For the past 20 years, we’ve all collectively been suffering through a dearth of Julia Roberts-fronted romantic comedies.
While the megawatt star has made appearances in various genre-adjacent films in recent years ― the less said about her wig in 2016′s “Mother’s Day” the better ― it’s been too long since her rom-com heyday, which included now-classics like “Pretty Woman,” “Notting Hill,” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”
Speaking with The New York Times Magazine ahead of her new Starz series “Gaslit,” Roberts revealed the reason why she hasn’t been smitten by a traditional rom-com script since 2001′s “America’s Sweethearts.”
“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 told the outlet. “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.”
Well, just such a project has indeed come along, as Roberts is set to fall in love onscreen again in the upcoming “Ticket to Paradise” alongside George 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.”
The Oscar winner also explained that the bar for a rom-com script was raised “even more” once she started a family with husband Danny Moder, with whom she now shares three children.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
Roberts continued: “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. 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.”
With “Tickets to Paradise,” in which she stars as one half of a divorced couple who fly to Bali to stop their teenage daughter’s wedding, Roberts said it was a “joy to play in that sandbox” again.
“I love to laugh and be funny. You get into that mode of those endorphins going off when you’re clever and people going, ‘Oh!’ Then that becomes this automatic thing where you’re always thinking in terms of creating fun,” she said. “It’s been a long time.”
Directed by Ol Parker, the film, which also stars Billie Lourd and Kaitlyn Dever, hits theaters later this year.