Don't let all those tears in "Ghost" give you the wrong idea about [Demi Moore]. She doesn't cry easily. Or a lot, she says. Which doesn't mean she's immune to romance. She and husband Bruce Willis named their 2 1/2-year-old daughter Rumer, after the novelist Rumer Godden, whose autobiography she discovered in a bookstore, and was moved by. Then there's the name of Moore's production company -- Rufglen. "It comes from a fairy tale or a fable that my grandmother told me when I was a child, something she made up, an imaginary place. It always represented to me a place where anything was possible," Moore says, sitting cross-legged on a sofa in a Central Park South hotel suite, in paisley slacks, an embroidered top and shorn hair, squeezing an interview in before taking her daughter to the circus to see her first elephant.
Like Willis, who hopes to follow the success of his "Die Hard" films with "Hudson Hawk" next month, Moore has embarked upon the next step after hitting it big in Hollywood -- staying hot. She's got two films on tap: "Mortal Thoughts," opening today, and "The Butcher's Wife," due later this summer. The first is a gritty surprise, calculated to demonstrate -- which it does -- that Moore can handle a dramatic role with authority. She plays the Madame Bovary of Bayonne, N.J., who finds herself drawn into the murder of the loutish husband of her best friend, a hairdresser played by Glenne Headly. Willis plays the lout. In the lighter-textured "Butcher's Wife," Moore plays a North Carolina clairvoyant who thinks George Dzundza is the man of her dreams until she meets Jeff Daniels.
At 28, the purposeful, self-rehabbed Moore, whose fee is now well into the seven-figure range following the more than $200 million take for "Ghost," is an actress whose story suggests classic Hollywood dream factory stuff: Parents married as teens. Newspaper adman father relocates the family 48 times before splitting when Moore is 13. Mother moves her and younger brother to West Hollywood. Moore begins modeling at 16. Father commits suicide when she's 18. Moore -- born Demi Guynes -- marries rock musician Freddy Moore shortly afterward. Gets her first movie role in the forgettable "Choices." Follows with the even more forgettable "Parasite," in which she's pursued by a giant slug. Lands a role on "General Hospital." Career takes off (and marriage dissolves) after she films "Blame It On Rio," with Michael Caine.