The untold truth of Emma Roberts

Don't be fooled by her seemingly pedestrian name. Emma Roberts is a talented actress, singer, and curator known for her roles in Scream Queens and American Horror Story — oh, and her famous aunt, the iconic and beautiful Julia Roberts. In fact, Emma Roberts' family tree branches out all over the entertainment industry, and so does her career. 

Roberts' acting career started off like a dream when she played Johnny Depp's daughter in the 2001 movie Blow. Though, according to Rotten Tomatoes, Roberts "was too young during the experience to realize what a respected figure her co-star was in Hollywood." After this, a teenage Roberts starred on the Nickelodeon series Unfabulous and even recorded an album for the show. However, her path to fame came with setbacks along the way. Confessing to "a lot of growing pains" in her twenties, she told Glamour, "But every single thing that's happened to me, even the bad stuff, I'm fine with it." At the end of the day, the multi-talent added, "I do try to learn from the bad." 

Did any of this star's on-screen performances hook you in? Let's flip on the untold truth of Emma Roberts.

The Roberts family values

Imagine a very young Emma Roberts in Hollywood. "The young child would sit spellbound on the set of Erin Brockovich," according to Allure. Roberts remembered watching her famous aunt, Julia Roberts, in the career-defining role: "I'd run and hide in her makeup trailer and hear, 'Where's Emma? It's time for bed! She has to go home!'" Emma likened the experience to "feeling like summer camp, just the feeling of creativity." 

It turns out acting really runs in the extended family. Her father, Eric Roberts, is an actor known for a wide variety of roles from movies to music videos. Plus, Emma's grandmother, Betty Lou Bredemus Roberts, was an acting teacher in Georgia, per Los Angeles Magazine. However, Emma's said this didn't affect her skills. When Interview Magazine asked what she'd learned from her famous relatives in 2014, she replied, "I can't say I've really learned from them directly but obviously I love their movies ... I wish I had a much more interesting answer to that, but we've never really talked about it."

Champagne for the real friends of Emma Roberts

As a child actor, Emma Roberts didn't instantly become friends with stars twice her age, like Johnny Depp. In a 2015 interview with Glamour, she talked about what it's like to try and make friends while navigating the entertainment industry. "To me loyalty is the biggest thing," Roberts explained. According to the actress, "I've done a serious clearing of people who didn't treat me the way a friend should treat you." 

As if it wasn't hard enough to deal with a massive public break up with Evan Peters in 2019, the women in her life added to the pain. "I think I've cried more about breakups with girlfriends than I ever have about boyfriends," Roberts confessed. She fortunately turned this heartbreak into a self-improvement opportunity. "It's changed my life," the star explained. "I only have girlfriends now who make me a better person." 

And Roberts seems to have found that special group of friends, as the actress revealed how she and her buddies behave like any typical bunch — with slumber parties and reality TV. "Anytime I have girlfriends come over we obviously stay up all night," Roberts told Cosmopolitan in May 2019. Their show of the moment? "Bingeing The Bachelor ... We all got into bed and stayed up probably until like four something, finishing it."

All of Emma Roberts' tattoos, explained

Emma Roberts is known for her chic sense of style. But that doesn't necessarily just include the clothes she wears. Fans love to track the tattoos she's acquired throughout the years. One is a lunar tattoo on her rib cage. In a 2018 interview with Collider, Roberts revealed one of the main inspirations for getting the specific design. "I have a half moon tattoo, for a couple reasons, but one of them is Steve Nicks," she said, adding that the Fleetwood Mac singer is "definitely someone that I love to work with." 

Either this tattoo or something else the actress hasn't revealed comes with a funny story. In 2016, Roberts admitted to Refinery29, "Most recently, though, one of my best friends and I — on a whim — got tattoos in New York. That was a pretty unexpected night!" Two years later, Roberts posted a photo on her Instagram with the caption, "Little luck from the best @winterstone." The actress showed off a small horseshoe on her thigh, within sight of her other tattoo that says "hold me" in cursive lettering.

Roberts is so influential that she even inspired others to get tattoos. According to Celebrity Net Worth, she dated actor Alex Pettyfer from 2007 to 2008, during which time he reportedly "got her initials tattooed on his wrist." What do you think about Roberts' collection of ink?

Emma Roberts' rocky road as a Hollywood star

Growing up alongside some of Hollywood's biggest names sounds like a fairy tale. But for Emma Roberts, the tale included darker moments. In reality, the actress faced many setbacks in her acting career and personal life. In an interview with Allure, Roberts talked about one of her earliest disappointments. "I still remember when I didn't get the part of Wendy in the movie Peter Pan — that was my only devastation," she admitted. After this missed opportunity, Roberts recalled her mom telling her "maybe you should stop, be in school, and focus on being a kid." But determined to go for it all, Roberts said, "No! I want a shot at glory!" 

