9 Milestones in the Evolution of Demi Moore

The Scarlet Letter (1995)

Moore continued to mine her sex symbol status; in the successful Indecent Proposal, she pushed the sexual envelope a little too far and Roland Joffé's adaptation of The Scarlet Letteris also a milestone, in that it is Moore's most hilarious work onscreen. Unfortunately for her, the hilariousness is unintentional and a result of the very loosely-adapted script which features Hester Prynne luxuriating in a bath (indulging in what appears to be some suggested masturbation) and some glamorous sex in a shed with Gary Oldman's character. Adultery has never looked sexier! In addition to being a box office bust, the film destroyed the actorly credibility Moore had been mining for over a decade now.

Striptease (1996)

Following two more duds (Now and Then and The Juror), Moore crossed an important barrier for actresses -- she became the first actress to earn a $10 million paycheck for her work in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And then, she entered the vanity project phase of her career with Striptease. The supposed comedy follows a former FBI secretary who loses custody of her daughter and is forced to make money to afford an appeal the only way she knows how: thankless clerical work by stripping at a seedy Miami joint called the Eager Beaver. In spite of Moore's nudity and preening for the camera, the film was a critical failure and swept that year's Razzie awards.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

After Striptease's bust, Moore took one more stab at a starring role in G.I. Jane. As the first woman to try to join the elite Navy Seals ranks, Moore trained vigorously for the role but her preparation was for naught -- the film was lambasted by critics and underperformed at the box office. Following that failure -- and a role in a Woody Allen film Deconstructing Harry, Moore retreated from the Hollywood scene, only staying involved to produce the Austin Powers trilogy through her Moving Pictures company. Six years later and safely out of the public eye, Moore was ready for her comeback -- a deliciously evil role in Charlie's Angel: Full Throttle. Unfortunately for her -- or fortunately -- the 41-year-old actress received just as much attention for her impeccable bikini body (featured prominently) that stole attention away from Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu's crime-fighting trio than her villainous acting ability. Still -- a comeback!

Margin Call (2011)

Since her Charlie's Angels "comeback," Moore has spent the last decade appearing in mostly low profile ensemble projects (The Joneses, Bunraku), reconnecting with old friends onscreen (she reunited with her Blame It On Rio co-star Michael Caine for Flawless and her fellow Brat Pack-er/former flame Emilio Estevez for his historical drama Bobby) and making her directorial debut (on the Lifetime project Five). This weekend, Moore returns to the screen to play ball with some of Hollywood's finest actors including Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Jeremy Irons in Margin Call. The financial drama is by no means her starring film but hopefully this will help her regain her star footing so that Moore can escape the "mother to tech-savvy teen" role (which she has opposite Miley Cyrus in the upcoming LOL) and shake up the current landscape for actresses.

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  • The Pope says:

    I laugh at your optimism. I smirk at your presumption. I mock your belief. The name Demi Moore and the term evolution do not belong in the same sentence. At the maximum, she morphed into a cover shot for Vanity Fair and the devolved into a petri-dish sample for sociologists to ponder.

  • Cinesnatch says:

    Interesting article, but "From the Pope" brings up a lot of good points.
    One milestone you missed was her cameo on Ashton Kutcher's opening SNL monologue playing an old lady. It was the best performance of her career. She should dress up like a grandmother and capitalize on her low-octave voice like that more often.

  • j'accuse! says:

    First of all, Demi, hotness. Second...I just found out that Simon Baker is an aussie! Who knew?!