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Life's good for Julia Roberts

29 Comments
By Chris Betros

Japanese fans of Julia Roberts have been waiting for her to come here ever since she made "Pretty Woman" in 1990. She’s one of the few A-list stars never to have promoted her movies in Japan, so the media (including a Korean contingent) were out in force when the 42-year-old Oscar winner descended on Japan recently for a six-day visit as part of her global promotional tour for "Eat Pray Love."

Although the tabloids had speculated that perhaps Roberts didn’t like Japan, the actress was tightlipped about why it has taken her so long to drop in on Tokyo. “It’s my good fortune to be here now,” is all she would say on the subject.

"Eat Pray Love" -- either a great romance or 140 minutes of drivel, depending on how you feel about the best-selling memoir written by Elizabeth Gilbert -- deals with a divorcee’s journey of enlightenment that takes her from New York to Italy (where she eats), India (prays) and Bali (where she falls in love again). Roberts said she read Gilbert’s book a long time ago, before there was ever any talk of a movie. “I never thought about it again until I got a call from my agent, though I always felt it was a great story.”

Predictably, Roberts was asked all sorts of questions about her own personal journey, her spirituality (she was born a Catholic but now practices Hinduism). However, the actress wasn’t getting into any of it. “My mother told me 22 years ago, ‘You’re an actor, act. Don’t talk about politics or religion,’” she said. Nor does she like being asked questions such as “my favorite scene in a movie, my favorite actor to work with, my favorite food, and so on. Why do people want to know that?”

In the film, Gilbert’s character undergoes some big changes to her life. Roberts, on the other hand, said of her own life: “No, no changes, I’m good. For me, growth is about excavating and nurturing what’s inside of you, what propels you, and not lipstick or the latest fashions. I think that for both men and women, we look inside ourselves to see what needs work and how we can shape our lives.”

Roberts, who has three children -- twins Hazel and Phinneaus, five, and three-year-old Henry with cameraman husband Danny Moder – said it can sometimes be a challenge balancing the roles of wife, mother and actress. “I get by with a tremendous amount of help and support. Some days are better than others. You just do the best you can,” said the actress whose family accompanied her to India and Bali while she was filming "Eat Pray Love." Going to exotic places was fun, but the hardest part of the shoot was the pasta-eating scenes in Italy, Roberts said. “They start out fun, but by pasta bowl #7 or 8, it starts to get a little wearisome.”

After she finishes her global tour, Roberts will produce a TV documentary series called "Extraordinary Moms" for Oprah Winfrey’s new cable network. Her next film will be the drama "Larry Crowne," in which she co-stars with Tom Hanks.

Roberts, who won the best actress Academy Award in 2000 for "Erin Brockovich," said her passion for her career has never waned. “Loving what you do is the secret to everything. I really do love the creative part of making movies,” she said. She also regularly appears on People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful list (“that’s my mom stuffing the ballot box,” she jokes).

As for the secret of her beauty: “Being happy inside…and a little Lancome eye cream,” she added. No surprise with that answer, since she is the face of the cosmetics brand.

"Eat Pray Love" opens in Japan on Sept 17.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
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That is because Julia Roberts is not stupid. She does not need Japan to make money and to become popular. It is Japan that needs her and her movies because if it was not for her movies, many Japanese viewers of movies would probably be bored as hell. What does Japan has to offer Julia Roberts that she doesn`t have already? Nothing...

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Japan is really far away. Nobody likes flying that far.

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Overrated actress with a paltry canon of mediocre flix. No need to bask in her feeble glow, she can stay home next time and spare the environment her unnecessary pr junket. More like "Eat, Bray, Snore".

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Can't stand her.

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Never been a huge fan of hers. Whatever her reason for not coming to Japan ever is her business though.

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Don't understand her appeal: not especially talented, not especially likable, not especially good looking. How'd she become a-list!?!!

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"As for the secret of her beauty: “Being happy inside" No truer words. Mrs. Roberts is a beautiful woman inside and out. It is always a pleasure to watch her movies!

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not especially likable, not especially good looking.

junnama - I bet she agrees that you are the best authority on this. :-)

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The Japanese fan craze for her has always been a mystery for me. I see her as nothing special but maybe I am the ignorant one.

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Well shes been making movies for 20 years. Her acadamy was well deserved. In her younger days she was quite the Georgia beauty. She married Texas musician Lyle Lovett who is quite talented and good in the Robert Altman flicks. She divorced and remarried an out of the limelight cameraman much to her credit. she has paid her dues in Hollywood and mde some good movies and some bad ones. She seems to respect herself and her privacy and loves her kids. Whats not to like? Although Lois Griffin from the Family Guy did make a funny quote in season 2 -"her lips look like a baboons a**". I didnt say it-Lois did.

