Julia Roberts on her youth: ‘I was my priority, a selfish little brat’ making movies

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attend the National Day reception held by the Chinese Embassy

Julia Roberts turns 50 years old at the end of October. I sometimes think about what could have been with Julia – she was once the biggest movie star on the planet, pulling in $20 million per film, a full-on member of the Hollywood Boys’ Club, one of the most famous women in the world. Then she married Danny Moder, had three kids and “settled down.” And since then, her picker – when it comes to movies – has been sort of off. I mean, she’s made some good choices here and there (I was watching Charlie Wilson’s War over the weekend and it’s still great), but really… it feels like she lost her career-mojo a little bit. Maybe that’s on purpose though – obviously, being the biggest movie star in the world isn’t her priority any longer. The problem, though, is that we’re still supposed to treat her like she’s the biggest thing around. Is she?

Julia covers the November issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK. She’s likely promoting Wonder, a family film where she plays the mother of a kid with facial differences (played by Jacob Tremblay). It’s the kind of role I would expect from Jennifer Garner, honestly. Still, it’s not like Julia actually talks about Wonder in this interview. No, she’s too busy talking about how normal she is. Real question: is Julia trying to BE Jennifer Garner?

On what she was like when she was younger: “I was my priority, a selfish little brat running around making films.”

She changed when she became a wife & mother: “It was meeting Danny…finding my person. When I think about what makes my life my life, and makes sense and just shine inside of me, it’s him. Everything has come from that for me.”

Insisting that most days she is a regular ‘soccer mom’ and housewife: “If I wasn’t here today, I’d be in the carpool lane ferrying my kids to school.”

On turning 50 and preferring to look ahead rather than back: “Too much thinking and pondering, it’s exhausting me. Because we’re still moving forward, aren’t we?”

On whether she would consider giving up acting: “Well, if I did much less, I wouldn’t be in the business at all. I was saying to my husband the other day that I haven’t worked in almost a year.”

On always being selective when choosing her roles: “Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. That’s your anchor. Cultivate your taste and decision making. I didn’t work for a couple of years in my twenties, because I was being offered scripts and thinking ‘Is it me or is this all just crap?’ I figured I could cover my rent and wait for something good. I’d been spoilt with some great jobs already, so I was like, ‘Why do that part with that person, when I was just doing that part with these people!”

On the gender pay gap in Hollywood: “I put down my stone in a path that will keep going, and I’m proud of that, but I don’t feel it’s my place to bang the drum at this time. I just don’t get all crazy over things. I have a maternal approach: ‘OK, everybody settle down, we’ll figure this out.’”

On feeling content about what she has already achieved in her career: “Deep down, we all know you can’t stand on the top point of a pinnacle on your tiptoes, and not at some point lose your balance, or get tired, or say, ‘OK somebody else take over, I have to go to the bathroom.’ There are great things I’ve accomplished and I’d be happy to accomplish more, of course, to impress my children and my husband. But you know what? I’ve been spoilt already.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

Nothing says “I’m so normal” than talking about yourself endlessly to a fashion magazine. I mean, God bless Julia Roberts. I actually believe she spends most of her time as a somewhat normal soccer mom and “housewife.” But I also believe she never lets anyone forget that she’s Julia F–king Roberts. Her answer about pay equity bugged me too: “I put down my stone in a path that will keep going, and I’m proud of that…” Julia wants you to know that she, like, invented the fight for equal pay. “…But I don’t feel it’s my place to bang the drum at this time. I just don’t get all crazy over things.” Remember, girls, Auntie Julia says to always remember to be likeable and sexy even when you’re fighting about money. Auntie Julia got hers and the rest of you can rot!

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attend the National Day reception held by the Chinese Embassy

Photos courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar UK.

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81 Responses to “Julia Roberts on her youth: ‘I was my priority, a selfish little brat’ making movies”

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  1. Crowdhood says:

    I do think she is so beautiful, albeit a little much to take.

    • Nikki says:

      I used to, but since learning so much about her unpleasantness, I now see her as all horsy smile and “look at me”.

