OPRAH X JULIA
Oh jongens, las ik gister dit fijne interview tussen Oprah en Julia Roberts in het heerlijke zonnetje. (Wat een weer, mag van mij tot aan de lente zo blijven). De november editie van Harper’s Bazaar komt pas op 23 oktober uit, maar je leest het interview gewoon nu al hier 🙂 Wilde het natuurlijk met jullie delen en niet in de laatste plaats om die geweldige foto’s. Do you dare?
Julia Roberts and Oprah Get Real About Facing Fears, Living Dreams, and the Magic of Getting Older (America’s favorite pretty woman rock climbs in couture for our November issue).
OPRAH WINFREY: Hi, Julia Roberts.
JULIA ROBERTS: Hi, Oprah.
OW: The theme of Harper’s Bazaar this month is daring, and so you actually decided that you were going to do something daring because you’re afraid of heights. That’s what I heard. Is that correct?
JR: I am afraid of heights and it’s funny because I’ve always been afraid of heights. My father was very afraid of heights, and it becomes one of these things that you say about yourself, “I’m left-handed and I’m afraid of heights.” About seven years ago, Danny and I were invited on this hike. Hike is a sophomoric way to describe what we were invited on, but I’ll just say hike. I thought to myself, “Gosh, I’m so afraid of heights,” and then I thought, “Am I still afraid of heights?” Because I never put myself in that position, so how do I even know? It’s just this thing that I say about myself. Well, I’m happy to confirm for you I am afraid of heights. It was the most harrowing, maybe seven or eight hours of my physical life, and if it had not been for Danny truly lovingly talking me through one foot in front of the other, I don’t know what I would’ve done, because really it’s this thing that takes over your whole body. It’s not like, “That’s scary. That looks so high.” It’s your throat closing, your body just breaking down. It’s a real thing, so yes, I am afraid of heights.
OW: Yes. I was with a friend once in Telluride hot-air ballooning, and Mary Kay for some crazy reason said to me, “I’m afraid of heights,” and I go, “It’s a hot air balloon. It’s not like you’re hanging from a string,” and we got up in the air and she starts trembling and says, “I’m afraid I’m going to jump over. I’m afraid I’m going to jump over,” and I said, “You’re not going to jump over because I’m going to knock you out before you jump over. If you jump over, it’s going to upset this whole balloon basket.” Anyway, that’s the first time that I recognized it’s a real thing. It’s not just, “I’m afraid of heights.” I could see somebody trembling and really afraid. So Danny talked you into it?
JR: He talked me into it and he talked me through it, and so we did live to tell the tale fortunately.OW: It’s one thing to do it, Julia, period, but to do it in a pink evening gown, to do it in a series…
JR: Of course they’re not going to put me in incredible peril. We did things that were just high enough and just scary enough where I could still smile and throw my gown up into the air.
OW: Besides this cover shoot, what do you consider one of the most daring things you’ve ever done?
JR: Probably believing in myself.
OW: Brené Brown, the author of Daring Greatly who gave the famous TEDx Talk that has millions of views, says that “daring greatly” means having the courage to be vulnerable. Does vulnerability come easy for you, or is it something that you push against?
JR: It’s sort of my job, really, to be vulnerable almost at all times when I’m working. Really, the hard part is to be able to go into a place of exposing your feelings—showing what you think is the truth of what you’re trying to perform—and setting aside the risk of failure.
OW: You are so good at it. I just recently watched your new series for Amazon, Homecoming. Your vulnerability—just sitting in a chair—makes my eyes water right now.
JR: You’re giving me butterflies in my stomach. This is the place of my dreams—to be with these creative people, making this project.
OW: I’m going to write that down. Living the dream and being aware of it at all times. Just this morning I was sitting out on the back balcony porch having breakfast with Stedman, and he said, “We’re making dreams, babe. We’re making dreams and memories right here.” I just thought, “It’s so good that you actually recognized that that’s what’s happening right now.”
