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EXCLUSIVE: Julianne Moore & Lorraine Toussaint Share What Gloria Steinem Has Taught Them

Julianne Moore and Lorraine Toussaint, stars of the new film about Gloria Steinem’s life, The Glorias, sat down to talk to SheKnows about the movie — and it was glorious. Moore and Toussaint had lots to say about Steinem, the power of women, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the importance of the 2020 presidential election.

The film is based on Steinem’s book, My Life on the Road. Moore stars as one of the Steinems. Yes, it’s called “The Glorias” — plural — for a reason: There are four Glorias in this movie, and each one is amazing. So many Glorias, so little time.

The youngest Gloria is played by Ryan Kiera Armstrong; LuLu Wilson takes over as teen Gloria, and then Alicia Vikander brilliantly plays Steinem for most of her 20s and 30s. Finally, Moore takes over as the icon in her 40s. And a fifth Gloria appears — in the form of Steinem herself — at the end of the movie. There’s a bus scene which includes five Glorias! Would the real Gloria Steinem please stand up?

Toussaint plays legendary civil rights advocate, lawyer, and feminist Flo Rae Kennedy, and commands the screen the minute she appears. Seriously, I think I sat up a little straighter when her character first speaks.

Women’s rights & power

A few years ago, Gloria Steinem was asked when she realized she had power. She recently told SheKnows it was when she became a journalist. Moore’s power surfaced when she realized she had the ability to make choices, and chose to go to college. But the word power doesn’t sit well with Moore, because “it denotes hierarchy.” So she prefers to think of freedom and choice as the real meaning of power.

As for when and what made Toussaint realize she had power? Murder. Correct. Murder, she wrote. Okay, not actual murder. You’ll have to watch the video, but let’s just say it made Moore’s jaw drop and then an actual LOL followed.

What Gloria Steinem taught them

And what has Steinem taught Moore and Toussaint? “She’s never rash,” Moore raves. “I always think: Slow down, think about what Gloria would do.” T-Shirt idea that probably already exists: “WWGSD: What Would Gloria Steinem Do?” Moore goes on to say she loves how Steinem made her realize, “(Sometimes) we feel like we’re not making progress, when in fact we are.” She laughs, “She remembers when things were worse.”

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Image: Dan McFadden/The Glorias

Toussaint agreed with Moore and added with the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, “We’ve got to come out and vote… Roe vs. Wade is really in jeopardy at this moment and that will really take us back to the dark ages…. This is time for women, every woman, it’s part of the third wave of feminism that Gloria talks about, where ALL women are really included.”

In fact, the film explores how Steinem learned quickly about inclusivity from intersectional feminists like Kennedy and Dorothy Pitman Hughes, played by Janelle Monae.

And how does Moore feel about voting? Her shirt said it all. “Vote. Like a Mother.” So she’ll be voting and definitely wants you to, too. (Fun fact: Her shirt is designed by moms and 100% if the profits go to nonprofits like Moms Demand Action and MomsRising.org.)

The Glorias is available on Amazon Prime, check out these two powerhouses as soon as you can.  And not for nothing, Moore and Toussaint would be great co-presidents, once they let go of that whole acting thing they’re so good at.

Before you go, click here to see the women who made TV and Film history.

 

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