  2. Amy Tennant says:

    She changed and stopped being a selfish little brat when she settled down with another woman’s husband? OK then.
    Although it’s really the husband’s fault who strays. I’m glad she and Danny are happy. I hope Vera is too, now.

    • Alleycat says:

      +10000 YES GIRL.

    • Christin says:

      Maybe all three are happy (certainly hope Vera found peace). He often looks like he’s smelling raw sewage in photos.

      I thought they might quietly split up once the kids are older, but who knows.

    • Artemis says:

      Never forget. This is after years of cheating on her partners and then feeling entitled to another woman’s husband and shaming her publicly when she didn’t hurry up divorcing that man. She’s really something else and I don’t believe she had a personality change since then. She is who she is. People have come out and said she’s very unpleasant and up her ass, unless you’re rich and famous, you will not get that million dollar smile from her.

    • MissMarierose says:

      I remember that. I wonder how old of a “brat” she was when she paraded around in that “A Low Vera” t-shirt. IIRC, she was a little long in the tooth for that nonsense.

      • lunchcoma says:

        That was in 2002, so she would have been about 35. I don’t know if that’s okay at any age, but she wasn’t a child when she did it.

      • wendywoo says:

        Yeah, I haven’t felt comfortable watching her since then. Not Bill Cosby Uncomfortable but still kinda icky.

      • Alix says:

        a low julia

      • Shannon says:

        Yup. She was cancelled for me after that. I actually really liked her when she first hit the scene, but ever since that – nope.

    • Natalie S says:

      +1

      A low Vera.

      Julia was so proud of herself for that.

  3. harperb says:

    wonder actually looks great, jacob tremblay is a fantastic little actor.

  4. rachel says:

    She’s selling herself as Jennifer Garner because her role in the film is a long suffering mom. So it fits.

  5. Serene Wolf says:

    Lucky her!

  6. JC says:

    I’m not a Julia fan—never have been. And I don’t really like her answers to any of the questions. But, I do understand her sentiment about equal pay. I think many people reach an age where their crusading days are over. It’s not that they would’t like to wave a wand and change certain things, but they feel a stronger urge for peace and harmony in their own daily existence.

    • Jess says:

      BUT, she has the luxury of wealth to say that now. She’s sitting on millions and doesn’t need to fight that battle anymore, she doesn’t have the drive of being broke.

    • Heat says:

      She may have settled down, but I don’t like what she insinuates when she says “I just don’t get all crazy over things”.
      Does that mean that the women who are fighting for equal rights are ‘getting all crazy’? What a completely misogynistic way of putting it.

  7. perplexed says:

    I think she makes better “quality” movies now than she used to. It’s just that they’re not rom-coms. She seems to be in group ensembles now. She makes fewer films than she used to, but they’re not nearly as terrible as that one she did with Nick Nolte.

    She’s kind of conceited so I always thought she was the type to want to hang on to her fame. I’m actually surprised she’s willing to hand over the reins to someone else.

    She was once the highest paid actress in Hollywood. And her agents and lawyers probably handled all of that for her. So maybe that’s why she doesn’t address the issue directly.

    • Lahdidahbaby says:

      …or maybe she’s not getting a lot of offers these days, so she’s remaking herself in a humbler, less selfish and spiteful image as a sort of Hollywood-style mea culpa.

      And as a way of saying she’s working less now because she wants to.

      But the thing is, you can’t rewrite your history — people have long memories. You can only try to do better, and I think she is…but I just don’t like her anymore.

    • naomipaige says:

      I’d question if she was ‘willing’ to pass the reins, or if she had not choice to do so. Personally, I cannot stand this chick. She’s too smug for her own good.

      • perplexed says:

        Yeah, I think I probably had bad wording there.

        Maybe I’m just surprised she has the common sense not to appear bitter in public. She always seemed kind of entitled, despite the charisma. Even in this interview she kind of gives off a “I’m special” vibe.

  8. Megan says:

    I have never found her to be a compelling actress. Pretty, yes. Interesting, no.

