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Julianne Moore was fired from Can You Ever Forgive Me? because she wanted a fat suit and fake nose

Photo: John Parra (Getty Images)

In a turn oddly fitting for a movie all about deception and controversy, a weird wrinkle has recently cropped up in the backstory of last year’s true-crime delight Can You Ever Forgive Me?. A few weeks ago, Julianne Moore opened up publicly about how she was still kind of miffed about getting fired from the part of author/forger Lee Israel—a role Melissa McCarthy was ultimately nominated for an Academy Award for—a mere six days before production on the movie was scheduled to begin. At the time, Moore didn’t elaborate on why she and director Nicole Holofcener had parted ways on the project, but now one of the movie’s other stars, Richard E. Grant, has shed some light on the reason for the split. And obviously, it involves a prosthetic nose and a fat suit.

This comes to us courtesy of Vulture, which reports that Moore apparently wanted a little bit of help from the film’s props department in order to portray Israel, who, in an objective physical sense, certainly did have a larger nose than herself. But Holofcener was uninterested in going the full “Gary Oldman’s make-up wins an Oscar for him” route with her twisty, ingenious film, calling the prosthetic “distracting” in a leaked report last week. Now Grant has dished up what we in the industry call “the tea” on the whole thing, revealing that Moore’s requests also included a fat suit in order to help her get into Israel’s, uh, skin.


This is per The Daily Mail, which reports that Grant made the comments during an appearance at Advertising Week Europe. “ Julianne Moore wanted to wear a fat suit and a false nose to play Lee Israel,” Grant reportedly told the crowd. “And Nicole Holofcener said, ‘You’re not going to do that.’”

It’s hard to fault Holofcener for her instincts, especially since McCarthy ended up giving a fantastic performance as Israel, sans facial prosthesis. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s not kind of amusing to imagine Moore going the full Tyra Banks on the part,


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