Usually, it’s Busy Philipps who can be found at Michelle Williams‘s side, but on Tuesday night, but the latter spent Tuesday night cheerfully posing on the red carpet with a new pal: Julianne Moore, her costar in After the Wedding, which was directed by Bart Freundlich (aka Moore’s husband.) For Moore, it was something of a dream come true: “Michelle is fantastic,” she gushed at the film’s New York premiere.
That’s particularly true because Moore, who coproduced After the Wedding with her husband, essentially also acted as the film’s casting director. “She was our absolute first choice, so I emailed her personally, rather than going through her agent,” Moore recalled. “I said, ‘Listen, I just want to let you know that we have this project and we can’t stop thinking about you—we’d love for you to be the lead.” When Williams agreed, Moore added, she and Freundlich were “thrilled.”
It may come as some surprise, then, that Moore was essentially recruiting Williams to hate her on screen. The former plays an unabashedly rich ad executive named Theresa, who casually makes Williams’s character, Isabel, fly halfway across the world to make the case for funding the Indian orphanage, where she works, in real life. The less effort Isabel makes to hide her disgust with Theresa’s lavish lifestyle, the more Theresa turns it up, shamelessly spending about as much money as Isabel is practically begging for within a matter of days. (It is, after all, her daughter’s wedding weekend.)
But that, Williams noted, was all on-screen. “Off-screen, it was the opposite,” she said on Tuesday night. “Off-screen, we were just like two moms talking about kids and which rug we want to put under the couch and if we have any hot new tips for each other.” As for what those tips are, well, “We don’t have any,” Williams admitted. “We just really wanted to talk about our kids and furniture.”