Carrie is a story that has been around since Stephen King’s book was published in 1974. It may be more poignant than ever today, with teen bullying leading to suicides and sparking a national conversation. Julianne Moore stars in the latest film version of Carrie, as Carrie’s mother Margaret White. A mother of two herself, she is proactive about dealing with bullying.

“One of the things I always say to my kids, and this is back to the theme in Carrie too, is that the most dangerous thing for a person to feel is isolated,” Moore said. “So I’m like, ‘If you ever see a kid sitting alone, if there’s ever a new kid, if there’s ever a situation where it seems like somebody is not being involved with something, go talk to them. Go ask them if they want to play. Ask them if they want to sit with you at lunch. Make sure you say hi to the new person. Make sure that person is okay. It’s really, really important.’” 

When Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) gets pushed too far, she unleashed telekinetic powers that burn down the entire prom. It is a metaphor all too poignant now that there are so many stories of bullied kids lashing out violently. A King fan herself, Moore knew the original basis for Carrie.

“I’m a huge Stephen King fan. I love the novel. Did you read On Writing? It’s amazing when he talks about how he wrote this novel, then he threw it away and his wife fished it out of the trash. He had based this character Carrie on these two girls that he went to school with, both of whom were extremely marginalized by their situations, one by extreme poverty, the other one by her parents’ very extreme religious views. Neither one of those girls lived very long. They both died in their 20s. So this is a book that’s really about the consequences of social isolation. That to me was fascinating. So there’s a tremendous amount of stuff to draw on in there, the complications of that. The thing that Stephen King does in such magnificent ways is that he takes these social issues, in all his books really, and complicated characters and he makes them wildly entertaining and sometimes involves paranormal.”

Moore may have been a more popular girl. She certainly had a better prom night. “I went to four proms,” she said. “I always had an older boyfriend.”

However even the glamorous movie star Julianne Moore can relate to Carrie. “I moved around a lot so I certainly know what it feels like to be on the outside. If I lived in a community where people were used to moving, the kids were much nicer. If I moved to a community where people had lived there all their lives, it took a long time for them to talk to you. So a lot of how we react to other people is dependent on what has happened to us. So that’s one of those things where you say to people like, ‘Put yourselves in their shoes. What does that feel like?’”

Carrie opens Friday.