    • Pandy says:

      Me neither! I thought her best parts were rom coms. Smile and look pretty. She’s MUCH too smug and entitled. You know she sucks the air out of every room she’s in.

    • minx says:

      Never liked her, still don’t.

    • crazydaisy says:

      Terrible actress! Sure, she was a hot ticket ingenue with that horsey laugh and oh-so-beautiful, long beautiful legs, and the hair. But she can’t carry an adult role. (At least she hasn’t yet.) Also, her personality. OUCH. Every interview the same. So unlikable!

    • Citresse says:

      I remember seeing her in Flatliners and thinking she was a decent actress. She picks good scripts, but holy smokes, she absolutely cannot do accents, she’s terrible!

  9. Christin says:

    Still hoping everyone forgets a handmade t-shirt slogan insulting her now-husband’s wife and other not so flattering stories of days gone by.

  10. Bettyrose says:

    She did a couple of timeless teen flicks, made an epic transition to adult as the world’s most famous hooker, but isn’t her forte really shmaltzy romances? She’s done like hundreds of those. She’s definitely selling a Jennifer Garner routine her, but her career reminds me more of Sandra Bullock: a few timelessly fun films peppered throughout a library of forgetteble schmaltz.

  11. Julie says:

    She looks great. I loved her in Mona Lisa Smile.

  12. JG says:

    Has anyone actually read Wonder? It’s really good, but the part she is playing is supposed to be a nvc latina woman (so Puerto Rican or Dominican, most likely). No one is talking about that at all, anywhere.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      Wonder is a great book. It’s actually required reading at our school for the 5th graders.

    • Ellie says:

      I was so sad when I learned they removed the Latino family from the book.

      It’s been a LONG time since a children’s book with a Latino protagonist has been a huge book hit in the US. And a protagonist with a facial disfigurement, at that.

      I don’t think being 20-something and making your career your priority is inherently selfish, but in the midst of Latinx actors and audiences desperately seeking stories where they are treated as full human beings, taking the biggest most successful story and changing it so you can be the star…that’s pretty darn selfish. If she desperately wanted to play the mom, the kids and the dad could have been Latinx and mixed, at least.

  13. Jess says:

    I don’t like when people describe themselves as selfish for doing what they want, like it’s a bad thing, then you have kids and suddenly you’re not a selfish brat anymore! That insinuates people without children are selfish, ugh. It’s calling living your own life, we only get one chance at this, we should be “selfish” and do whatever we please, with or without kids.

    Had to rant! 😄

    • lunchcoma says:

      It’s especially annoying when someone who WAS really selfish (and possibly still is) takes up this narrative. The world is full of women who don’t have children, and few of them are as self-centered as Julia Roberts in the 90s.

    • slowsnow says:

      Completely agree with you. I was appalled to read that! What an insane thing to say. So basically someone who likes work and is ambitious is a selfish brat. Say what?

    • Kitten says:

      +1,000,000

  14. Honeybee Blues says:

    Misogynista’s Reigning Queen! Let’s unpack it, shall we? 1. When a woman is her own first priority, working on her career, and her, well, you know, life, she’s a “selfish brat.” 2. Don’t bang the drum girls, you’re not anywhere near as good as I am, so you don’t deserve what I had. 3. “We” won’t work it out, The Men will, so just sit down and wait for them to let you know.

    I’ve been unpacking her misogynistic quotes for decades. This one hates us. We are ALL competition for her; remember her long history of pursuing unavailable men. Moder was hardly her first. She loved the game, and had a tendency to leave a trail of emotional destruction in her wake.

    I was living in Italy when she and Lyle Lovett eloped, and, at my mother’s over dinner, we were trying to figure out what in the hell he saw in her. We still don’t get it all these years later.

    • QueenB says:

      She also seems to need to be the center of attention when other women are around. In lots of interviews she really forces the attention of the men on her.

    • Christin says:

      She really had a reputation during the 1990s and right up until she dumped Bratt for a married guy she met on set. I think she realized her public perception passes had finally expired, and she disappeared into her earth mother years.

