Currently riding high on the success of her latest film Eat, Pray, Love, Julia talks about her numerous experiences while filming, her domesticated life and her journey of self-discovery...
Your character in the film enjoys food; tell us about your own relationship with food?
I love to cook and I love to eat, so it’s a close, productive relationship. My mom was a great cook and she raised us on really good food. So, it’s just about knowing how to handle food and prepare it with fresh and yummy ingredients. Plus, I have my own vegetable garden.
Now to the subject of love, what does it mean to you?
It means just being there absolutely; no limits to what you would give, receive or be open for another person in your life.
How drastically has your life changed after marriage and children?
I don’t have the luxury of sitting around too often, but honestly, I don’t know what I did with all my spare time! I had tons of it and I didn’t appreciate it. But it’s terrific now. I can’t always get a pedicure, but I’m so happy that I don’t care if my feet look bad.
Being Julia Roberts, how difficult is it for you to be a regular mom in your daily life?
It’s not difficult; I have no complaints about it. We, as a family, lead a balanced, regular life, like all other families on our street and at the school. I am very clear about being treated like everybody else in this regard, whether to photographers, other parents or any sort of perimeter entity.
When you want quiet time, where do you go?
There’s one little room in my house that’s filled with all my clutter, my sewing machine and knitting stuff—that is my quiet spot. Sadly, I don’t get to spend much time there.
What does self-discovery mean to you?
It is hoping to get to a place where you are comfortable with who you really are, what that means to you, the kind of person you’re going to be, what your moral compass is and the road that goes alongside. One never ever stops pursuing the greater understanding of themselves and the world.
Did you ever take a trip to help you discover yourself?
I used to go on a vacation every year by myself; it worked as a restart button to evaluate the time that had gone by. I’d read a good book, get a suntan and just connect with myself. I don’t think you necessarily have to travel to do that, but just take a moment to simply exhale.
What is your impression about India?
India is a magical place. I’ve been there a number of times, and every time I go, it’s a whole new experience. I was there at the beginning of this year as my husband was working there, so the kids and I joined him. Visiting new places and sharing it with the family was really special. India is a relentless place, in a positive and negative way. But the people here are kind and generous, and we received tremendous support as a film crew that we just couldn’t ask for more!
You wear a sari in the film; did you select it?
No, I didn’t get to pick it, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. Since it’s so time consuming to put it on and take it off, they managed to construct it as one piece so that I could snap in and out of it easily!
You’ve been in the movie business for two decades, but the star system is now obsolete as stars don’t guarantee a movie’s success anymore. What are your thoughts on the current trends in the film industry?
Show business has certainly changed and I think a lot of that has to do with the amount of media and media outlets that exist. It’s not really treated in a magical way anymore. Everybody wants to know how the tricks are done and what the actors do 24 hours a day; it kind of takes out the fun of the movie-going experience.
What according to you was a life-altering experience?
I’ve had so many! Meeting my husband, having my children, being best friends with my best friends since I was a child; these are the things that shape your life.