Since marrying Hollywood cameraman Daniel Moder almost seven years ago, life for Julia Roberts has been turned on its head almost as much as Julia’s Pretty Woman was by Richard Gere all those years ago.
But some things never change. Love scenes are still a bone of contention for the Oscar-winning actress – especially now she has a husband watching from the wings and three kids waiting back in her trailer.
Julia’s devotion to her family means that she almost shuns Hollywood, apart from voicing the odd animated movie (for her kids), Julia chooses her roles carefully – usually being led by the right people to work with as well as a killer script.
In Duplicity Roberts gets to play a sexy corporate spy, opposite her old ‘Closer’ friend and co-star Clive Owen. Next up she stars in ‘Fireflies in the Garden’, a low-budget movie that see’s her act alongside husband.
Q: Do you see a difference in the kind of roles you get offered now that you are a mother? JR: “I think so….I don’t know. I mean, I still get a nice variety of things. Certainly, as I get older I get more mother parts offered, but I don’t think that is necessarily because I have my kids. I guess that just comes with age.”
Q: Do your children, especially the twins, have any idea what you do? JR: “No, they don’t… I don’t know what to say when they ask me. I don’t know how to explain. Because, I mean, I guess I prefer not to deal with it right now. Because the illusion of a movie is a magical and great thing. Hazel did say that Maria in The Sound of Music sounded a lot like Mary Poppins. I said they are both English. I don’t want to burst the perfect bubble she has. Mary Poppins is Mary Poppins. To say it is really Julie Andrews, who is an actress is ….you want it to stay special as long as you can.”
Q: Do you enjoy work these days more, because you have a family to go back to? Or is it harder to go to set? JR: “It is harder to go. But once I am there, it is definitely fun. I jokingly say that it is fun to spend time with people over 3 and a half feet tall (laughs). I think, also, it recharges me in a whole different level. So when I come home to my family, I am that much more enriched.”
Q: So your urge to act is still there? JR: “Oh, absolutely. I mean, if it wasn’t, it is still so fun to me. It is still as fun as it ever was. And I think, if that joy went away, I probably wouldn’t do it.”
Q: Everybody is calling this movie your comeback. Do you see it that way? JR: “I don’t, no. Somebody said ‘You made 13 movies in the last 6 years.’ I think that is impressive. So, I guess it is just a difference in opinion.”
Q: But in a sense, it is your first big lead in years. JR: “I thought I had quite a good part in Charlie Wilson’s War. That was just last year. Again, it is just perspective. And it is fine, you know.”
Q: Why did you want to make ‘Duplicity’? JR: “I just want to be with the smart guys and I think that’s where you’re most creative is to be with people who are intensely bright about what they do and creative. I had seen Michael Clayton and I’d met with Tony (Gilroy) and we connected and of course I have this relationship already with Clive and so when he called me asked me to do it, it just seemed like a good match.”
Q: Would you make a talented spy? JR: “I don’t think so. I think I am too silly to be that serious. I mean, it is hard enough to be serious for a minute at a time, you know. To try to be so sophisticated doesn’t really suit my natural personality, I don’t think (laughs).”
Q: Spying is basically lying – how do you react to lies? JR: “Not very well. Who’s going to sit here and say, I like being lied to?”
Q: It is interesting that Clive Owen says in one line that common people are not like the two of you. They can’t trust each other. Is it like actors and commoners? It must be difficult for you to find someone you can trust. To find a new friend? JR: “I don’t think so. I think I have a very keen instinct about people and people who deserve trust and people who are maybe a little less deserving of that. I think it is as hard as one’s instinct allows. I don’t think being an actor makes it harder. Probably it makes it easier.”
Q: You’ve worked together in Closer – does that get in the way of spontaneity, the over familiarity? JR: “I think it’s the opposite. You just feel so much safer to try anything, to really throw anything at someone that you know who will, regardless, catch it and make something out of it so I think that trust creates a greater sense of wanting to be spontaneous. And also when it’s something that you admire, I really admire these guys (Owen and Gilroy) so my job at work is to do everything I can to try to impress them, really. That’s my job! (laughs)”
Q: You have sexy scenes with Clive Owen. How did you feel doing those scenes? JR: “God, just silly. I mean, that is when it comes in handy when you know somebody well. Because you can just look at each other and say ‘isn’t it incredibly uncomfortable.”
Q: It can’t be comfortable with a hundred people watching on the set. . . JR: “It is awkward for everybody. You make the whole big group of people saying ‘this is what we call a job’ blush. It is kind of funny.”
Q: You both also kiss a lot… JR: “We do! I thought the same thing!”
Q: Have you anything lined up after ‘Duplicity’? JR: “I have a movie coming out in June called Fireflies in the Garden. It is a family drama. William Defoe and I play husband and wife. Emily Watson plays my sister and Ryan Reynolds is also in it. It is a very intense sort of story about a family. Everyone revealed is under a circumstance of a sad event.”
Q: Was it special to have your husband shoot the new movie? JR: “It is special. I was pregnant with Henry when we filmed it. So that was an interesting element. Yeah, it was great. My husband shot it. And it was really fun to be together as a family and working together.”