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Sagittarian actress Julianne Moore’s latest film is Hannibal, the sequel to the 1991 Oscar success The Silence of the Lambs. She reprises a role made famous by Jodie Foster, that of FBI trainee-turned-agent Clarice Starling.

Moore has been a steady cinema favorite over the past few years. Her amazing acting versatility has rendered memorable performances in a variety of movies. These include a dimwitted pushover (Cookie’s Fortune), a repentant gold-digger (Magnolia), a maternally inclined porn star (Boogie Nights) and a wartime English adulteress (The End of the Affair). Her stellar work has earned Oscar nominations for the latter two roles.

The Voice of Clarice Starling

Astrology Horoscope: Julianne MooreThe nature of her Sun in Sagittarius, a sign typically associated with belief, faith and open expression, is augmented by the placement of her communication planet Mercury in the sign of Scorpio. Though Sagittarians are usually effusive, Mercury in Scorpio directs Moore’s natural curiosity to matters of intrigue. Mercury here is less inclined to revealing behavior than when it is found in Sagittarius.

Astrology Horoscope: Jodie FosterMoore and Foster share more than the role of Clarice Starling. Both actresses were born with Mercury at the same point. This essential connection between them demonstrates what a natural replacement Moore makes in Foster’s absence. Mercury in Scorpio is compelled to explore the depths of matters and is drawn to what is beneath the surface, making this a suitable sign placement to represent a character like Starling.

Mercury: Language and Symbolism

The functions of Mercury in a chart correspond largely to its mythological relationship with Hermes, the Greek messenger of the gods. Hermes was the one god who traveled between the heavens and the underworld, a crucial myth in understanding Mercury astrologically.

Like Hermes, actors go where most of us don’t. They transfer information to us from another world, just as Hermes did for the other gods. Mercury plays a crucial symbolic role for actors as they “interpret” the words and expressions of a character. In this way actors are messengers, whether they are reciting Shakespeare or advertising new brands of mayonnaise.

Mercury is the only planet that actually does symbolize, in the essential sense of the word, in its expression. While the other planets represent simple and concrete principles (Sun-self, Moon-emotions, etc.), Mercury is the planet of symbolism and language, and its very definition includes the act of interpretation.

Briefing for a Descent Into Hell

The planet Pluto, with its mythological link to Hades, the ruler of the underworld, was approaching (traveling close to the point of) Foster’s Mercury position in 1991, the year The Silence of the Lambs was released. In that movie, Starling was plucked fresh from the FBI Academy at Quantico to interview the genius madman Hannibal Lecter and acquire insight that would help a serial murder investigation.

The movie’s depiction of her descent through the catacomb-like madhouse prison that housed him was right out of mythology. The riveting scenario and subsequent exchange between Starling and Lecter was an interpretation of Mercury’s (Starling) travels to the underworld as a messenger between the gods (FBI) and Pluto/Hades (Lecter).

The Scary Man Himself

Saturn, the planet associated with authority, duty and deprivation, is transiting (traveling) opposite Moore’s Mercury position at the time of Hannibal’s release. Saturn’s interaction with Moore’s Mercury (i.e., her role as Starling) can be explored thematically in relation to Starling’s experiences during the course of the film. For instance, in Starling’s context, Saturn represents the scary man himself, Hannibal Lecter. Sir Anthony Hopkins reprises his Oscar-winning role as the brilliant madman, now at large in Florence, Italy and primed for a reunion with Starling.

Though he represented the dark and frightening knowledge of Pluto in relation to Foster’s Starling, to Moore’s Starling he is an old mentor and friend of sorts, making his way back into her life.

As the planet of structure and formality, Saturn’s opposition to Moore’s Mercury mirrors the polar, but sympathetic, relationship between Starling and Lecter. Lecter, an extremely dangerous maniac to most, respects Starling largely due to her “manners” and courtesy toward him. As Silence ended, he assured her safety and guaranteed they would meet again some day. That time, it seems, has come.

In a non-fictional context, Saturn’s transiting opposition to Moore and Foster’s Mercury is an indication of the inevitable comparisons that will be made between the two women and their respective roles in the series.

The fact that both women receive this transit at the same time might reflect a split public opinion on a favorite. Maybe the state of Florida will have to decide more than once whether it prefers Foster or Moore as the definitive Clarice Starling.

Another Classic Movie Pairing?

While Moore is sure to shine in Hannibal, she has risked taking some hits on the chin for her ambitious effort to recreate the chemistry of a classic movie pairing. Having been on the short list of critics’ darlings for some time, it may be time for a little backlash.

However, even excluding their astrological relationship, it would be hard to find another actress of Foster’s caliber to take the role. Their physical appearance and acting styles share certain similarities, at least to the extent of how they both suit the part.

Their shared Mercury in Scorpio has made the role of Clarice Starling a legacy between the two of them. Whatever reaction her performance gets, no one can deny Moore had the courage to break the silence.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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For more information about Nick Dagan Best, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Nick Dagan Best:

  • Seth Green Makes It Look Easy   5/14/2001
  • Ray Liotta: An Open Mind For Something Wild   4/24/2001
  • Ridley Scott Unleashes Hell   3/19/2001
  • Joaquin Phoenix: Good People Doing Bad Things   3/16/2001
  • Beck's Musical Lunaverse   2/18/2001
  • Fiona Apple: When Your Mind Is Your Might   2/16/2001
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman: Fearless Actor   1/25/2001
  • Christina Ricci: Is Madness Too Glamorous?   12/28/2000
  • Frida Kahlo and Salma Hayek: Peas in a Pod or Saturn in Pisces?   11/30/2000

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