Movie star Julia Roberts left her Georgia hometown as a teenager to pursue an acting career in New York City.
“I was 17 when I moved to New York. It was a big difference from Smyrna, Georgia,” Roberts told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King. “I spent a lot of time by myself and I was just lonely, and the city was so fast and big. And so I would get on the phone with my mom crying, ‘I wanna come home,’” she recalled. The response? “‘You stay right where you are. You work this out.’”
Roberts rose to stardom in popular movies like “Mystic Pizza,” “Steel Magnolias” and, of course, “Pretty Woman.” Her role alongside Richard Gere in that film may have cemented Roberts as America’s sweetheart. She’s won three Golden Globes and an Oscar over a career spanning three decades.
As stunning as she is on screen, her fans say no one makes a character more relatable than Roberts. Her early success led to a landmark payday when Roberts became the first woman in Hollywood to earn $20 million with “Erin Brockovich.”
On the set of her 2001 film “The Mexican,” Roberts found real love with cameraman Danny Moder.
“He was really great friends with Brad [Pitt],” Roberts said. “So they were always just chatting and I would kinda go, ‘Oh. Oh, I read that book.’ … It was, you know, long after that. But that’s what started it, was the two of them and their conversations about music, and movies, and books, and stuff that I would just sort of chime in.”
The two married in 2002 and have three children: twins Phinnaeus and Hazel, and Henry. She said one of her children asked, “So are you famous?”
“I said, ‘Well, you know, I guess, there are people that know me that I don’t know,’” Roberts recounted.
“Are you more famous than Taylor Swift?” came the follow-up.
“No, I am not,’” Roberts said.
Now Roberts’ kids can hear their mom’s voice in the latest take on the animated classic, “Smurfs: The Lost Village.”
“I just think Smurfs are these timeless, fun little creatures,” Roberts said. “They always have had these sweet lessons, and teachings. … And this movie is no different, in that it’s so much about being kind, and accepting our differences. And right now if we can take that in, all the better. Just to soften the edges a little bit of what’s happening in the world right now.”
As for what’s happening in the world, Roberts attended the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. with her daughter, Hazel, in January.
“Why did you go and why did you want to take her?” King asked.
“She had a very strong interest in the election, and I think the result was so surprising to her, as it was to many of us. And I felt it was important for her to feel a sense of participating — you know, that you’re not just in your house and this thing has happened,” Roberts said. “We as women have certain ideas and beliefs, and we just want to be really sure that you are aware of them.”
As Roberts turns 50 this year, King asked whether she ever has hang-ups about a milestone birthday.
“Well, there’s nothing to be done. It will arrive,” Roberts said.
She said she doesn’t really have hang-ups, and much of it has to do with “being settled and happy.”
“But you know, I do have a mirror in my bathroom,” Roberts said.
“Yeah. And what do you see when you look in the mirror?” King asked.
“Some days you just need a tight ponytail,” Roberts said, laughing.