Julianne Moore: "A mouse chewing through a wall"

Last Updated Jan 21, 2015 9:20 AM EST

This piece originally aired on Nov. 14, 2014.

There are no walls remaining in Julianne Moore's path to success. The four-time Oscar nominee took home a Hollywood Film Award Friday night for her portrayal of a woman fighting early onset Alzheimer's disease in "Still Alice."

But Moore has come a long way from her humble beginnings as a young girl just trying to decide the job of her dreams. Her interest in acting, when it became apparent, stemmed from her love of reading.

"...I couldn't do sports, I wasn't athletic; I didn't play an instrument," Moore said. "...all I did was -- I read, pretty much, so you know, you end up trying out for the school play. And then suddenly I'm like 'Oh I think I want to be an actor.'"

While her career has been incremental, it has enabled her to expand her canvas, playing a wide range of characters.

"I mean, I didn't get my first role in a movie until I was 29 years old," she said. "So that seemed to be slow...and there was never any big surge, you know?"

For Moore, an actress praised for enjoying one of the most successful acting careers of her generation, in some ways, incremental is better.

"I always say, I'm like a mouse chewing through a wall," she said. "Like, one tiny bite at a time. You know, but eventually, you've eaten the whole wall, right?"

She's quick to admit, she's having the best time of her life right now.

As for her role in "Still Alice," Moore has critics captivated once again. Playing a middle-aged Harvard academic happily married with kids, she delivers a performance showcasing the experience of falling under the restraints of early onset Alzheimer's.

"This is someone who has always been defined by her intellect, so she's kind of questioning who she is, when that's no longer her strong point." Moore said. "How does she fight the decline? How does she preserve her relationships?"

Moore's performance in "Still Alice" may be the most recognized of her career but the actress' biggest box office to date is likely to come with next week's release of the "Hunger Games" sequel.

"My son...he'll be 17 in December, had read "Hunger Games" when it first...came out, and I actually bought him the third one, I bought him "Mocking Jay," Moore explained. "...And then a few years later I picked up my daughter's book and I started reading it, and I kinda, I tore through it. And I finished it, and there was only one part I could play."

Moore plays the rebellion's trailblazer against the Capitol, President Coin of District 13.

Beyond her career, it's her family that makes her most proud.

"I can't believe I am so lucky that I have this wonderful group of people around me, my husband and my two beautiful children," Moore said. "So yeah, I thank my stars for that every day."

But she'll always remember where she began and appreciate the journey that's brought her to today.

"... To have gone from being a kid who liked to read, who tried out for the school play to someone who's still doing this at my age, still getting to work with so many really frankly, amazing and creative people, I have a lot of gratitude and amazement that it happened," Moore said.