The Real Reason We Never Hear About Julia Roberts' Kids

Some celebrity children are seen out and about so often you could probably list off their middle names and shoe sizes by heart (such as the glamorous lives of the Kardashian kids), but there are a few others who are so shielded from the spotlight you couldn't pick them out of a lineup if your life depended on it.

 Julia Roberts' trio of kids with her director husband, Danny Moder, fit firmly into the latter category of celeb kids you never hear about. Perhaps this has something to do with the Pretty Woman actress, herself, who regularly shies away from the bright lights of Tinseltown. "I think Julia is a genius at how to be with people," mused Mike Nichols — who directed the starlet in Closer – to W, adding that Roberts rarely gives away intimate aspects of her life. "That's ... part of her genius. She gives you a great time, but she gives up nothing."

While some may consider Roberts to be shady, it looks like the Hollywood starlet is simply maintaining her sense of privacy – even when it comes to her children. The twins and their little brother have been growing up away from the cameras, despite the fact that their mom has been a household name for decades. Here's why you rarely, if ever, hear anything about Hazel, Phinnaeus, and Henry Moder. 

Julia Roberts' kids didn't know their mom is famous

To everyone else, Julia Roberts might be America's sweetheart and an Oscar-winning superstar, but to her three children, she's just Mom. As the esteemed actress told Express in 2014, her kids still hadn't heard about their mommy's claim to fame. Wait, what? "They don't know what I do for a living," she explained, adding, "That hasn't really entered their life yet. They are just little kids and I'm just their mom, so there's no coping with anything." She predicted that when they finally figure out their mother's status as a Hollywood icon, they'll be teenagers and "have stuff in their lives that's far more interesting than what their parents' jobs are."

Sure enough, now that her kids are older, they're definitely aware that their mom is an A-lister. As the My Best Friend's Wedding actress told Oprah Winfrey during a Harper's Bazaar interview in 2018, her children hilariously compared her celeb status by asking, "'Are you more famous than Taylor Swift?" We'll let you decide that one.

Julia Roberts' celeb persona is separate from her as a mom

While Roberts claims that her kids didn't know what she did for a living when they were younger, they definitely had an idea that she's someone important. The distinction is that understanding somehow doesn't hold much bearing on their relationship with her as a mother. In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2012, Roberts illustrated this point with an anecdote about a time she was recognized in public while the kids were with her. "It was on a crowded street, and somebody noticed me, and then another person noticed. Somebody said as we were walking past, 'Oh, that's Julia Roberts.' We all just kind of kept going, and then Finn said, 'Yeah, my mom's Julia Robinson.' That's what gives you perspective. It could be Robinson, it could be Johnson, because it has nothing to do with me as a person."

Roberts, who self-identifies as a "soccer mom," also jokingly refers to her fame as "the legend." In an interview with Extra, the starlet claimed the children learned about her 2017 World's Most Beautiful Woman honor given by People in their school library. The point is the kids know she's a big deal to some, but to them, she's just a regular mom.

Her kids have shown zero interest in the family business

Perhaps it's because they're still too young (Hazel and Finn Moder were born in November 2004, while Henry Moder was born in June 2007), but Julia Roberts' kids have shown no interest in making movies when they grow up. If anything, they might be heading for another realm of artistry. Roberts told E! News in 2015 that the kids have shown an interest in music. "I have a violinist, a cellist, and a trumpeter," she said, adding that their top priority is school. In other words, don't expect them to sign a recording contract just yet. "They just want to get through fifth grade math," she joked. "That's all that's on their minds."

That being said, the Notting Hill starlet also explained how there's so much going on in her home, that she often feels like she's "directing." As she mimicked the vibe in her house to E! News, "'Hey, brush your teeth! Get your uniform, basketball is tomorrow! Get your violin!' I'm like an air traffic controller.'" Phew, sounds hectic. 