The star reiterated this story in an interview with Glamour. According to Roberts, at first her mother was not on board to let her pursue acting. To which the little girl exclaimed, "You're not supporting my dreams!" Explaining that her mom conceded, Roberts added, "She decided to let me go on one audition, thinking I'd see what rejection was like." 

While she ended up securing a role in the movie Blow for this first audition, Roberts later discovered the alternative is more common. "I've had a lot of failures as well and rejection," she told Interview Magazine. Roberts admitted that, as an actor, "It's actually mostly rejection but people think it's mostly success because they only see your successes — the films that get made."

Emma Roberts' unusual upbringing

As a child, Emma Roberts spent some time on movie sets and wanted to pursue acting. But her mother, Kelly Cunningham, constantly "warned her about the consequences of choosing an acting career too young, asking her to delay her ambitions" (via Allure). This advice may have been related to Roberts' father, Eric Roberts — a.k.a. the brother of Julia Roberts. Cunningham "was for a time the live-in girlfriend" of Eric, and saw firsthand, through his struggles as an actor, what could happen in the entertainment industry: he reportedly "had drug-abuse issues as well as run-ins with the law," leading to a split between him and Cunningham. 

The separation between the two "included a custody battle for young Emma that Eric lost." Unsurprisingly, the difficulties of Emma's upbringing created an altered view on a so-called "normal" family. For example, Emma sarcastically told the Allure interviewer, "You're married? To your children's dad? That's amazing!"

Gather around for story time with Emma Roberts

Turns out Emma Roberts is quite the bookworm. In a 2014 interview for Refinery29, the actress revealed, "I try to read a book every couple of weeks because it keeps your memorization good and improves your attention span." 

Due to a cross-country friendship, Roberts' literary love grew even stronger. The actress lived in Los Angeles, and her friend Karah Preiss in New York, "So we'd always be sending each other books in the mail and writing little notes on them," Roberts told Vogue. According to the actress, books "became the center of our friendship, exchanging recommendations and discussing them." The two realized this process may appeal to a wider audience and recognized there was no one-stop-shop for recommendations. "We wanted to create a place where it was easy to find things that you know you're going to like," Roberts explained. 

This led to Roberts and Preiss founding the literary recommendations site Belletrist — or, as Roberts put it, "Two young women who are just trying to share stories with the world." The pair then started interviewing some of their favorite authors, and the community continued to grow. When talking about how to be a part of the Belletrist community, Roberts said, "You just need that sense of curiosity and to want to be introduced to new stories that you might not have read otherwise."

Delicious days with Emma Roberts

You might not think of Emma Roberts as someone who's obsessed with food, but the actress is in fact quite the gourmand. In an interview with Shape, Roberts revealed that her time in New Orleans while shooting American Horror Story: Coven sparked her appetite: "I really fell in love with the food there." Outside of filming, she explained, "I'd have fried-chicken sliders at night and then go to my yoga class the next morning."

Yes, the actress makes heath-conscience choices for many meals, but this doesn't stop her from other guilty pleasures. "I also love cupcakes, ice cream, and Sidecar Doughnuts," Roberts confessed, referring to the fried dough specialists in Southern California. And she shares her love of sugar with others, saying, "Sometimes I bring sweets for everyone at work as an excuse to eat them." Roberts also holds a special place in her heart for "classic breakfast foods" like "eggs and bacon and toast," telling CN Traveller that while on stay-cation at The Beverly Hills Hotel, "I often have breakfast at the counter. I'm obsessed with the pancakes and chocolate-chip waffles."

Roberts expressed similar sentiments to The New York Times, noting that she generally reaches for healthy options, though is "not into gluten-free or diets like that." However, she loves to keep sugar on standby while working: "I always have Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Swedish Fish on set because I have to have something to look forward to."

Emma Roberts isn't afraid to say she's afraid

Two of Emma Roberts' most popular roles revolved around the actress in the horror genre. First, in multiple seasons of American Horror Story, followed by Scream Queens. What's her secret to land these frightening roles? "Because I'm scared of everything," she admitted to Los Angeles Magazine. "Really! I've always been the person screaming. I'm always freaked out: 'Someone's under the bed!' 'What is that noise outside?' I've always had anxiety. Always." 

The actress watched several other starlets in action for ideas on how to give a scary-good performance, like Nicole Kidman's performance in The Others, plus other movies that completely creeped her out. After watching The Haunting of Hill House, Roberts thought she "saw the Bent-Neck Lady all over my house — I couldn't sleep for a week." The actress also starred in the 2011 reboot Scream 4, telling PopSugar that she watched the previous films to study, but "watched half of it with [her] eyes closed." And once filming started, not even behind-the-scenes magic provided any respite for Roberts: "I was scared while we were shooting most of the time!"

