Oscar nominee and gay rights activist Julianne Moore has signed on to play a lesbian alongside Ellen Page in indie drama “Freeheld.”
The film tells the real-life story of the late Laurel Hester, played by Moore—a police detective who, after becoming terminally ill, was unable to assign her pension benefits to partner Stacie Andree, played by Page.
Laurel’s conservative partner in the force, Detective Dane Wells, is shocked to discover Laurel’s sexuality but goes on to become a leader in the fight for gay rights in the United States.
This is not the first time Julianne Moore has taken on the role of a gay character, starring as a lesbian mom alongside Annette Bening in 2010’s “The Kids Are All Right” and playing a character who becomes involved in a sexual relationship with Amanda Seyfried in 2009’s “Chloe.”
“The Hangover” actor Zach Galifianakis is also signed on to the movie, playing New Jersey-based equality activist Steven Goldstein.
The project has been in the works since 2008 and will be directed by “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” filmmaker Peter Sollett.
Ellen Page, who came out as a lesbian during a Human Rights Campaign speech on Valentine’s Day 2014, has been attached to the project since its inception. The actress identifies herself as a pro-choice feminist and has long been an activist for the LGBTQ community.
During her coming out speech, Page said she is “sick of lying by omission,” explaining, “I’m here today because I am gay. And because maybe I can make a difference to help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.”