The Untold Truth Of Julia Roberts

Since her breakout role in the '90s hit movie "Pretty Woman," Julia Roberts has been entertaining audiences all over the world for decades with her friendly demeanor, unforgettable smile, and warm personality. While the Oscar-winning star often keeps details about her private life quiet, it's undeniable that she's had an incomparable career, starring in everything from thrillers and romantic comedies to emotional dramas and even heist movies. 

During a 2003 interview with Oprah Winfrey for "O, The Oprah Magazine," Roberts opened up about her career, saying, "Making movies is not rocket science. It's about relationships and communication and strangers coming together to see if they can get along harmoniously, productively, and creatively ... When it works, it's fantastic and will lift you up. 

From her closely-guarded personal life and marriage to her special friendship with George Clooney, Roberts continues to fascinate fans all over the world. Join us as we explore the untold truth of Julia Roberts.

She was discovered 'walking down the street'

It's always fun to find out how Hollywood's biggest stars were first discovered, and Julia Roberts' introduction to fame was actually pretty low-key. During an interview with CBS' "Sunday Morning," Roberts opened up about how she first got started in acting, revealing that it was never her intention to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. "Well, I was walking down the street ... with my brother and his then-girlfriend, and passed someone that they knew. And that person was a talent agent," she explained.

Roberts had moved to New York City with her sister, Lisa, in 1985. While Lisa apparently had dreams of becoming an actor, Julia had secured a job selling running shoes. "I was a quick lacer," she joked on "Sunday Morning." "I was really good at lacing!" Their brother, Eric Roberts, was already building a career as an actor and had appeared in numerous projects by the time Julia moved to New York. As a result, he knew the talent agent that would discover his sister and helped to make the fateful introduction. After being discovered while simply walking down the street, it wasn't long before she scored roles on TV series like "Crime Story" and "Miami Vice."

But her big break would come in 1988 with "Mystic Pizza," which she followed up with 1989's "Steel Magnolias." And in 1990, she appeared opposite Richard Gere in the romantic comedy "Pretty Woman," which catapulted her to the A-list.

She doesn't understand the 'America's Sweetheart' label

After 1990's "Pretty Woman," Julia Roberts began booking bigger and bigger roles. It wasn't long before she earned the label of "America's Sweetheart," on account of her seemingly warm personality, radiant smile, and ability to look perfectly at home alongside Hollywood's biggest stars. However, it may surprise fans of the actor to find out that she hasn't always been that comfortable with the "America's Sweetheart" label. During a 2003 interview with "O, The Oprah Magazine," Roberts said of the label, "I somehow thought it meant I was tiny. Doesn't the word sweetheart sound so sweet and tiny? " 

When Oprah Winfrey asked Roberts how she felt about stars like Reese Witherspoon being dubbed as the new "America's Sweetheart," Roberts replied, "Somebody else is always going to be the next sweetheart. It's all contrivance: Label them as fast as you can so you can keep them all straight. A while ago when Sandra Bullock was first making movies, the press started this whole rivalry between us. She was supposed to be the next [sweetheart]." Clearly, Roberts has taken the compliment with a pinch of salt and has no delusions about how quickly Hollywood changes. Despite not feeling connected to the "America's Sweetheart" title, it's clear that the actor has retained a huge fan base since her career first started in the late '80s, and that's not about to change anytime soon.

Getting married to Danny Moder made her 'crazy happy'

Julia Roberts first met Daniel "Danny" Moder in early 2000, when they both worked on 2001's "The Mexican." Moder was a first assistant cameraperson on the movie, and the pair reportedly grew close during filming. According to People, Moder supported Roberts when she split from actor Benjamin Bratt, despite being married to makeup artist Vera Steimberg Moder at the time. However, sources suggested to the outlet that Danny was already experiencing problems in his marriage prior to meeting Roberts. He would go on to file for divorce from Moder in June 2001, which just so happens to be the month that Roberts' breakup from Bratt was confirmed to the press. Moder and Roberts would marry the following year, in a surprise wedding that took place on July 4 at their ranch in Taos, New Mexico. 

