Julianne Moore Was Fired From Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Says 'It's Still Kind of Painful'

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In the Oscar-nominated film Can You Ever Forgive Me?, a dynamic Melissa McCarthy stars as celebrity biographer-turned-literary forger Lee Israel. As IndieWire reported in October 2018, Julianne Moore was originally on board for the role of Israel, but “the movie fell apart over creative differences with Moore,” which ended with her departure. On Thursday night’s Watch What Happens Live, Moore said she was actually fired from the film. “I didn’t leave that movie, I was fired. [Director] Nicole [Holofcener] fired me,” she said, addressing a caller. “That’s the truth. I think she didn’t like what I was doing.”

When Andy Cohen asked if they’d already been shooting at that point, Moore responded, “No. We had just been rehearsing and doing pre-production and stuff and I think that her idea of where the character was, was different than where my idea of where the character was, and so she fired me.”

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She added, “I haven’t [seen it] yet because it’s still kind of painful. I love Melissa McCarthy. I worship her. I think she’s fantastic, so I’m sure she’s great... It’s pretty bad. The only other time I was fired was when I was working at a yogurt stand when I was 15, so, yeah, it felt bad.”

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Maria Sherman

Senior Writer, Jezebel