Marie Claire UK - 10.2019

(Axel Boer) #1

Life stories

It was 1977 and 15-year-old Demi Moore was settling
into her family’s new apartment in LA when her
neighbour, a young German actress called
Nastassja Kinski, asked for her help practising lines
for a film audition. Moore obliged – and it quickly
became apparent that she’d found her own
vocation in life. ‘She got so excited talking
about acting that I just thought, “Well, that’s what
she was going to do”,’ said Kinski. ‘She was
determined.’Yet even she couldn’t have predicted
what a success her neighbour would become.
By the age of 34, Moore was the highest paid
actress in the world, earning $12 million for one
role. She starred in a slew of box-office hits,
includingGhost,Indecent ProposalandA Few
Good Men, produced the $473 million-grossing
Austin Powersfranchise, and her marriage toDie
Hardstar Bruce Willis made them the power
couple of 90s Hollywood.
Now, 35 years after her breakthrough role in
Blame It On Rio, Moore is releasing her much-
anticipated memoir, Inside Out, this month.
Describedas ‘wrenchingly honest’, it details her
addictions, divorces, and how she suffered ‘imposter
syndrome’ at the height of her career. ‘No matter what
successes I had, I just never felt good enough,’ she said.
Born Demetria Gene Guynes on 11 November 1962 in
Roswell, New Mexico, her father was airman Charles
Harmon, who divorced her mother, Virginia, after only
two months of marriage, and without knowing she was
pregnantwith Moore. Virginia quickly remarried newspaper
advertisingsalesman Dan Guynes, but it wasn’t until Moore
was13 that she discovered he wasn’t her biological father,
something she later described as a ‘tremendous betrayal’.
It was a difficult and unsettled childhood: both parents
were alcoholics and they moved to a new town every six
months. Moore was also bullied because she had strabismus,
a condition that meant her eyes did not align, and needed
two operations to correct it. Her parents divorced when she
was 15. Two years later in 1980, Guynes committed suicide
and her mother’s drinking worsened to the point where
Moore felt she had no choice but to leave home.
After a glamour modelling stint and acting in bit parts, she
landed a recurring role in the TV dramaGeneral Hospitalin

  1. Two years later, then 22, Moore got her big break when
    she was cast as Michael Caine’sdaughterin the romcom
    BlameIt On Rio. Although it attracted risible reviews, Caine
    was impressed with her. ‘She was [a] very skilled actress [and]
    I thought she would be a star one day, and how right I was,’ he
    said. Yet she almost never made it. By the time Moore was cast
    inSt Elmo’s Firea year later, she was taking drugs and drinking
    heavily. She even turned up intoxicated for a costume fitting,

She’sstarred in some of the biggest movies of

all time and was one half of Hollywood’s 90s

powercouple. This month, the actress is set

to reveal all in a candid memoir about her life

forcingthe director Joel
Schumacher to issue an
ultimatum: sober up or
be fired. Moore then
shocked everyone by
giving up drugs and
alcohol on the spot.
‘Within 24 hours she turned herself around,’ said Schumacher.
‘It was an extraordinarily mature step in a very fragile life.’
St Elmo’s Firemade household names out of its young stars,
like Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and Andrew McCarthy, and
they collectively became known as the ‘Brat Pack’. Feted
everywhere they went, there was much excitement in the
press when it emerged that Moore and Estevez were dating.
It was her second serious relationship after a failed first
marriage to musician Freddy Moore when she was 17.
Estevez proposed and they set a date to marry on
6 December 1986, but Moore called it off after the invitations
were sent out. ‘Ending it was not saying, “You’re a real
asshole, that’s why I’m leaving”. It was, “Wow, I really love
you so much, but it’s not right, is it?”’ she said.
She wasn’t single for long, though. Early in 1987 she met
Bruce Willis, then 31, and star of the TV showMoonlighting, at
a film screening in LA. Willis had a reputation for being a
womaniser who loved to drink, but meeting 24-year-old
Moore quickly put paid to both pastimes. ‘Most men,
I found, played games, but he was straight about who he was,’
she said. In November that same year, the couple flew to
Las Vegas to watch a boxing match and ended up marrying in
their suite at the Golden Nugget hotel. ‘The whole trip
we joked about getting married,’ she later recalled. ‘Finally,
he said, “Well, what do you think?” I panicked and then I just
said, “OK”. But first I went and fixed my hair.’
Their first daughter, Rumer, was born in August 1988,
and Moore returned to work a year later to play Patrick
Swayze’s grieving girlfriend inGhost. Made on a shoestring

Clockwise from top: playing
Jules inSt Elmo’s Fire(and far
left)with her fellow ‘Brat Pack’
co-stars; her breakthrough
role in 1984’sBlame It On Rio;
Moore with second husband
Bruce Willis in 1990

Words by Michelle Davies
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