Striking to look at and uncommonly tall, she was encouraged by her pals to pursue a career in modeling, although she admits she had no interest in fashion as a teen.
But she took the plunge and headed down to New York City, where by the age of 19 she was appearing in magazines like Vogue and Elle.
It was a heady new life that paid extremely well, but she had the smarts even then to know it would never last. That level-headedness led her toward her second career as an actress.
With success came complications, though. Moynahan’s fashion career was flawless, but her career as an actress has been more challenging.
She won terrific high profile supporting parts in several big budget flicks like I, Robot, and she was Mr. Big’s spurned wife Natasha in Sex and the City, but somehow, to date, she’s not been seen as leading lady material. That may all change when her new cop series on CBS, Blue Bloods, co-starring Irish American actor Donnie Wahlberg, debuts in the fall.
But regardless of its success or failure, one thing seems certain not to change -- Moynahan’s dislike of the press. When she talks about the media, she doesn’t mince words.
“The paparazzi are intrusive, offensive, and aggressive. It’s not something that I respect or, quite frankly, deserve,” she says.
“I don’t search it out. I lead a quiet life. I don’t go out as much as I’d like because I don’t want my son to be involved in that. We do things privately, like reading Dr. Seuss, playing games and listening to music.
“That’s why you haven’t seen many photos of us. I don’t need to parade him around.”
Staying out of the limelight is something she prefers in her personal life too. Unlike the masses, she’s not tempted to join the Facebook and Twitter revolution.
“I don’t need anyone to know that much about me, nor do I need to know everyone’s random, lame thoughts throughout the day,” she says.
Curiously enough though, Moynahan’s point of view concerning her tense relationship with the father of her son is a matter of public record, if her circle of close friends is to be believed. Through her pals Moynahan has let the public know that she disapproves of seeing her son and Brady’s son photographed by the paparazzi.
“Discretion and respect are not either of Gisele or Tom’s virtues,” sniffed one of Moynahan’s friends to the press recently, “as was evidenced even when the child was still unborn and they publicly flaunted their relationship without any discretion whatsoever.”
Moynahan’s discretion, which finds its roots in a very public heartbreak, is something that she is unlikely to ever abandon. Having loved and lost in the most exposed way imaginable, it’s no surprise she’s decided not to open herself to that kind of scrutiny again.
But for a person making a living in the public eye it’s also fairly ironic. The last place on earth to be retiring is in front of the camera, isn’t it?
Ramona and Beezus opens nationwide on Friday.