Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore Discuss Mary Kay Letourneau Comparisons at ‘May December’ Premiere (Exclusive)

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By Dainik Khabre

Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore Discuss Mary Kay Letourneau Comparisons at ‘May December’ Premiere (Exclusive)

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore are addressing the comparisons that their new movie, May December, is receiving to the real-life story of Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau. 

Speaking to ET’s Nischelle Turner from the crimson carpet premiere, the pair mentioned how the Letourneau-Fualaau story performed a task within the movie and their roles. 

“Samy Burch [the writer] used it as an inspiration, this is not a story about those people. But it certainly was a jumping-off point,” Moore, 62, informed ET. 

“It was very much an inspiration, it’s not meant to be a depiction of them,” Portman, 42, echoed. 

May December, which premiered in May on the 76th Cannes Film Festival, is about actress Elizabeth Berry (Portman) who travels to Maine to spend time with Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Moore), who made tabloid headlines for her relationship with a younger teen. 

The movie follows Gracie, who has since married and had children with the now-grown pupil, Joe Yoo (Charles Melton), having given beginning to one among their kids whereas she was imprisoned for her crimes towards the then-minor.

The movie is harking back to the real-life scandal between Letourneau and her 13-year-old pupil.

In 1997, Letourneau was convicted of second-degree baby rape for her relationship along with her then-sixth-grade pupil, Fualaau. She was pregnant along with her and Fualaau’s first baby on the time of her arrest. Letourneau and Fualaau finally married and had one other baby earlier than divorcing in 2020. 

“For me, it was interesting watching some of the documentary footage and reading about the case… there are certainly things that I drew from her [Letourneau], but the script itself was so strong and the character of Gracie was so finely drawn,” Moore mentioned. 

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“I think that Samy Burch, who wrote the script, her decision to start it 20 years after the tabloid events was an amazing decision,” Portman shared. “It allows you to see what happens after, and what happens to their lives and the stories they tell and what’s true and what’s not.” 

The Thor: Love and Thunder actress added that the movie additionally examines the impression that being on the middle of a serious tabloid story has on an individual’s life and the way the telling of the story “changes your life.” 

Director Todd Haynes agreed together with his main women, telling ET that it was the “cultural pre-memory” that supplied the DNA for the movie however that the movie goes into a completely completely different route. 

“I loved all the ways that she made it her own in the script and I really leaned into those decisions,” Haynes, 62, mentioned. 

Executive producer Will Ferrell voiced related emotions, saying that May December “harkens to that,” however that there’s “so much distance” between their movie and the real-life occasions. 

“This is really a story about desperate people still trying to find a connection in their lives and how one — a single moment, a single decision can affect so many different people in so many different ways,” Ferrell, 56, mentioned. 

As for what makes individuals so considering tabloid tradition and the way in which tales are offered, Moore and Portman gave their two cents after starring within the movie so closely targeted on the subject. 

“I think we’re looking for story, we’re looking for narrative, we’re looking for mythology,” Moore mentioned. “The problem with tabloid culture is that it doesn’t always take into account that these are real human beings.” 

“I think it’s an extension of kind of like the old village gossip. We used to have to understand what was going on and who was dangerous, who was safe,” Portman added. “We don’t have the village anymore and that’s kind of how we exhibit it now.” 

The movie additionally stars D.W. Moffett, Piper Curda, Elizabeth Yu, Gabriel Chung, Cory Michael Smith, and Lawrence Arancio.

May December premieres in choose theaters on Nov. 17 and on Netflix on Dec. 1.


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