Melissa McCarthy gave one of the best performances of her career in Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but in an alternate timeline, things were much different. At one point, Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) was set to direct, and Julianne Moore was going to star. But six days before shooting was to begin, the project fell apart. Moore and Holofcener both left the project, each citing “creative differences.” Now, Moore has revealed she didn’t deliberately walk away – she was fired by Holofcener.
In the video above, Julianne Moore appears on Watch What Happens Live, and makes a surprising admission: she was fired from Can You Ever Forgive Me? “I didn’t leave that movie, I was fired,” the actress says. “Nicole [Holofcener] fired me. I think she didn’t like what I was doing. I think that her idea of where the character was was different from my idea of where the character was, and so she fired me.”
This is surprising, because up until now, the official story was that Moore walked away of her own accord. Earlier this year, THR wrote a story about the making of Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and included this tidbit:
The film caught a break in 2014 when Friends With Money director Nicole Holofcener signed on, helping attract Julianne Moore to star and convincing Fox Searchlight to finance the $10 million film. But then, six days before shooting was to begin in 2015, it all fell apart when Moore left the movie over still-mysterious creative differences. Holofcener won’t say what the problems were, but she too departed shortly afterward.
As mentioned above, Holofcener left the project as well – although she retained a writing credit. Interestingly enough, that version of the film would’ve also starred Sam Rockwell in the role that eventually went to Richard E. Grant, in which Grant gave a performance that turned him into an awards season superstar (even if he didn’t ultimately win an Oscar). Eventually, after both Moore and Holofcener were gone, Marielle Heller took over directing duties and Melissa McCarthy stepped into the lead role, and the rest of the cast changed as well. Ultimately this worked out for the best, because Heller’s direction and McCarthy’s performance are both wonderful. And yet, the question must be asked: who the hell fires Julianne Moore? She’s amazing!
In any case, Moore admits in the interview above that she has yet to see Can You Ever Forgive Me?, because she finds the experience of being fired “still kind of painful.”