All that said, books appear to be a happy exception for Roberts, as she told Vogue that while shooting American Horror Story, "I got really into horror and thrillers." This included Shutter Island and The Shining, both later adapted into popular movies we're guessing Roberts probably didn't watch.

The not-so-horrible experiences for Emma Roberts on AHS

For American Horror Story: Coven, Emma Roberts got her chance to join the already successful series in its third season. However, her role turned out to be much more fruitful than originally planned. "I was only supposed to be in a couple of episodes [and not the full season]," she revealed to Collider. "And then, it just kept going and going and going." Roberts made the most of the opportunity and turned this short run into one of her most successful roles — five seasons in total as of 2020.

Life on set appears to be another reason Roberts stuck around for so many episodes. "It's so fun! Sometimes Sarah and I just start laughing and get laugh attacks because we are struck by the absurdity of what we have to do," she admitted, referencing her co-star, Sarah Paulson. In a particularly funny moment, Roberts was video chatting with friends but "forgot that [she] was covered in blood." This freaked out her buddies, unsurprisingly. Roberts explained this was just another day on the job, jokingly saying, "I didn't realize you needed a heads up that I literally had blood all over my face. I'm just working."

Emma Roberts on that Los Angeles love and loss

On the set of the movie Adult World, Emma Roberts recalled catching feelings for her co-star, Evan Peters. But as she admitted on Chelsea Lately, her attempts at seduction didn't necessarily go as planned: "I would try to like flirt with him, which ended up looking like I had something in my eye" (via Us Weekly). Peters shared a similar story how he felt awkward and stupid trying to flirt with Roberts on set. 

Peters and Roberts' unconventional methods — or perhaps in spite of them — worked, and the two actors started dating. This whirlwind romance included two engagements followed by a devastating breakup in 2019. Roberts admitted to Cosmopolitan, "I never want to talk about relationships I'm in or that are ending or have ended. It's hard enough to be with someone by yourself, let alone with an audience."

Roberts further detailed to Los Angeles Magazine what it's like to love someone under the watchful eye of the public, saying, "Relationships are hard enough between two people, let alone two people and the entire internet." She also presented an example on why it's so tough to be in a celebrity relationship: "Do people photoshop their face over yours with your boyfriend? It's just a weird thing." But the actress confessed she does understand where the appeal comes from, saying, "When I was growing up, I was obsessed with celebrity couples. It's just not as fun when it's you."

Emma Roberts and her passion for fashion

Among her many talents, Emma Roberts is known for her sense of fashion, and has used her well-curated fashion style as part of an overall stunning transformation. She then cemented her crown after her fashionable role in Scream Queens. However, her passion started at a young age. "I would always be on the Internet looking at pictures of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and Sienna Miller, trying to copy their style," she told Fashion Magazine in 2017. "When I got my first big job, I saved up my money to buy a Balenciaga purse — just because the Olsen twins had it."

In a 2019 video interview by Getty Images, Roberts — alongside buddy Amanda Seyfried — talked about one of her first material aspirations. "I remember every time I saw a girl wearing a Fendi baguette, I would be coveting it," Roberts said, referring to the famous purse from the Italian fashion house. "And then when I saw it on Sex and the City I was like, 'I need one!'"

Still, Roberts told Refinery29 that she preferred Tumblr over other celebrities for inspiration. "I'm more interested in real people street style than I am in celebrity style," she explained. And the actress buys more eclectic pieces that don't appeal to everyone. "I actually collect vintage nightgowns," Roberts revealed to Cosmopolitan. "Some of them get more laughs than others," she admitted, because "some of them look very old time-y."

How much is Emma Roberts worth?

Aside from her famous relatives, Emma Roberts earned her own way in Hollywood — and the big pay days that go along with it. Throughout her long career, Roberts released an album, starred in movies and TV series, and expanded her reach even further with her book discovery blog, Belletrist ... all this before the age of 30. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Roberts' net worth was $25 million as of 2020.

With her fortune, Roberts likes to live in stylish accommodations. In 2010, when she was just 19 years old, Roberts purchased a $1.25 million home (via Variety). Six years later, Roberts sold the property to Sarah Paulson, her American Horror Story co-star, Variety reported. By 2018, the actress upgraded her resume, celebrity status, and then her home. Roberts reportedly paid a little over $4 million for a "1920s Mediterranean tucked into the swanky, gated and celeb-favored Laughlin Park enclave in L.A.'s Los Feliz area."

When she's not buying cushy properties in California, Roberts enjoys spending money on self-care and self-improvement. "If someone recommends something," she told Shape, "I'll buy it no questions asked because I love beauty products."