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She divorced and remarried an out of the limelight cameraman much to her credit.

Her credit? I seem to remember he was married at the time, I think that was their main reason for staying out of the limelight.

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of course life`s good for julia roberts..millions in the bank for a long line of mediocre crap(Erin bronkovich aside though)

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Pretty woman was popular because it touches such a chord and appeals to a fantasy about paid for sex with so many Japanese men and women. roberts is a colossally overrated actress and no oil painting either.

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What does acting ability have to do with being an Oil painting?

Many actors and actresses don't have that hot a body but will out-act many others. Same with Enya she can sing and that is what she is paid for her singing ability not her looks.

Hope she enjoys her stay, Elephants won't scare her here. ;)

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agree looks and acting don't always go together. Was making two seperate and not necessarily mutually exclusive statements. You do get some elephants in Japan.....

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Here is a line from one of her movies which seems quite appropriate here, "the person you're talking about is a real person and I think she probably deserves a little bit more consideration".

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Her face freaks me out! Kinda reminds me of the Joker. Pretty Woman was mediocre at best and the rest of her movies were really God awful! She is not Pretty at all, I don't know what all the hype is about her. Not to mention she is not aging gracefully. I think her brother Eric is far better and a more talented actor than she is.

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Didn't she come here just to make sure that the Japanese people would see her movie so she could make more money? I do not think that they will be fooled.

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Her role in Pretty Woman inspired millions of girls - especially in Japan - to want to become prostitutes. Yes, her acting is abysmal; but she has awesome lips.

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Julia Roberts is not a bad actress, but not one of my favourites. What miffs me about her movies in regards to Japan is that 'Pretty Woman' became the basis for the Japanese Film Board thinking that everyone is a moron in terms of association, and that anything successful can lead to anything else's success if you whisper but a word from the former. For example, almost every movie after Pretty Woman with a similar 'fairy-tale' story was Katakana-ized to include 'pretty' in the title:

Runaway Bride = 'Pretty Bride' A League of Their Own = 'Pretty League' Princess Diaries = 'Pretty Princess'

And on, and on. I'm surprised they didn't call Notting Hill, 'Pretty Heeru', and the new movie, "Pretty La-bu", or something equally inane.

Glad she's enjoying Japan, but frankly I think the fact that it's her first trip here really doesn't make it a world-shattering event.

“my favorite scene in a movie, my favorite actor to work with, my favorite food, and so on. Why do people want to know that?”

Because you're talking to one of the most fickle audiences in the world? The only question you'll hear more than that, Julia, is how much you like Japan and what you think of the Japanese (to which if you answer negatively it will not be subtitled, translated, and will probably not make it past the cutting room floor). Of course, if you answer positively it will be in all the papers for years to come. ;)

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yanee: "I do not think that they will be fooled."

They already have been... hence the article. People here can't even see that sudden 'reunions' of bands like Pink Lady 30 years after they broke up are solely because of money -- if it's an international super-star they DEFINITELY can't see it. They all just want to hear if she likes sushi.

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junnama - I bet she agrees that you are the best authority on this. :-)

I'm sure she doesn't but she works in media so know-nothings like me can say whatever they want and that's her job performance, which is all and all not so bad considering she actually gets paid for essentially pretending she is somebody else (ya know that thing called acting).

I'm sure everyone knows she has a manager and a publicist (also known as someone paid to get you publicity)...

Hey, I'm not saying I don't like her. I just think she's mediocre, not a-list...

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What's with all the haters here? The reasons why she's here are obvious - promotion of her movie so she can make money. And all actresses / actors make stinkers of movies - she's not the only one.

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For a not so good looking mediocre actor she's sure doing a good job of annoying some of you.

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she is talented actress, but i never find her pretty or good looking. of course, she has certain charme.

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"Eat Pray Love - either a great romance or 140 minutes of drivel"

From what I've heard, it's the latter.

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Beauty in a woman, from a male perspective, is a mystery since the beginning of time. It often happens that a Hollywood beauty is caught in a supermarket with no make-up and is found to be a fairly common looking woman. But, conversely, a fairly ordinary looking actress will appear “made-up” and be a drop-dead beauty at a function. So, one can posit a theorem that a woman can “turn it on” if she sees a pay-off. But, there is a price for this transformation. So, intelligent women use this “magic” only sparingly.

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For all those who write they can't stand her, when I see a name in a headline of someone I don't like, I move on. I don't write comments about her because I don't read the article. Pretty simple.

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In the past, she did not have to sell her movies overseas. The US Gross was doing OK and the overseas amounts were just gravy. However, now her US movies are doing horrible (because of bad reviews) so she needs to overseas sales to make money.

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