Two years later, the actor opened up about her married life with her new husband during an interview with "O, The Oprah Magazine," saying, "I'm so lucky to be crazy happy in my life. And I think it's not so much that I'm happier now than ever; it's that I'm more content," she beamed. "... A huge part of it is my marriage. My husband, Danny, has really shined the light for me. Because of being married, I've met people and experienced all these little things that have nurtured my life — not so much changed it, just nurtured it in a way that's astounding."

Julia Roberts describes herself as a 'homemaker'

Despite being one of the most famous actors on the planet, Julia Roberts is less focused on her Hollywood career and more committed to her family life. Over the years, she and Danny Moder have welcomed three children together, son Henry, and twins Hazel and Phinnaeus. During an interview with CBS' "Sunday Morning," Roberts was asked if she calls herself a homemaker, to which the "Notting Hill" star replied, "When I'm not working, that is my full-time job. And it isn't, you know, rainbows and kittens every day, but it does bring me a lot of joy."

While her career likely keeps Roberts extremely busy, she seems to savor time at home with her family more than anything. "I love breakfast, it's my favorite meal," Roberts told "Sunday Morning." "My younger boy, Henry, he's my breakfast partner." 

In her interview with "Sunday Morning," Roberts continually made it clear that her family comes first, and that she's worked hard to create and fulfill ambitions beyond the entertainment industry. When asked what some of her other dreams are, Roberts quickly responded, "The life that I've built with my husband." She continued, "The life that we've built with our children ... The point is to come home at the end of the day triumphantly to them." It would seem that Roberts isn't all that concerned with life as a celebrity, and instead prefers to be with the family unit she's created with her husband.

She's selective about her career for her children

In November 2004, Julia Roberts gave birth to twins, Phinnaeus Walter and Hazel Patricia Moder. In June 2007, Roberts and her husband Danny Moder expanded their family again when they welcomed their son Henry Daniel Moder. Since starting her family, Roberts has changed the way she approaches her acting career, placing a much greater focus on her personal life. During a 2022 interview with The New York Times, Roberts explained, "I have a sense of great pride in being home with my family and considering myself a homemaker. For so much of my children's younger life, they would see their dad go off and I would work a little, but they almost didn't notice. It was like I was only gone when they were napping or something." 

When Roberts has chosen to make a movie or film a TV show, she's had to struggle with making the difficult decision to spend time away from her family. However, the "Ben Is Back" star also wants her kids to see her enjoying her work and developing her career. "I do have a sense of responsibility for showing my children that I can be creative and that it's meaningful to me — so meaningful that for periods of time, I will choose to focus on that almost more than my family, which has been hard for me to come to terms with," she explained.

Julia Roberts didn't want to make Notting Hill

1999's "Notting Hill" starred Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, and was written by British rom-com legend Richard Curtis. The film followed the unlikely romance between the owner of a travel bookstore and the world's biggest movie star and it was a huge success at the box office. However, Roberts wasn't immediately on board with the idea of starring in the film. In 2019, she told The Guardian, "I did not want to do that movie." As for why she almost turned "Notting Hill" down, Roberts elaborated, "The pitch of it sounds awful, right? Do you want to come and play the world's biggest movie star and then fall in love with the bookshop owner? No!"

Luckily, Roberts had a change of heart after meeting with the team behind the film, and she's seriously glad that she did. "It's this great little jewel of a movie," she told The Guardian. While she may be known for making a number of high-profile romantic comedies, it's clear that the star is extremely discerning when it comes to the career choices she makes. But fans will most definitely be thankful that Roberts decided to sign on for "Notting Hill" against her better judgment. 

She had a long feud with her brother Eric Roberts

Julia Roberts isn't the only member of her family to build a successful career in the entertainment industry. Her niece, Emma Roberts, is known for everything from the horror anthology series "American Horror Story" to the popular comedy "We're the Millers," in which she starred opposite Jennifer Aniston. Emma's father and Julia's brother, Eric Roberts, is also a Hollywood stalwart, who even received an Oscar nomination for his performance in 1985's "Runaway Train." While Julia seems to be close to her niece, the "My Best Friend's Wedding" star has seemingly been embroiled in a feud with Eric for decades.