While Roberts' children may not be overly interested in the world of film, they did like one specific genre of movies growing up: cartoons. "I think one finds that one's children aren't necessarily interested in one's filmography because perhaps one's children want to go see Cars 3," she mused to News Letter in 2017.

Julia Roberts' roles are selected around her kids' lives

Ever since she landed her $20 million payday for Erin Brockovich, Julia Roberts has been one of the most powerful players in Hollywood. Along with having her pick of the absolute best roles, Roberts also earned the flexibility of lining up parts around her children's schedules. And when that doesn't work out, she just demands that she be allowed to bring them along, as she did for Eat Pray Love in 2010 when "her husband and children were with her during the four months spent on location in New York, Rome, India and Bali," according to The Mirror.

This is a dynamic the kids definitely seem to enjoy, as Roberts pointed out to Today in 2014. Speaking about the time she was away from home more than ever during the filming of 2013's August: Osage County, Roberts claimed her daughter referred to that period as "the dark time." Something tells us Roberts will probably wait until her brood is safely off at college before returning to the intensity of those kinds of roles.

She keeps a low profile around her kids

Spectators who have gotten a rare glimpse of Julia Roberts out in public with her family – like at her children's sporting events – say she wears incognito gear like baseball hats, sunglasses, and clothes that help her blend in with the crowd. Even when she is spotted by fans, the starlet reportedly politely declines autographs and kindly explains her request for privacy.

The Pretty Woman actress has also carved out a nice little small town niche for herself, sticking mostly around what the Los Angeles Times calls "the tony enclave populated with Pilates studios and juice bars" — that is her Pacific Palisades community. Roberts herself admits that her incognito approach to public life is aided by chill neighbors. "The kind of energy I attract is very calm," said told the Los Angeles Times, while "[hiding] her makeup-less face behind Ray Bans while running errands ... [and wearing] a neon-colored rubber band bracelet because her daughter made it for her." 

Her favorite family getaway is secluded

Of course, Julia Roberts doesn't always stay hidden with her family in her Pacific Palisades community in Los Angeles. No, the Moder-Roberts clan has a favorite destination to go unwind — and it also happens to be the same place where the starlet married her husband, Daniel Moder in 2002. "When Daniel and I first started dating, we went there a lot," Roberts mused to the Daily Mail of her desert ranch near Taos, N.M. "He feels the same way about New Mexico as I do; we love the quietude and enchantment, [and] now it's a great place for the five of us to run around and be together." Family goals, huh?

Though they're not exclusively bound to their Southwest hideaway (they've also been spotted enjoying the sunshine in Mexico in 2020), the isolated abode helps Roberts protect her family from prying eyes and let the kids be, you know, kids.

Julia Roberts steers clear of social media

It's common to watch a celebrity's child grow up through their parents' social media accounts. Julia Roberts, on the other hand, has avoided platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, which means the public never gets that errant birthday party snap popping up on their feeds (or any cringe-worthy social media fails for that matter, either).

The actress told InStyle 2016 that she's well aware of what's happening online. "Listen, I don't have my head in the sand," she said. "I'm aware of the different outlets, however you label them. It's like people talking about a TV show: I can be perfectly aware of the TV show and the story, but it doesn't mean I watch it. I have other friends who watch it, and they tell me about it." Fair enough.

Instead, Roberts uses her social media indifference to her kids' advantage. According to USA Today, she even "managed the impossible: taking her entire brood to Disneyland without generating any headlines" in 2013. The kids had an awesome, paparazzi-free day, and Roberts felt no need to tweet about it. "The strange culture of celebrity and the Internet age — I kind of am too old for that silly mess that goes on. I'm glad about that. It's helped that I'm definitely of a particular age," she mused to the outlet.

She shields her children from outsiders

Julia Roberts and Danny Moder make a concerted effort to keep their family bubble intact while still doing their jobs. "We try to protect our kids," the Eat Pray Love actress told USA Today. "We just want to have our family life and not have that intruded upon." 

