Julia Roberts is one of those actresses, whose sudden departure from the silver screen has left us wandering, why she opted to go for marriage and motherhood over a glittering Hollywood career. Roberts was at the cusp of stardom, for her Academy Award winning role in Erin Brockovich (2000), a heartwarming drama about a single mother’s struggle for justice in odd-ball shorts and plunging necklines. In the span of 25 years, she has gone from an auburn, curly haired teenage girl to a graceful woman, as an actress, right in front of us. She also has three kids, and a marriage that has lasted for more than 10 years, and very, very memorable roles, such as the one in Pretty Woman, Sleeping with the Enemy, My Best Friend’s Wedding, or even the recent: the Ocean’s Eleven series, Mirror, Mirror and Eat, Pray, Love.
Roberts, who is my most favourite actress from the ‘90s, can astonishingly command $2.6bn worth of box office receipts, even though most of her time is now spent at home in Malibu, in a home she and her husband have built from scratch. She likes to grapple with faith occasionally, but not too much, likes to live as ordinary people down the street, sans the hoo-hah that fame can bring you, and avoids spending too much time pondering over the machinery that makes life tick, because it might just ruin her credentials as a well-received actress.
Apart from that, she likes to spread awareness on the concept of sharing amongst her children – Roberts is intensely private in an age, when celebrities try to mimic anything that could grant them fame, fast – it creates a bit of a domino effect, which is alarming, because it’s never a good idea to just carve portions of your personal freedom and space out, and simply trade it with fame, no matter how limited it is. Married to cinematographer Danny Moder, since 2002, Roberts wanted to trade her glittering career for a life with children.
The late nineties, the early 2000s, saw her go from one good role to another, and most of them were box office hits. Even after her sad sudden departure, she had such commanding screen presence – her role in Ocean’s Twelve was rewritten specifically for her: like her, her role grew pregnant too. Funny incidents about how photo-op moments for visitors with her Oscar, landed it right into the NYC apartment of her older sister Lisa, aside, Roberts remain a grounded young woman. She doesn’t do over-the-top featuring in the center, there are no maids there to help with the cleaning around and their house is littered with kid toys.
Julia cannot be pulled away from a life with children, it seems because even shooting films has become far too hard for her to do now, but the roles thankfully, just keep on coming, for her in good stead because that means we can always look forward to more of her work. But why did Julia Roberts decide on becoming an actress? When selecting a particular role to play, what Roberts looks for is whether or not there is even a glimmer of hope, she can identify with the character at all. If she can, then Boom! There you have it, that’s magic on screen! She prepares for this extensively, she goes through documentaries to identify emotions associated with the person, the humane experiences she has had, her agony, her anguish, what makes her happy, what brightens up her day, to understand the whole situation and not just that individual character.
Her spirited approach is inspiring, as is her mantra on beauty and ageing gracefully. It was shocking to discover that Julia perceives getting the botox treatment, or getting a
facelift, is the only way to remain relevant in Hollywood at 47. She wants to age gracefully, wants to be a model for how to pull off something like that, with sophistication, just like how she maintains those long, enviable legs at past her mid-forties.
Roberts’ attitude to taking on Hollywood grace is certainly refreshing and bold. She has de-cluttered her life, taken up yoga, said yes! to healthy eating, and even seems to be more interested in being back at work once more – one of her recent roles, came in the form of starring in an HBO drama, centering on the AIDS epidemic, during its earliest days – her roles have been getting grittier by the minute; expecting a lighthearted romantic comedy or even just a downright comedy – there can never be enough of the ultimate ‘90s woman/girl making a total fool of herself.