SHE SLINKS INTO MOVIES AS THE best friend (The Hand That Rocks the Cradle) or sexy waitress (Benny & Joon) and ends up stealing the scenes. Surely the resplendent red hair has something to do with it. "It's such a bright color that people can always find me in a crowd," says Julianne Moore. "I sort of like it and loathe it because I've always been defined by it." Just listen to Louis Malle, who directed her in last winter's Vanya on 42nd Street: "I don't know what's going on with her hair," he told The New York Times. "But even in the shadow it shines." So of course the rest of her pales in comparison. "My skin is freckly and doesn't tan," she complains. "I've spent my whole life wrapped in towels at the beach." Actually, Moore has moved around too much to get burned. The daughter of a psychiatric social worker and a retired Army colonel, she was raised in 23 places across the globe before arriving in Manhattan—and on As the World Turns—in 1985. Separated from her husband of eight years, actor John Gould Rubin, the 30ish Moore costars with Hugh Grant in July's Nine Months, and in October she'll portray Sylvester Stallone's love interest in Assassins.
Primed for maximum exposure, Moore has a trick for toning down her radiance: "If I wear a hat, I disappear. People don't know it's me." Then by all means, hats off.