Julianne Moore is embarrassed at how her relationship with Bart Freundlich began.

The 52-year-old actress met the 43-year-old director in 1996 when they worked on 'The Myth of Fingerprints' together, and while she was instantly smitten, she admits the filmmaker - with whom she has children Caleb, 15, and daughter Liv, 11 - initially didn't want to get romantically involved.

Asked how they got together, she said: ''On a film shoot. It was a bit embarrassing, he didn't want to start a relationship. It was his very first film, but I really liked him. And it continued from there. Bart lived in New York, I lived in Los Angeles. We both went back and forth as much as possible. Soon after, we had a baby. It was 'fluid'. We always wanted to see each other.

''After my past relationships ending and it being like, 'Well, that's over', this one is still going strong 17 years later.''

Julianne - who married Bart in 2003 - admits the hardest thing about their relationship is finding the time to be together because of their respective workloads.

She added to the French edition of Vogue magazine: ''The difficulty for a couple, every couple, is both having time-consuming jobs. A couple has to be worked on. Taking the kids to school, having dinner together, going on holiday... if you spend too much time apart, it becomes dangerous.''