Julianne Moore works to find the person inside the struggle

December 5, 2014 2:21 PM

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NEW YORK - For most actors playing fictional characters, role research tends to consist of a few similar movies, maybe a book or two. To prepare for her latest part as a middle-aged woman hit with a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's, Julianne Moore contacted the head of the National Alzheimer's Foundation, underwent a battery of tests and hung out with scores of patients suffering from the condition.

"I didn't want it to be this general thing, where you just give this mannered performance of someone who has a disease," Moore said on a recent morning. "People think personalities get obliterated with Alzheimer's. And I found people's personalities come through loud and clear."

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