One of the ironies of Moore’s life now is that she receives far more attention from the media than she does from casting directors. Known around town as a savvy businesswoman—she produced the Austin Powers franchise, as well as the Emmy-nominated television movie If These Walls Could Talk—Moore has found other ways to harness her free-floating fame. For the past two years, for instance, she has been the international public face of Helena Rubinstein cosmetics; in December the brand is introducing a perfume, Wanted, developed with Moore’s input. There’s something about Moore that makes her ripe as a spokesperson of all sorts. Her infamous Vanity Fair pregnancy cover pulled back the veil on the beauty of the female body in full bloom and arguably opened the door for other celebrities and women everywhere to freely celebrate their pregnant shape. Likewise, her relationship with Kutcher, begun when she was 40 and he was 25, launched a media fascination with “cougars.”
“I’m certainly not the first person to be in a relationship with a younger man, but somehow I was plucked out as a bit of a poster girl,” Moore says. She continues in a vein that sounds suspiciously as if it were taken from the Kabbalah playbook on the power of positive thinking: “I don’t know why that is. But I just kind of step back sometimes and say, ‘There is some reason, and what is it that I have to share in a positive way?’” (In 2002 Moore began her ongoing Kabbalah study, which she telegraphs with the red string prominently displayed on her left wrist.) What she objects to with regard to the whole cougar thing, though, is the label.
“I’d prefer to be called a puma,” she says, explaining how she came up with the new designation and “Twittered it out. People wrote back hilarious stuff, saying, ‘I’m going to get T-shirts that say puma power.’”
Twitter is serious stuff for Moore, who seems to think the public wants to read frequent posts about the trivial details of her life. Still, her obsessive tweeting has made her into one of the highest-profile celebrities of the new-media realm, with 2.2 million Twitter fans. (Kutcher, the first person to reach 1 million followers, is now approaching 4 million.) She says she was initially hesitant about opening up her private life, but Kutcher encouraged her. Now she praises the platform’s potential to create a “dialogue” between herself and fans. “You post something and get your finger on the pulse,” she says like a shrewd media marketer. “You know what people are interested in.”
“When we were at the Berlin Film Festival,” says Posey, “she was like, ‘You have to Twitter!’ [For Ashton and her,] it’s a way to create the terrain of who they are, to take charge of it.” For Posey, however, Twitter “makes me want to become a Mennonite.”