Celebrities Who Can't Stand Julia Roberts

Has Hollywood soured on America's Sweetheart? Over the years, tawdry tales of Julia Roberts' diva antics have become the stuff of legend, generating reams of lurid tabloid fodder. Reports of bullheadedness, unstoppered weeping, and wild mood swings have swirled around the industry for years, fueled by horror stories from crusty costars, typically unflappable directors, and even her own brother. 

So, just what kind of drama are we talking about? Roberts allegedly enjoys locking herself in her trailer for hours at a time, and sources claim she ices critics in public when she thinks they've scorned her. By many accounts, Roberts possesses a dark side that belies the chirpily braying characters she portrays in films such as Pretty Woman and Hook. Here's a rundown of her many skirmishes over the years.

Nick Nolte says 'she's not a nice person'

Roberts and Nick Nolte clearly didn't love (or even like) working together during 1994's I Love Trouble. The film received quite the dismal drubbing after critics complained of the duo's "less-than-sparkling chemistry." According to the Los Angeles Times, Roberts was prone to temper tantrums during production, while Nolte went out of his way to deliberately irritate the actress. Whenever possible, the two stars reportedly filmed scenes with stand-ins so they wouldn't have to look at one another.

"From the moment I met him we sort of gave each other a hard time," Roberts told The New York Times in 1993, "and naturally we get on each other's nerves." (Naturally?) In the same profile, she characterized Nolte as "completely charming and very nice," but "also completely disgusting. He's going to hate me for saying this, but he seems to go out of his way to repel people." 

Nolte responded by biting right back: "It's not nice to call someone 'disgusting.' But she's not a nice person. Everyone knows that."

Fast-forward to 2009, when Roberts appeared on Late Show with David Letterman and "performed an 'impression' of a former co-star throwing an expletive-heavy temper tantrum," according to The Telegraph. Any guess who she might be channeling?

Her moodiness allegedly drove Steven Spielberg up a tree

Roberts was reportedly so irksome while filming 1991's Hook that cast and crew nicknamed her Tinkerhell. While working on the film, Roberts was embroiled in a highly-publicized breakup with fiancé Kiefer Sutherland (who Roberts dumped mere days before the wedding). A Premiere article from 1994 described her on-set presence as "sometimes somber, sometimes at the near edge of hysteria" (via Den of Geek.

According to Steven Spielberg: A Biography, Roberts once sashayed onto the set ludicrously late and totally unapologetic, grandly proclaiming, "I'm ready now." Spielberg's response? "We're ready when I say we're ready, Julia."

She'd reportedly stay locked in her trailer for hours at a time, one of several quirks that inspired Steven Spielberg to tell 60 Minutes: "It was not a great time for Julia and I to be working together." Later, when host Ed Bradley asked if Spielberg would ever work with Roberts again, his response was a master class in shade: "This is a 60 Minutes question, isn't it?"

Shortly after the segment aired, Roberts told Vanity Fair: "I saw that and my eyes popped out of my head. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that this person that I knew and trusted was actually hesitating to come to my defense. It was a hard lesson to learn. It was the first time that I felt I had a turncoat in my midst." 

Critic Roger Friedman found Roberts' behavior 'chilling'

In a 2009 Fox News column, famed theater critic Roger Friedman chronicled a dark night of the soul that allegedly involved Roberts snubbing him at the Duplicity premiere — in front of his peers. 

"She cut me dead," he writes. "She was rude, downright nasty, and dismissive." Adding insult to injury, Friedman claims the actress "cut in between me and director Tony Gilroy to make her point. Her behavior was unexpected and chilling."

The reason for all the melodrama? Bad blood apparently started splashing around during Roberts' 2006 Broadway premiere in Three Days of Rain. According to Friedman's account, Roberts' publicist, Marcy Engelman, sidled up to him at the Duplicity premiere and eerily said, "She knows you broke the embargo on her play and wrote bad things about her." At the same event, a top agent allegedly told Friedman that Roberts described him as "the man who writes bad things about me." What's fantastically odd about all this: Friedman actually gave Roberts a rave review for her performance, writing, "She's a movie star and can act circles around anyone, and she's going to be a sensation in the papers." That's not exactly faint praise, but perhaps too faint for Roberts' taste?

"I wouldn't have thought that what I wrote about Roberts in her play could have justified the scene at last night's party," Friedman said. "It was not pretty, and it was meant to be devastating."

Even her brother can't deal

Siblings will always have their differences, but not speaking for more than a decade is especially hardcore. According to People, the animosity between Julia Roberts and her brother, Eric Roberts, stems from a 1993 custody battle over his daughter, actress Emma Roberts. Wary of her brother's drug abuse at the time, Julia sided with Eric's ex, Kelly Cunningham, during the dispute. The decision reportedly earned the Pretty Woman star ten years of radio silence from the brother who helped launch her career. 

Following the birth of Julia's twins in 2004, Julia and Eric reportedly had something of a reconciliation. A brand-new and brighter era of damage control commenced, with Eric telling Access Online: "There was never really a feud. We're brother and sister and we both have really strong opinions about things, so it's a lot of 'f*** you,' 'no, f*** you,' and hanging up the phone. But it got so blown out of proportion. We stopped talking and then with the birth of the twins, we started talking again."

In a 2014 interview, Eric spun another theory regarding their estrangement: "All those rumors about us not getting along happened because I got her started in show business, right? So then she gets Pretty Woman and becomes the biggest star in the world, and the press is talking to her like 'Eric's little sister.' And one day, she got sick of it and said, 'I don't want to hear his name anymore.'" 