      Regarding Lyle — I had the same reaction. The media painted it as an odd pairing (as in how did he get her), but I viewed it as what was HE doing? People claim she’s all about the men in the room, so I guess she charmed him out of his common sense.

    • teacakes says:

      To be fair, I’ll give her a pass on the eloping-with-the-fiance’s-bestie thing because said fiancé was apparently cheating on her and going to strippers right before the wedding.

      No woman, no matter how obnoxious, deserves to have to put up with that.

    • Artemis says:

      About point 1. JR didn’t put her career first, she put herself first. Her nickname was ‘Tinkerhell’ on the set of Hook and she halted production when she was supposed to get married to Kiefer yet decided to eff him and everybody else over by eloping with Kiefer’s friend (Jason Patric) and hiding out in Ireland all the while trying to smear Kiefer’s name by claiming he was the cheater! She was next level brat! Spielberg forced her to come back or get fired. And apparently she cheated on Patric with Daniel-Day Lewis. If you care about your career, you don’t pull stunts like that but she clearly thought she is number 1 all the time and people will just have to wait until she’s ready to show up.

      Like…I don’t get the hate for some women like Eva Mendes just because they have ‘maneater’ looks but none of this checkered past. Their whole character is ruined for no reason but then L
      loads of these bland Hollywood sweethearts are the opposite of sweet.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Benjamin Bratt was the one who wanted out of the relationship because he thought she was immature and wasn’t equipped to settle down and be an adult. He got tired of her drama and jealousy and then dumped her even though she tried to pretend it was her. Then BB turned around and married a beautiful model, and she has never been the same. For years she made snide comments about him, but he never looked back.
      He’s into social causes and loves San Francisco, so I doubt they were compatible long term.
      Her ego was bruised and then ran to Danny Moder. It isn’t a happily ever after scenario either.

      • Christin says:

        She tries too hard to paint Danny as a hot husband and how fulfilled she is. I have never bought what she’s selling. I think Vera and his sister were closer to the truth. He allowed himself to be swept up by a star’s unrelenting attention.

        IIRC, he wavered a bit before the marriage ended. His mother died in the middle of the tabloid drama, too. It was messy.

  15. Imo says:

    Gorgeous cover shot in the red dress

  16. robyn says:

    She’s still a selfish brat making movies from what I can see. Selfish is okay unless it hurts others …. and from the little I know about how she treated family and gained a husband, I think she’s hurt others badly. It’s all about intention, though, and I don’t know her heart.

  17. kimbers says:

    watched Stepmom Again! love that movie!!

    • poorlittlerichgirl says:

      I love Stepmom! That’s the first movie that made me cry. Like, boo-hoo cry. I watched it again a few weeks ago and I still have the same reaction.

  18. Jacke says:

    The Queen

  19. jugil1 says:

    Ahhh Julia, “I haven’t worked in almost a year”. I can’t imagine having the freedom to say or do that. It must be nice……

    • Keira says:

      Omg can you imagine being at home with an extreme Type A with no work to keep them busy? Poor Danny and the kids.

      That said I love Julie Roberts the movie star. Her smile makes me smile and she has the best laugh still. I’d go see her in anything.

  20. Bee says:

    I like her.

  21. kate says:

    Hollywood Queen

  22. JA says:

    Can she go back to wherever she was? Never been a fan of her or her work… and agree her pay gap comments were bs privilege. “I’m a pretty white women who did very well doing mediocre work and got paid handsomely for it! I still make bank resting on the past success of said 90s nostalgia so PLEASE don’t ask me about the extreme pay gap between men and women in every single industry including Hollywood because honestly IDGAF” as she smiles her huge ass fake grin. I’m just like you guys but better :-0

  23. gwen says:

    She has still got that big sea bass smile.

  24. xo says:

    I guess I’m in the minority here, but I’ve always found Julia charming. She radiates a seemingly grounded joy that I find . . . admirable, frankly. It never occurred to me to read it as smugness. . .

    Markle reminds me a bit of her, to be honest.

