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Emmy-Winner Julianne Moore Faces Trials Like Everyone Else

Even Emmy-winning actresses can’t escape the fate of jury duty .

“I’m in the bowels of the Manhattan court system,” says Julianne Moore, who stars as a torch singer carrying a torch for a hard-boiled gumshoe (Fred Ward) in HBO’s offbeat film noir thriller “Cast a Deadly Spell,” premiering tonight at 9.

“This is my second day on jury duty,” she says. “It’s crazy.”

And Moore knows she’ll never be chosen to serve on a jury.

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“I’m in criminal court,” she explains. “I have all these lawyers in my family, plus I’m an actress and they don’t want actresses on a jury. My dad, my sister, my father-in-law and my brother-in-law are all lawyers and my uncle is a corrections officer. When they hear that they roll their eyes, and I’m dismissed.”

Moore had every intention of following in her family’s footsteps to become an attorney. She even contemplated a career as a doctor. “It was what my parents wanted me to do,” she says. But she changed her mind at 17 after a teacher encouraged her to give acting a try. “It hadn’t occurred to me. I didn’t know actors. I didn’t see plays. The only thing I saw were movies and TV and those people seemed very far away, not like real people.”

But she heeded her teacher’s advice and studied drama at Boston University. Upon graduation, Moore landed a job on the CBS soap “As the World Turns,” receiving an Emmy for her roles as good girl Franny and her evil half-sister, Sabrina.

Moore left the world of daytime drama three years ago and has been toiling ever since in regional theaters and Off Broadway. She made her film debut in “Tales from the Darkside--The Movie.”

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“The soap was a job that came along when I needed it,” she says. “I was young and had no money. But I gained a lot of work experience. When my contract was up, I left.”


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