During a 1994 interview with "Rolling Stone," Julia explained, "We don't speak. ... It's a private matter that for some reason he and his wife have decided to make more public than I think it should." Julia particularly took umbrage with Eric's wife, Eliza Roberts, saying, "Eric tells his stories, and his wife tells her stories. What I find most fascinating about Eric's wife and what she says about me and how I feel about things and what I do about things is that I've never met her." 

During a 2022 appearance on the "Behind the Velvet Rope" podcast, Eric downplayed the apparent feud between him and his sister and suggested there was no bad blood between them. However, he did appear to blame the media for exacerbating any potential tension. "I just stay out of her hair with the press," he commented. "... And she stays out of mine."

She doesn't think Pretty Woman could be made today

1990's "Pretty Woman" remains one of Julia Roberts' most iconic roles. In the film, she plays Vivian, a sex worker hired by businessman Edward (Richard Gere) to accompany him to an event, with the pair inevitably falling in love. In her 2019 interview with "The Guardian," Roberts said of the popular rom-com, "I don't really think you could make that movie now, right? So many things you could poke a hole in, but I don't think it takes away from people being able to enjoy it." Understandably, in the decades since the release of "Pretty Woman," critics have questioned the film's portrayal of sex workers and the idea that all women within that industry ultimately want to be saved by a rich guy.

In spite of any criticism about the movie, "Pretty Woman" showcased Roberts' incredible acting talent, and kick-started the career she has today. Discussing how she booked the part, which was allegedly turned down by numerous actors, Roberts told "The Guardian," "It really is not a measure of talent, particularly in the beginning. It's a measure of good fortune — and being able to have your wits about you enough to make something out of that good fortune."

Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King paid for Julia Roberts' birth

As one of the most recognizable celebrities in the world, much is known about Julia Roberts. However, one lesser-known fact about the "Erin Brockovich" star involves her family's connection to civil rights activists Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. In 2022, Roberts sat down with Gayle King for A+E Networks and History Channel's HISTORYTalks in Washington, D.C., and revealed (via CBS News), "The King family paid for my hospital bills." Roberts was born on October 28, 1967, and according to the Oscar winner, it was the kindness of the Kings that helped her parents pay for the birth.

Amazingly, Walter and Betty Lou Roberts, Julia's father and mother, owned the Actors and Writers' Workshop in Atlanta, where they connected with the King family. Importantly, Julia's parents welcomed the King children into their theater school, something that rarely happened in the '60s. As Gayle King elaborated during the interview, "In the '60s you didn't have little Black children interacting with little white kids in acting school. And your parents were like, 'Come on in.'" This incredible connection demonstrates the wonderful upbringing Julia must have had, along with the wonderful generosity that the King family shared with the Roberts clan.

James Gandolfini didn't believe she was waving at him

Julia Roberts starred in 2001's "The Mexican" alongside Brad Pitt, J.K. Simmons, and James Gandolfini. Prior to working with the late actor, known for his starring role on "The Sopranos," she had an unexpected interaction with the beloved character actor at the Golden Globes in 2000. Upon meeting Galdonfini's gaze at the glitzy awards ceremony, Roberts allegedly waved at the actor and was surprised when he didn't return the gesture. 

Luckily, the "Hook" star was able to clear up the incident later on. "We walked right past his table and so I said, 'Hi, I'm Julia. I just wanted to introduce myself. I love your show.' He was very nice. He introduced me to his wife, Marcy," Roberts explained, per Newsweek. Gandolfini then humbly explained himself by saying, "I wasn't sure you were waving at me." It would seem that the pair hit it off after their awkward meet-cute, as their chemistry onscreen in "The Mexican" was later celebrated by critics like Roger Ebert. Still, it's funny to imagine Roberts wondering why Gandolfini was ghosting her in person, only to find out he couldn't believe that she knew who he was.