Sounds about right.

Hugh Grant says she's got a big mouth — and can't kiss

He thinks Renée Zellweger is a "top snogger." He got on fantastically with Sarah Jessica Parker and Sandra Bullock. But according to Julia Roberts' former costar, Hugh Grant, kissing America's Sweetheart is nothing to write home about. The stars' lack of chemistry in their 1999 romantic comedy, Notting Hill, was certainly noted by L.A. Weekly, whose film critic described the movie as "a big, dreary star vehicle that sags whenever its leads spend quality time together."

During an appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2015, an especially acerbic Grant opened up about his filming experience, noting that Roberts "might hate me for saying this, but... " He claims kissing one of the world's most beautiful women wasn't particularly wonderful because "she had such a large mouth." When Cohen needled Grant further about those kissy shenanigans, the Golden Globe-winner gamely doubled down. "I was aware of a faint echo as I was kissing her," he said. Asked if he happened to still be in touch with the Sleeping with the Enemy star, Grant responded: "No. I would be, I suppose, but I probably made too many jokes about the size of her mouth. She might hate me by now."

Judging by these comments, the feeling "might" be mutual.

Amal Clooney and Julia Roberts: best friends for never?

Are Julia Roberts and Amal Clooney (high-powered human rights lawyer and wife of actor George Clooney,) perpetually at each other's swan-like throats? If the tabloids are to be believed, the answer is a decided mm-hmm

In 2016, In Touch (via Celebitchy) breathlessly reported that Roberts was none too pleased when Amal showed up at Cannes as George's plus-one wearing a show-stopping yellow gown that stole the spotlight from Roberts, who was with George to promote the film Money Monster. According to the tabloid's source, "Julia was stunned that Amal tried to steal her show and her thunder, and that George actually let her." 

To exact her revenge, Roberts did what anybody would do: She allegedly started flirting mercilessly with George right in front of his wife, leaving Amal "seething." Later, Amal reportedly cornered her husband, complaining that Julia was very "disrespectful." Roberts subsequently had "a mini-meltdown" and "laughed at [Amal] because she thinks she's so absurd." 

Did you get all that?

Julianna Margulies: Being her waitress was horrible

According to the Waiter Rule, "A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person." Julia Roberts is apparently unaware of this rule because according to The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies, Roberts can be exceedingly rude to waitstaff. Margulies has a very personal anecdote to back up that claim. 

"I worked at one of these restaurants where it was only famous people who came in," Margulies told David Letterman in 2010, "...And years later, I bumped into one of them: Julia Roberts. She's lovely ... when you're not waiting on her."

Apparently, the two actresses were working on plays directly across the street from one another in 2006, and one night, they wound up going out on the town together. That's when Margulies confronted Roberts about the aforementioned incident: "I said, 'You know I waited on you once.' And she said, 'Oh God, was I horrible?' And it's like ... 'Yeah, kind of.' And she said, 'I was young!' ... We were both 23. She was a huge star at the time, and there was 20 people around her. She admitted it, she was like, 'Oh, I'm so sorry ... and then she bought me dinner.'"

But how did Roberts treat the waiter that time? Unfortunately for us, Margulies took the high road and decided not to go there.

The Steel Magnolias director went after Roberts 'with a vengeance'

During filming of the 1989 tearjerker Steel Magnolias, a lot of behind-the-scenes weeping plagued the production. According to reports, most of those tears belonged to Julia Roberts. According to costars Sally Field and Shirley MacLaine, the late director Herbert Ross was extraordinarily demanding while shooting the film and reserved most of his ire for Roberts.

"Herb Ross was basically a choreographer," MacLaine said, speaking at Target Presents AFI Night at the Movies in 2013 (via Us Weekly). "That means he could be sometimes very stern and sometimes very harsh. My deepest memories of the film were how we bonded together after he told one of us, or all of us, that we couldn't act."

He "did pick on one of us several times," Field confirmed. "He never told me I couldn't act. ... He went after Julia with a vengeance. This was pretty much her first big film."

The director's harsh words really got to Roberts. Every night, she'd reportedly wind up at MacLaine's house in tears. According to Field, Ross even asked Roberts to "cut off some little wart or mole she had under her eye." 

Her costars eventually banded together to protect Roberts from Ross: "Our keenest memory was how hard it was to work with our director," Field said. "We hated him and we would go after him." To her credit, Roberts got the last laugh when she scored an Academy Award nomination for her performance. 

Sources claim Meryl Streep 'never wants to work with Julia again'

As the premiere of August: Osage County neared, journalists were aswirl with juicy gossip about an alleged tiff between Julia Roberts and the legendary Meryl Streep. The overall consensus was that the two actresses "can't stand each other." 

In 2013, a source told the National Enquirer that Streep was up in arms after Roberts allegedly tampered with the firm's ending: "Julia can't get enough of herself on the big screen," the source claimed. "When she got the chance, she threw Meryl under the bus for more screen time, a glowing close-up of her alone." Isn't that, like, so Julia Roberts?

The original ending featured a shot of Streep, but Roberts apparently wasn't having it, allegedly claiming "she looks so sad on screen it's a downer. Maybe the camera could just hold on me for the final image." (To be fair, test audiences weren't feeling the original ending either, and even the play's author supported the change.)

We may never know how Streep truly feels about that change, but she was reportedly a no-show at the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. According to the Enquirer, the iconic actress was "so disgusted she boycotted" the event. Its insider claimed, "Meryl was livid. And she never wants to work with Julia again." 

If there is any credence to these claims, can you really blame her?