When Julia Roberts turned up to the set of Ben Is Back and demanded -- "in a gentle way" -- that cast and crew adopt a family environment, the actress meant business!
ET's Nischelle Turner was at the premiere of the film in New York City as Roberts reunited with her screen family and judging by her sheer emotion, it was clear that the actors formed lifelong bonds during filming.
“We haven’t seen each other for a while. It’s such a nice surprise to see them first off,” Roberts said, beaming while talking to ET with Mia Fowler and Jakari Fraser (who play her children in the film), before her on-screen husband, Courtney B. Vance, crashed the interview.
“Now it’s a party!” she laughed.
As the four relished their little black carpet reunion, Roberts, 51, then noticed Fraser had grown some teeth since she last saw him.
“I’m going to start crying,” she said, planting a friendly kiss on Vance’s lips and wiping her eyes, visually moved by being back together again. “I’m so happy to see everybody.”
“I don’t know why [I’m so emotional.] I’m just tired of being with Lucas,” she added, jokingly referring to Lucas Hedges, who plays her character Holly’s eldest son, Ben. “I’m happy to have the band back together.”
Both Fowler and Fraser gushed about Roberts when asked what it was like working with the Hollywood legend.
“It was very fun and exciting,” said Fraser.
“It was amazing,” added Fowler. “It just felt like we were our own little family.”
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The film centers on the family as they deal with the surprise return of Roberts' 19-year-old drug addict son Ben on Christmas Eve.
Roberts said the awards buzz surrounding the film made her super-excited, “if it means more people will see it.” She hopes viewers will relate to the universal issues explored in the film.
“We’re all the same,” she said. “We’re all trying to do the best we can with whatever cards we’re dealt as a family and I think that’s what we represent, as a family, in the movie. I think it’s [about] that gentle understanding to not judge inside a person’s front door because you don’t know [what’s going on.]”