As Roberts went on explaining to the outlet, she tries to "[trust] her instincts about juggling her public and private [self]," noting, "There has to be some natural understanding of what I feel good about, what can satisfy most people from me, and just try to find that happy balance." 

Sure enough, Roberts does manage to find a "happy balance," and as the Los Angeles Times noted during an interview with the actress in 2013, she was even able to sit down at a local cafe in her neighborhood without attracting attention. "People don't come up to me very often. Everyone is always in such disbelief that I can go to the market." It's certainly a fine line to walk, but it looks like Roberts found a way to make it work

She has a real fear that Hollywood changes young actors

Julia Roberts has never explicitly spelled this out, and we're assuming that she feels like early fame for her kids could lead to the acting bug, but it's easy to tell by her interactions with her now-famous niece, Emma Roberts, that she's cagey about the effects of fame on young people. In fact, this is something that Emma herself has expressed in the past, such as when she made an appearance on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live. "We don't really talk so much about acting when we're together. We mostly just like spending time with her kids and stuff like that."

Julia further echoed her niece's sentiments during an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2013. "When [Emma] comes to stay with us, I always think, 'Please let her be the same' — and she is still the same magical girl she used to be," adding, "I think so much of it has to do with your intentions in taking on a business like this. If you have a pure view of what you want to accomplish, I think you can maintain your sense of self."

 While Emma has certainly become an A-list star in her own right, perhaps she should have taken a bit more advice from her aunt and stayed away from the tabs, as her messy breakup with Evan Peters has garnered as much attention as her acting chops throughout the years.

Fans got a rare glimpse into Julia Roberts' life in 2019

On Mother's Day 2019, Danny Moder took to Instagram to pay tribute to wife Julia Roberts. "That pretty mama in the middle," he gushed in the caption of the snap he shared of the Pretty Woman starlet surrounded by their three children. "We love you so much."

While sharing a family pic on social media may seem like no big deal, this appeared to be a major shift for a family that had gone to great lengths to keep their children out of the limelight and away from the superficialities of Hollywood. In fact, during an interview with Oprah Winfrey for Harper's Bazaar, Roberts admitted that because of the way her children were raised, they really didn't "have a true sense" of just how big a celebrity their mom actually is.

"I think I told you once when they were starting to figure it out, it was like, 'You're famous?' And I said, 'I think a lot of people might have seen the movie that I'm in or might know who I am,'" Roberts told Winfrey. So, has the Notting Hill actress showed her kids any of her iconic flicks? She's shut down the notion of letting them watch the racy Pretty Woman, but as she mused to Winfrey, "I imagine a day that we all sit down and maybe watch My Best Friend's Wedding." Probably a good call.

Julia Roberts imposes strict rules for her kids

When it comes to raising her children, Julia Roberts describes herself as "strict." In an interview with The Sun, the actress said that while she's not prone to losing her temper, "[she] think[s] it's important that children know their boundaries." If her kids get out of line, she added, "I don't really punish them, I prefer to have conversations with them. I think my serious face is punishment enough."

She and husband Danny Moder are also on the same page when it comes to ensuring their kids don't grow up to be entitled brats, with Roberts insisting, "you do need to know how to make your bed, do your laundry and how to make a meal. These are important life skills. They have to run their own race." She and Moder, she added, maintain a "united front," but admitted, "We take turns who's stricter."

If that's not all, Roberts also tries to keep her kids away from social media platforms, "because [she] don't really understand what they need that for right now." She elaborated on the concept of social media even further during an interview with Oprah Winfrey for Harper's Bazaar, recalling her niece, Emma Roberts, posting a photo to Instagram of the duo after spending a morning together. "The number of people who felt absolutely required to talk about how terrible I looked in the picture ... my feelings got hurt." She then added, "I thought, 'What if I was 15?'"