JR: It’s so nice when somebody says it out loud because it’s almost like you don’t want to pop the bubble by saying it out loud. I love that Stedman just said it because then you’re able to fully be saturated in it.OW: You were mentioning Danny Moder earlier, so I have to stop for Danny Moder. Stedman and I lived in the tabloids for so many years, and it was hard on his family members and some of my family members, and I couldn’t imagine if we had children and every other week there’s some story about him leaving me, me getting dumped, or me leaving him. I know you have experienced this very thing. Are you able to keep that away from your kids?
JR: For the most part. Sometimes we are in the grocery store and I won’t even know something is out, but we’ll see a tabloid and we’ll all be standing there like, “Oh, that’s uncomfortable. This is really uncomfortable.” It can still hurt my feelings, because I’m so proud of my marriage. We just celebrated being married for 16 years this Fourth of July, and there’s so much happiness wrapped up in what we’ve found together. What I like is when they write, “the $150 million divorce,” and then a week later a different tabloid says, “the $275 million divorce.” I’m like, “Well, somebody got a paycheck in the last week. This is getting good.”
OW: Yeah, I know. It was so hurtful to me for so many years. Maya [Angelou] used to say to me all the time, “You’re not in it. The person who sits down to write the story isn’t even thinking about you. It has nothing to do with you; it has to do with what can sell.” Even knowing that, it was still hurtful to me. I remember there was this story that supposedly Stedman and I had this big brawl, and he left me and I stormed off to my father’s barbershop in Nashville. The only thing that was true about that story was that I was in my father’s barbershop in Nashville.
JR: But would people want to hear that? There’s too much weight and content in the truth, as opposed to the kind of cotton-candy, weightless, pointless destruction, breakup thing that sells tabloids.
OW: In addition to Homecoming, I know that you have a new film coming out in December. For Ben Is Back, you play a mother dealing with her grown son’s drug addiction. Was it difficult for you dealing with such a heart-wrenching issue for so many parents? Or did you think, “I’ll never have to go to this space for my own life”?
JR: Unfortunately, this story is lived out every hour of every day by a family, by a parent, by a child all over the world, and I just feel like it’s that constant reevaluation of, what is the right thing to do right now for this person? Is it to love them and believe them and hold them close? Is it to not believe them? Is it to be hard on them? Lucas Hedges, who plays my son, came and stayed with us for a while, got to know Danny and the kids really well all before we started shooting. I felt that it was important for my kids to know who I was going off with, pretending to be their mother. My son Henry had said to me, “Mom, why in movies when you play somebody’s mom, why is it always a boy?” And I said, “Wow, I don’t know. You know what? We’re going to have Lucas come over and you guys are going to meet him.” So Lucas came over, as did beautiful Kathryn Newton, who plays my older daughter. I would just send them down to the beach with my kids. “Go for a swim, and I’ll see you guys in an hour and I’ll have lunch ready.”
OW: Do you remember when your kids finally first realized that you were Julia Roberts, America’s beloved-sweetheart actress, Academy Award winner?
JR: I don’t think they will ever have a true sense of that. I think I told you once when they were starting to figure it out, it was like, “You’re famous?” And I said, “I think a lot of people might have seen the movie that I’m in or might know who I am.” Maybe an hour goes by. “Are you more famous than Taylor Swift?”
OW: Do you imagine a day when you all sit down as a family and watch Pretty Woman?
JR: No. I imagine a day that we all sit down and maybe watch My Best Friend’s Wedding. Or maybe—
OW: Steel Magnolias.
JR: Steel Magnolias. Oh, my God. Yes, we could do that.OW: Do you believe that your unconditional love will be enough to carry your children into the world we live in today?
JR: Will anybody’s? It’s different than when I might have said to my mom, “Mom, you don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager today,” even though she probably did. Danny and I really don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager today. Sometimes my kids ask me things and I just say to them, “I’m going to say no, and I’m going to look into it because I don’t even know what we’re talking about.”
