with a big-name cast featuring Julianne Moore as Palin and Ed Harris as John McCain.

But you can’t make a movie about Sarah Palin without including her daughter, Bristol, who was pushed into the spotlight as the poster girl for teenage pregnancy. Stepping into the crucial role is Melissa Farman, with whom we spoke about the controversial film, working with Julianne Moore, and the pressure of playing a real-life celebrity.

It’s nearly impossible to not know the story of Game Change already, but had you read the book before you started shooting?
I did! I’m actually a senior at University of Southern California where I’m a double-major in political science and English lit. I was actually reading the book for class a few months before I auditioned. So it’s funny, having studied the book and kind of seeing the script come to life just a few months later.

It’s interesting that it’s focusing primarily on the McCain/Palin campaign, which I think is the more juicy part of the story. Was it kind of a challenge to portray someone is who still alive and still making news? Were you hesitant about that?
I think it’s daunting. You have a responsibility toward that person that is very much alive, not only just alive but alive in the media. There’s definitely going to be a lot more scrutiny, and there’s a sense of wanting not to just mimic the person and wanting to be free to create a character. At the same time, having that responsibility is what makes it all the more exciting. It’s also helpful to have someone who’s so much in the public’s conscience right now, in the sense that there was so much media around Bristol. The film focalizes on the campaign trail and how all of a sudden she was thrown into the limelight. I could really watch so much footage of her really getting used to the camera and kind of developing her personality once she was on the public stage. There was a lot of material for me to study, which was great.

I saw the Palin people have already attacked the film.
My cousin just sent me a YouTube video where some Palin supporter re-cut the trailer to show that the film was full of lies. There’s concern for sure, but, you know, if a movie’s being made about you, you’re going to wonder if it’s going to be what you want it to be. I think the film is a very balanced portrayal of Sarah Palin. In politics there’s always bound to be controversy, but I think this is storytelling, and it shows the behind-the-scenes of a campaign — both positive and negative. I think the film really empathizes on a personal level with Sarah Palin the woman. I think that’s something that maybe the Sarah Palin team is scared is not going to happen, but it does.

Has Bristol said anything?
No, she has not come out with anything publicly. I know Megan McCain has, but Bristol hasn’t.

How was it working with Julianne Moore? Is she kind of like an awesome movie mom?
Oh my gosh, it’s amazing. You know, I grew up idolizing her. She’s one of the reasons I started acting. As a kid I was super shy, so my mother put me on stage to help me get rid of my shyness, which is kind of a practical joke when you think of it. But then as I got into theatre, my mom and I would watch movies and go to plays together, and one of my mother’s favorite actresses was Julianne Moore. I grew up basically watching everything Julie did. Having her as an on-screen mom was kind of surreal, but the second I met her I got over it. She’s just so down to earth and makes everyone around her family. She’s really hard-working, and it’s really wonderful for me to watch her work because here’s someone who is at the top of her game and has had such an amazing career. Still, she just keeps working at it, challenging herself in such new ways. Watching her do this and carve this character out when we were working together was really, really inspiring.

You’re currently in school now. Are you finishing up this year?
I’ll probably be finishing up in the summer.

What’s it like balancing an acting career and school?
It’s hard. I was just on CSI last week and I missed a few classes, and the deal with my teachers is that if I miss a class I’ll do double the work. So it’s definitely a commitment, but it means a lot for me to be in school. I love being in school personally, and it gives me a sanctuary where you’re in the city of youth and your only responsibility is to learn; then you go out there in the real world and you’re working. Being a political science and lit major really kind of fuels my acting because I’m really just studying human nature all day and studying storytelling. I’m taking it from a different perspective, so that really fits well with my career.

Do you have anything lined up for once you’re finished?
You’re going to see my on CSI and then on TNT’s Perception, which is coming out in the summer. I got to play the role of Joan of Arc, and my grandmother is very excited. She’s French, so it’s finally a role she’s proud of. Usually I’m with a gun, or pregnant!

Photo by Peter Svenson

‘Game of Thrones’ Returns on April Fools’ Day, ‘Girls’ Starts Right After

The return to Westeros is upon us, as HBO announced that the second season of Game of Thrones will debut on April 1. Adapting A Clash of Kings, the second book in A Song of Ice and Fire, this season will feature twice as much intrigue and drama as the first, especially in light of *** *t***’s death (I’m trying to be delicate with the spoilers). If you forgot where season 1 ended, here’s a quick primer: everything is awful and no one is happy. You’re ready to go!

Along with GOT, HBO also announced a few other premieres. Girls, the Apatow-sponsored comedy starring Lena Dunham about low-paid college post-graduates trying to hack it in New York (too real, yo) will drop on April 15, while Game Change, the original movie about the 2008 presidential election, will air on March 10. Also, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Veep, in which she plays the vice president of the United States, will start on April 22. Another spring, another excellent lineup from HBO. What ever changes? 

Below, watch Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister slap his nephew Joffrey for 10 minutes, set to Led Zeppelin’s "Achilles Last Stand." Because, duh

Check Out the Teaser for HBO’s ‘Game Change’

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, the 2010 book co-authored by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, is getting the made-for-not-TV-but-HBO treatment. The film wisely cut the run-on subtitle, but it’s also limiting its focus on the Republican party and the tumultuous McCain/Palin campaign. And this afternoon HBO has revealed the first look at the drama starring Ed Harris as John McCain and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin.

The film looks like it’s following in the spirit of Recount, the HBO movie that chronicled the 2000 presidential election (which, like Game Change, was written and directed by Danny Strong and Jay Roach, respectively). Scheduled to debut in March, Game Change will allow Julianne Moore to be the first legitimate actor to portray former governor and reality TV star Sarah Palin in a film, although from this very brief clip it seems she might not improve on Tina Fey’s impression.

See Julianne Moore As Sarah Palin

Okay, we admit it – we didn’t comb through a makeup artist’s online portfolio to discover this photo of Julianne Moore dressed as a major American female political figure. That kind of good fortune happens but once a lifetime. Rather, we obtained this brand-new picture of Julianne Moore in the guise of Sarah Palin by more conventional methods.

We found it on People‘s website! The publicity still is from HBO’s upcoming film about the 2008 presidential campaign, Game Change. Moore looks pretty good, in a Sarah Palin sort of way, and we’re not positive about what she’s pointing at, but we can only imagine it’s Russia from her house.

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