Ellen Barkin and Demi Moore's Another Happy Day
by sam levinson
photography by brian bowen smith
ON ELLEN: Long satin dress, L’Wren Scott (price on request). Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave.,
212-826-8900. Velvet sandals, Roger Vivier ($875). 750 Madison Ave., 212-861-5371. ON DEMI: Skirt, dress, and satin bra, Givenchy ($5,445). Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave., 800-558-1855. Patent-leather Alti pumps, Christian Louboutin ($895). 965 Madison Ave., 212-396-1884. Rings, Moore’s own
When I think of Ellen Barkin and Demi Moore, I can’t help but look at them as any audience member might—as two fearless women who’ve managed to maintain their respective and powerful voices amid the din of static that drowned out so many beautiful talents of their time.
I am only starting to learn how the film business works, but I can say from first-hand experience working with these two incredible actresses, what’s astounding to see and feel is that mysterious, almost indescribable force, that they have nurtured and sharpened into an ability to never give up and to never bow out.
And with no compliment to myself, to hear them say that after 30 years in film, their work in Another Happy Day is among their proudest, is a testament not to my film but to their tenacity and power as women and as artists, who are quite possibly just approaching their peak.
These are actors who came out of the same times and, despite very different paths, now stand alongside each other in this film—bringing everything they’ve absorbed along the way.
SAM LEVINSON: Mothers in general drive us crazy. As actors who play mothers in this film, and as women who are mothers in real life, do you fear that perception?
ELLE BARKIN: In other words, will our children say we’re driving them crazy? I think inherent in the job of mothering is that you must drive your kids crazy.
DEMI MOORE: And that you’ll make mistakes. As much as you do not ever want to make mistakes, I think inevitably you will do something that has affected your children in a way you never intended.
EB: That’s what was interesting about my role in Another Happy Day—I was actually playing a mother who had all the best intentions and approached things horribly. I actually love that question because I can speak about it personally, but I can also speak about it very specifically in terms of this film. I don’t think any of us have ill intentions concerning our children unless you’re a horrible person. I know in my real life I’ve gotten it wrong, but what do you do? Nobody’s perfect. You apologize, you try to explain your motives, you hope you’re forgiven and that the damage you think you’ve done or might have actually done is not too profound.
DM: What’s interesting in the film is that these two women have some opposition, but the truth is that they’re both seeking the same thing, which is just to be heard and to be appreciated. And if you really look, in a way it is the thread tying everybody together.
Styling by Julie Matos, Ford Artists NYC
Demi’s hair by Giannandrea at The Wall Group
Demi’s makeup by Christian McCulloch using Chanel
Nails by Gina Viviano using Chanel
Ellen’s hair by Miki for Redken
Ellen’s makeup by Angela Levin for Chanel at traceymattingly.com
Gotham Magazine hosted its latest issue featuring the current cast of Saturday Night Live at the Four Seasons Hotel on Monday, February 23.