Julia Roberts Explains Why She Hasn’t Done a Romantic Comedy in Years
By Jessica Vacco-Bolaños
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Julia Roberts has a big year of film and TV ahead of her, and while she is set to star alongside George Clooney in the upcoming romantic-comedy Ticket to Paradise, the actress has been picky about the roles she's taken on in the past two decades.
In a new interview with The New York Times, Roberts dished on why it's been years since fans have seen her iconic smile grace the big screen in any romcoms.
"People sometimes misconstrue the amount of time that's gone by that I haven't done a romantic comedy as my not wanting to do one," she explained. "If I had read something that I thought was that Notting Hill level of writing or My Best Friend's Wedding level of madcap fun, I would do it."
"They didn't exist until this movie that I just did that Ol Parker wrote and directed," Roberts continued, referencing Ticket to Paradise with Clooney. "But even with that, I thought, well, disaster, because this only works if it's George Clooney. Lo and behold, George felt it only worked with me. Somehow we were both able to do it, and off we went."
Roberts, who also stars alongside Sean Penn in Starz's upcoming series, Gaslit, gushed over both experiences, saying: "To go from John and Martha Mitchell [in Gaslit], to play these scenes with the greatest dramatic actor, I think, of my generation in Sean Penn, and then run around Australia with George playing these very funny scenes — I'm living my acting dreams."
Roberts' decision to step back from filming for a while was also due in part to her most important role of all time -- being mom to her three children, 17-year-old twins, daughter Hazel and son Phinnaeus and 14-year-old son Henry.
"Here's the thing: If I'd thought something was good enough, I would have done it. But I also had three kids in the last 18 years," she shared. "That raises the bar even more because then it's not only Is this material good? It's also the math equation of my husband's work schedule and the kids' school schedule and summer vacation. It's not just, 'Oh, I think I want to do this.' I have a sense of great pride in being home with my family and considering myself a homemaker."
"For so much of my children's younger life they would see their dad go off and I would work a little, but they almost didn't notice," she continued. "It was like I was only gone when they were napping or something. But as they get older, and particularly with my daughter, I do have a sense of responsibility for showing my children that I can be creative and that it's meaningful to me — so meaningful that for periods of time I will choose to focus on that almost more than my family, which has been hard for me to come to terms with."
Meanwhile, some of her most famous romcoms continue to stand the test of time. Earlier this month, Roberts spoke to ET ahead of the upcoming 25th anniversary of her beloved film My Best Friend's Wedding, in which she starred alongside Dermot Mulroney. While discussing her relationship with Mulroney more than two decades after filming, she shared with ET how the movie continues to connect them.
"Dermot and I, anytime it's on TV or the song that plays from when we're on the ferryboat together," she said, "we always are calling each other or texting each other."