Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore respond critics of ‘May December’


Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore both stated that the film was not intended to recount the precise details of his relationship with his ex-girlfriend Mary Kay Letourneau in response to Vili Fualaau’s criticism of May December on Sunday.

“It’s not based on them,” Portman told Entertainment Tonight from the red carpet at the 2024 Golden Globes. “Obviously their story influenced the culture that we all grew up in and influenced the idea. But it’s fictional characters that are really brought to life by Julianne Moore and Charles Melton so beautifully.”

Gracie (Moore) and Joe (Melton), a married couple, are visited by fictional actress Elizabeth Berry (Portman) in the story of May December. Before being freed from prison for the crime of child rape and getting married to Joe, Gracie met and mistreated Joe when he was thirteen. 

She gave birth to one of the couple’s three children while incarcerated. Letourneau, who had a sexual relationship with Fualaau in 1996 when he was 12 and she was 34, is credited by screenwriter Samy Burch as an inspiration for the movie.

Portman added that the movie is “its own story — it’s not meant to be a biopic.”

Moore agreed with her co-star, saying the film’s director, Todd Haynes, “was always very clear when we were working on this movie that this was an original story. This was a story about these characters. So that’s how we looked at it too. This was our document. We created these characters from the page.”


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