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Hunger Games star Julianne Moore changed nationality to honour Scottish mum


Hollywood actress Julianne Moore revealed she changed nationality in order to honour her Scottish mum.

The Hunger Games star, 60, took up British citizenship in 2011 to embrace her Celtic roots and pay tribute to her Greenock-born mother after her death.

The star says she and her younger sister and brother, Valerie and Peter, all had kilts growing up and were always made aware of their heritage.

She says her mum, Anne Love Smith, who moved to the US in 1951, instilled within her a deep connection to Scotland, The Mirror reports.

Julianne said: “There are a lot of us in America who are first-generation Americans, and I’ve noticed that a lot of us talk a lot about assimilation – about people coming here and immediately becoming American.



The star winning an Oscar for Best Actress for ‘Still Alice’

‘But that was not my experience. My mother used to tell me all the time that we were not 100% American.

“My grandparents were very Scottish. My siblings and I all had kilts and we grew up with a very strong identity of being part Scottish.”

Julianne even wrote a book about national identity called My Mom Is A Foreigner But Not To Me, based on her own memories.

She says: “I wanted to write this book as a tribute to my mother and to all the other foreign mothers, as well as to the kids growing up in a situation where the person who seems very foreign to the rest of the world is the most familiar person in the world to them.”

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This awareness of a strong cultural identity is uppermost in Julianne’s mind when she meets new people.

“I can always recognise someone who is first-generation American by the little things they do,” she says.



Julianne Moore and her daughter Liv Helen Freundlich

“For instance, when my daughter was little, I fixed her hair in two braids because that’s how my own mother did my hair.

“But when she went to school there was only one other girl in her class who wore her hair that way, and that little girl’s mother was from Spain – but for fully American little girls, their mothers didn’t do that.”

Anne, a psychologist and social worker, moved to the US in 1951.

Julianne was born on an army base in North Carolina. Her father, Peter Moore Smith, was a paratrooper during the Vietnam War.

He attained the rank of colonel and later became a military judge. His job meant the family moved all over the US including Alabama, Georgia and Texas. Julianne attended nine different schools and found it difficult to make friends.

But she says her itinerant childhood has made her a better actress: “When you move around a lot, you learn that behaviour is mutable.

“I would change, depending on where I was. It teaches you to watch, to reinvent, that character can change.”

When she was 16, the family moved to Frankfurt, Germany, where Julianne attended an American high school.



Julianne Moore and her husband and two children in 2015

She intended to study medicine while enjoying amateur dramatics in her spare time. But soon drama took centre stage and she switched to theatre studies then moved to New York.

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There she worked as a waitress until she got her big break in 1986, with a role in a long-running American soap, As the World Turns.

A series of film roles followed, including in Boogie Nights, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Jurassic Park and The Hunger Games, along with an Oscar, two Golden Globes, a BAFTA, and two Emmys.

Like her Scottish roots, her feminism comes from her mother.



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“She didn’t have the advantages growing up that I had,” Julianne says.

“She would point out all the things that had changed in my lifetime – that birth control was available, that I could have a credit card in my own name, that she and my father were saving money for me to go to college.

“Sometimes we don’t learn things until we’re really ready to hear them.

“But my mother was the one who said to me, ‘We’ve gained all these advantages for women, and you’re living them’. And she was right!”

It comes as art imitates life for Julianne in a scene from her new film, Spirit Untamed.

In the animated epic, her character urges her niece to embrace the spirit of her dead mother to achieve her goals in life.

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