Julia Roberts on Raising Teenagers, Dealing With Grief and the Secret to Feeling Great at 50

Julia Roberts on the December cover of 'InStyle'
Carter Smith / InStyle

Julia Roberts is loving life.

Julia Roberts is loving life.

The Oscar-winning superstar covers InStyle magazine's December issue, and candidly opens up about hitting personal milestones. Roberts and husband Danny Moder celebrated 15 years of marriage in July, and she turned 50 on Oct. 28.

“I always love my birthday,” she says. "There’s nothing different about this birthday than any other one.” 

She also points out the double standard she sees when reporters ask her about turning 50 in a negative light.

“Are we still in that space? Did anyone go over this with George Clooney or Brad [Pitt] before their 50th birthdays?” she notes.

Roberts looks radiant on the cover, sporting a simple all-denim outfit. The actress keeps her advice simple when it comes to looking and feeling great.

Carter Smith / InStyle

“Marry the right person, give birth to a redhead, and have great girlfriends," she jokes, referring to her red-headed son, Finn, who adorably whispers in her ear before she answers. "Those would be the three keys to joy.”

As for her kids -- 10-year-old Henry and 12-year-old twins Hazel and Finn -- she acknowledges it's bittersweet watching them get older, particularly Hazel and Finn, who will be teenagers on Nov. 28.

“All the clichés are true,” she admits. “I’m so proud of them but also … I tried to carry somebody up to bed the other night, and it was just, ‘All right, you’re gonna have to get on your feet and sleepwalk because I just can’t get up the stairs.’”

Roberts also shares that she's still grieving from the death of her mother, Betty, who died from lung cancer in 2015. Still, the Erin Brockovich star says she loved that she and her kids were with Betty "every minute until the end." Roberts' father died when she was 10 years old. 

“My kids’ perspective on it was incredibly nourishing for me," she reflects. "I was their age when my dad died. Death was so mysterious and weird and scary. It was treated in a very strange way back then. I just absolutely wanted them to have the opposite experience with their grandmother. Danny was totally supportive in that. It was a completed experience they had with their grandmother as opposed to an interrupted experience.”

These days, Roberts is excited about starring in a TV series for the first time, Amazon's psychological thriller, Homecoming. The timing is perfect, given that she couldn't be more fulfilled in her personal life as well. 

"There’s no way to describe it without sounding sappy or ridiculous because everything in my mind ends with an exclamation point," she says. "And the thing is, we have these three human beings who are just a complete reflection of the affection we have for each other.”

ET first interviewed Roberts when she was just 21, though her star power was already apparent.

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