George and Amal Clooney 'saved' Julia Roberts on location

Julia Roberts co-starred with George Clooney in 2022's "Ticket to Paradise," with the pair jetting off to Queensland, Australia to shoot the romantic comedy, which is set in Bali, Indonesia. Working so far away from home was challenging for Roberts, who found herself missing her husband and children while shooting the movie. Luckily, Roberts was able to lean on Clooney, with whom she previously worked on a number of movies, including 2016's "Money Monster" and 2001's "Ocean's Eleven." 

Speaking to The New York Times, Roberts opened up about the support she received from George and his wife Amal, saying, "The Clooneys saved me from complete loneliness and despair." Adding to the difficulties was the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which required that they all follow the same protocols as anyone else. "We were in a bubble, and it's the longest I've ever been away from my family," she said. "I don't think I've spent that much time by myself since I was 25." 

George confirmed Roberts' difficulties while making the film, telling the publication, "When Danny and the kids did come visit, that meant they had to fly into Sydney and quarantine for two weeks by themselves before she could see them." Roberts and Clooney clearly have a strong bond and a supportive friendship, which helped make the "Ticket to Paradise" shoot less lonely, especially while the "Gaslit" star waited for her family to arrive.

She thinks 'making out' is the key to a good marriage

Since tying the knot on July 4, 2002, Julia Roberts and Danny Moder's relationship has gone from strength to strength, with the couple celebrating their 21st wedding anniversary in 2023. When asked for her best piece of marriage advice by E! News in 2022, Roberts replied, "I always say that same thing and I'm sticking with it ... It's making out. Lots of making out." At the time, she was promoting "Ticket to Paradise" alongside George Clooney, and he was quick to pitch in with a joke about his co-star's comment. "I make out with Danny, too," he hilariously quipped to the outlet.

It would seem that Moder and Roberts have always had an extremely romantic relationship, which has included sending love letters to one another. During an interview with CBS News, Roberts dished, "It's something that Danny and I have always done. I mean, I have the first letter he ever wrote me." She also revealed that she'll use the letters when she gives her daughter, Hazel, advice about what to look for in a future partner. "And one day, I'll show it to Hazel and say, 'That's what you're looking for,'" the actor told the outlet. By all appearances, Roberts seems to have found her partner for life in Moder.

Julia Roberts wants reporters to stop asking about her age

Julia Roberts was born on October 28, 1967, meaning that she turned 55 in 2022. As a famous movie star who has been in the public eye for much of her life, Roberts has repeatedly found herself fielding questions about her age. However, she's ready for reporters to stop probing her about aging, and has even called out the practice. During an interview with InStyle in 2017, Roberts said, "Really, people? ... Are we still in that space? Did anyone go over this with George Clooney or Brad [Pitt] before their 50th birthdays?" She also wanted to make it known that, while she enjoys celebrating the special day, "There's nothing different about this birthday than any other one." 

Roberts also called out the double standard that sees women asked about their age more frequently than their male counterparts during an interview with i News. "But honestly, I don't know what freak-out we're all supposed to have, turning 50," she explained. "For myself, last year, I was quite proud and happy." Importantly, Roberts is dispelling the focus placed on the age of women, particularly those working in the entertainment industry. Instead, the "Wonder" star is encouraging us all to embrace the joy and privilege of getting older, which is incredibly powerful.

She doesn't think she's 'special'

Julia Roberts may be a world-famous actor with an Oscar to her name, but that doesn't mean she thinks she's better than anyone else. "I don't think I am special," she told i News. "I've always been fortunate that I have found the work I am looking for. I mean, 30 years is a long time — and I am grateful and satisfied." Roberts' ability to be self-deprecating, in spite of having such an inspiring career, makes her even more likeable. It also ties into the fact that she places more emphasis on her home life and family than she does on her acting career.

In the same interview, Roberts opened up about her children, and the challenges she faces at home, which she seems to revel in. "As the mother of teenagers, it's an incredible exercise," she told i News. "I'm not terribly good at it. My kids told me early on, 'Mom, you're kind of blowing it a little bit — this is what you need to be doing.'" While Roberts' kids might think she's "blowing it," the rest of the world continues to watch in awe as the "Mother's Day" star continues to produce engaging, entertaining, and emotional content decades into her career.