For the last four years, Julia Roberts has been home with her kids. Although she says it wasn’t out of choice necessarily — there weren’t many scripts that interested her — the actor admits she’s loved every single second of being “a homemaker.”
In a new interview with The New York Times, the Hollywood icon, 54, discusses her new on-screen roles in Starz series Gaslit and rom-com Ticket to Paradise while opening up about her decision to primarily be a stay-at-home mom as of late.
Roberts, who has three children with cinematographer husband Danny Moder — 17-year-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and 14-year-old son Henry — says she takes “great pride” in being home with her family and basks in all the small moments.
“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. 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,’” Roberts explained of choosing to work or not, adding that she only took jobs here and there when her kids were younger.
“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,” she said, “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.”
“That’s the female plight,” Roberts continued. “That feeling of leaving is hard.”
Roberts knows how lucky she is to be able to go off and shoot a multi-million dollar movie and then return to her life at her family’s northern California home. She admitted that balance makes her appreciate the sometimes mundane life of a mother. She gets up, makes breakfast and gets the kids off to school. Then, the Oscar winner enjoys a bike ride or meal with Moder and maybe some alone time before the mad rush of after-school activities.
“I’ll go get the kids from school. Lacrosse practice. Start making dinner. It’s boring! That’s why you want to go, ‘Oh, [expletive] off.’ But it’s the joy of the details of life that I get to lean into because I have this cool job,” she told NYT. “If I was here for the last 18 years doing that all day, every day, it probably wouldn’t still have pixie dust on it. But I go away, and I miss it so much. Then I come back, and it kind of resparkles.”
Roberts has been making the press rounds promoting her role as Martha Mitchell alongside Sean Penn’s John Mitchell in Watergate drama Gaslit. She’s also set to co-star with George Clooney in Ticket to Paradise, her first romantic comedy in — get this — 20 years.
“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. 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,” she said of the rom-com, set to be released this fall. “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.”
To say we’re thankful Julia Roberts emerged from her family bubble to shoot this movie is an understatement. But, as parents, we’re also grateful for her words about home life. She really is America’s sweetheart.