Julia Roberts on why film isn’t her top priority anymore

17 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Julia Roberts Is Not Giving Up on Romantic Comedies.

In a new interview with The New York Times, Roberts opens up about her new, award-buzzing movie, The Secret in Their Eyes, and how far she has come since her romantic comedy days. Having won the Oscar for Erin Brockovich, Roberts seems to have shied away from rom-coms but tells the publication now she would do more. “People say, oh she’s against romantic comedies—I’m not. It’s cold outside, have a fire.” Roberts also recently told me about juggling home life with her hubby Danny Moder and their three kids, 11-year-old twins Hazel and Finn and son Henry, 8. “Listen, come over to my house—that’s directing,” she told me when I asked if she’s had any second thoughts on directing one day. “‘Hey, brush your teeth!

I love them,” she clarifies. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be in some really good ones, so the bar for me is really high.” With Runaway Bride, Pretty Woman and Notting Hill (just to name a few) in her repertoire, we don’t blame her for wanting to go out on top in terms of making romantic comedies. But that’s not why she hasn’t been doing them. “It’s hard to find a true original idea of a romantic comedy for a 47-year-old person, that’s going to be funny and realistic and relatable,” she explains. “I’m totally open to it. But in the US remake, written and directed by Billy Ray (the screenwriter of Captain Phillips) and co-starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Nicole Kidman, it is Roberts who loses a family member, this time her daughter. I would love to read a good romantic comedy.” Even though Roberts has appeared in fewer movies over the years, choosing family life over Hollywood, she still has had a major effect on the way business is done. Roberts made her mark when she was the first female actress to be paid $20 million for a movie, so she knows a thing or two about the inequalities in the industry.

As Jess, Roberts, the onetime rom-com and box-office queen, appears starkly harrowed on screen, bathed in grief. “She had this brilliant idea of putting in these contact lenses that would make her eyes look kind of milky and washed out,” Ray said. Interestingly enough, however, she tells the NYT that talking about it almost makes it worse. “I’ve done my best, sort of forging my path and standing up for myself. Now, “it just has more to do with a combination of picky and the school calendar and my husband’s work schedule.” In an interview recently in nearby Santa Monica, Roberts was warm and full of compliments, with oxblood-painted nails and a perfume made by her longtime hairdresser. It’s so funny that this is still the topic,” she says. “Any of those things that try to herald women at the same time almost perpetuate the problem, because you’re saying, ‘All hail the women directors.’ Well, they’re just directors. She was dressed in cigarette pants and a button-down shirt for a photo shoot, which still makes her self-conscious. (Posing solo, she said, “I always feel like a jackass.”) And she stepped carefully in her high heels, like a woman for whom stilettos are no longer routine.

She spoke about being, as she put it, “on the fringe-ish” end of the entertainment industry. “I don’t know the players and the temperatures of everything, what movies are doing well and not doing well,” she said. “There’s not quite enough hours in the day to keep up with all that.” It does need to be something that’s really challenging, that you can really sink your teeth into. And I had some really specific ideas [for a pivotal scene that depicts that] and almost constructed Jess from that moment into the past. [The contacts were] like having Kleenex in front of my eyes. You think, oh God, what if he’s just like, ‘What is she doing?’ But it also makes you work that much harder, because you just want to have this kind of triumph — to go, ‘look!’ Are you now more drawn to characters who show resilience or strength in the face of real adversity?

If you’re talking about what people perceive you can accomplish, if you can open a movie, then that’s that, but if it’s just based solely on your gender, I don’t really get that.

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