How Julianne Moore Became Sarah Palin for HBO's 'Game Change'
Check out photos of the real Palin and Moore’s version, and you’ll do a double-take. So how did the amazing actress transform herself into the Alaska governor-turned-vice presidential candidate? Practice, practice, practice. And makeup.
The star told Ellen DeGeneres that she spent two months perfecting the accent, gestures, and persona of the politician for the part. The actress cleared her calendar to work with a diction coach for an all-Palin, all-the-time immersion.
To nail Palin’s dialect, the 51-year-old filled her iPod with Palin’s speeches, audio books, and media appearances to “listen while I was running, while I was in the car, doing anything.”
The rest was makeup. It took two hours to put together the Palin magic: Moore wore contact lenses to make her irises appear bigger. She told People, “I asked to make the iris of the lens bigger than my iris… she has enormous brown eyes, so it made my eyes look bigger.” Her lips were drawn differently. And she wore a wig and, of course, the trademark specs -- the exact same as Palin’s, just scaled down to fit Moore's face. The result is an astonishing likeness to the Tea Party darling.
The movie itself is not without controversy. The bestselling book by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on which it's based followed the main candidates in the 2008 primaries and presidential face-off and revealed juicy behind-the-scenes details.
The HBO docudrama takes the portion of the book dedicated to John McCain (played by Ed Harris) as he selects Palin for the Republican ticket for vice president, with the support of his senior strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson). The story follows the newbie Palin’s meteoric rise through the Republican ticket’s loss as Palin struggles in the glare of the national spotlight.
Moore has been praised for what the L.A. Times called her “canny rendering” of the Alaska governor, but there is definitely one person who is not a fan: Palin. The Fox News pundit has called the upcoming program “fiction.” McCain has said he doesn’t plan to watch.
See Julianne Moore talk about her transformation on "Ellen" right here:
“Game Change” airs Saturday, 3/10 at 9 PM on HBO.