    • smcollins says:

      I like her. I always enjoy her movies (most of them, anyway), and while she can be very “look at meeeeee!” I also find her charming & funny. I thought that A Low Vera t-shirt stunt was pretty shitty, but I can’t help but like her. I guess it’s a nostalgia thing for me, I was obsessed with Mystic Pizza, Pretty Woman and Sleeping With the Enemy when I was in middle school/high school!

    • perplexed says:

      I think she’s both smug/conceited and very charming/entertaining/charismatic. In her case, I think you can be both.

  25. Riley says:

    I like her as an actress but by most accounts, she’s the worlds biggest bitch. doesn’t really sound like she’s gotten over herself, even now.

  26. Jaded says:

    She’s still a brat.

  27. Alix says:

    Low Julia. No matter what, when a woman acts this way towards another woman, it says everything one needs to know about her.

    • shiba says:

      Especially a woman who was the #1 female movie star, at the time.
      Talk about an uneven match, power-wise.

      • Danielle says:

        It was such a bizarre thing to do. Most people try to hide their affairs. She flaunted it and went after another woman publicly.

  28. Christin says:

    The beachfront (blue chair) photo has a *fitted sheet* covering her. That’s not a skirt.

  29. Brittney B says:

    Waiiiit, she’s saying “meeting Danny” was the TURNING point, and she wasn’t a selfish little brat anymore?

    Explain that T-shirt then, Julia.

    • Originaltessa says:

      I’ve seen it a lot in this thread. T-shirt? Do tell.

      • Tiffany says:

        Julia met a very married Danny while he was a camera man on one of her films. She wanted him and his wife, Vera, was not in a rush to make things easy for the two of them to ride off into the domestic sunset. Julia, realizing that she was not going to get her way with Vera, decided to wear a t-shit written with the words ‘A Low Vera’ and invited a pap to take the photos and publish them (the photos where very clear and totally set up. She was siting and eating lunch outdoors and turned to where the shirt and message was made clear. Then the pap got one her walking away and she made sure the jacket she was wearing was not buttoned up), I think to People as they are her go to for things like this. But Vera still did not cave and took her time in accepting the dissolution of her marriage.

      • Christin says:

        This is the one I remember (there were multiple images of her strutting around in that homemade shirt):
        http://blindgossip.com/?p=71025

        Scroll down to see the photo. The accompanying article is one of several rumors that she and her dream boy are on the verge of splitting or leading separate lives.

      • shiba says:

        Probably (and rightfully) Vera was savvy enough to negotiate a NDA, on her part, for a better financial/divorce settlement. Those situations take finesse (and time) to achieve maximum results.
        Julia’s such an egomaniac, she probably thought the implied threat of public embarrassment would speed things up.
        Such a Pretty Woman.

  30. namasta says:

    She is a bit of an asshole – but I still kind of like her. Women get a lot mere heat for their lovelives than men. People laugh about Kevin Harts affair – but paint a “homewrecker” to be the devil!

  31. K says:

    Wanting equal pay, and engaging in that conversation like an adult, is, “going all crazy”? Okay then, Julia.

    Bless her heart.

  32. Tiffany says:

    It just seems the way she is talking about Danny is a set up for a separation announcement. Julia is too good at the media game she knows what she is doing.

    • YeahRight says:

      There have been divorce rumors for years. She’s playing the game alright.

    • Wilder says:

      It’s that old adage, “Methinks thou dost protest too much.” She talks about Danny like he’s the second coming of Christ, like the sun shines out of his ass, like he and her kids are the only reason she’s alive. I don’t buy it for a second. I’m sure she loves her children, but I think she’s still Julia Roberts The Superstar, who for many years was fawned over by every powerful male producer and director in Hollywood. You can’t convince me that one day she just decided she didn’t want or need that attention anymore. She probably needs it now more than ever. But she has to make it sound like she’s totally fulfilled without it, hence all the glowing praise for Danny and domestic bliss.

  33. KB says:

    Isn’t her husband living in a separate house? They own adjacent properties and she lives at one and he’s always at the other one.

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