OW: Okay, I never thought I’d see the day Julia Roberts is on Instagram. You posted for the very first time in June. What made you decide to do it?
JR: Well, a few things. I think one of the things, obviously my kids were asking about it. “Why don’t you do that? That’d be cool.”
OW: Travolta said the same thing. His daughter talked him into it.
JR: It’s definitely a balancing act, and it’s been tricky figuring out what to post because I am private, but I am also friendly. I know that Sarah Jessica Parker, who is a friend and a person I really admire, has an incredible Instagram. She has conversations with people.
OW: Which brings me to, do you block comments?
JR: The only people who can comment are the people I follow. I follow I think 12 or 15 or 20 people—
OW: You follow 18. I just looked it up.
JR: Although something did happen recently on my niece Emma’s Instagram that I think taught me a lot about what it’s like being a young person in today’s society. One weekend morning Emma slept over, and we got up and were having tea and playing cards and having this beautiful morning, and then a couple of days later she posted a picture of us. And the number of people who felt absolutely required to talk about how terrible I looked in the picture—that I’m not aging well, that I look like a man, why would she even post a picture like this when I look that terrible! And I was amazed at how that made me feel. I’m a 50-year-old woman and I know who I am, and still my feelings got hurt. I was sad that people couldn’t see the point of it, the sweetness of it, the absolute shining joy of that photo. I thought, “What if I was 15?”OW: Imagine. You know what? That reemphasizes exactly what you were just saying about how you don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager today.
JR: I was so happy that happened because I had this whole new glimpse into a way of living that I didn’t get at all. You have to go through things to understand them, and this was just a little paper cut of what can really go on with social media.
OW: Now we’re halfway into this administration’s term in the White House, and Hollywood is still grappling with the Harvey Weinstein scandal. What kind of impact has this time in our culture had on you?
JR: I think it’s impossible not to be affected by it. When Donald Trump was elected, my daughter, Hazel, came down and the TV was on, and it said on the crawl at the bottom, trump wins, and she kind of gasped because of course we all had this collective hope that something else was going to happen. And what I saw in that exact moment was the complete need for me as a parent to find a way to make her feel that she could still have a voice. That’s why we went to the first Women’s March in Washington—I wanted her to feel like she still had a place in the world, that she could still believe in what she believed in, even though someone else was now president. It was very powerful for me to have her in a way be my leader into this space of marching and participating in being a citizen of this country.
OW: Yep. Do you feel optimistic about where we’re headed as a world? You always seem so positive.
JR: I do, because for me there’s no other option. If you’re raising young humans in this time, and if you really want things to change and get better for everyone, you have to believe that it will, and you have to participate in that belief on a regular basis.
OW: If you could give a young working mother any advice about this balancing act that you seem to have mastered, what would it be? First of all, you have a partner who’s willing to help you.
JR: Yes, which is number one. I guess it’s also that illusion of mastery because I can have a great Monday and a really crappy Tuesday. It’s not a static thing: “Oh, I’ve got this. I’ve mastered this mothering thing.” That doesn’t exist, and so everybody needs to make sure that they understand that going into it. I think, as women, we fall into this place where we feel like it’s our responsibility to give everything, give and give and give. There’s nothing wrong with saying to your spouse or to your child or to your friend, “Can I get a hand? I need somebody else in here helping me do this because I can’t do it by myself. Or I don’t want to do it by myself!”
OW: Hollywood has always placed this premium on being the youngest and freshest thing out there, but you are aging effortlessly. It just looks like your smile got brighter, and you’re just beginning your 50s. I remember when Maya Angelou told me, “Your 50s are all that you were meant to be. It’s everything that you’d been meaning to do and meaning to be.” Have you found that to be true?JR: Yeah. I would say that my 50s are off to a good start. Before my birthday last year, Danny goes, “What should we do for your 50th?” And I said, “How about this? We have five days away with zero contact with the outside world.” That was 50, and it was so beautiful and wonderful. It was just the two of us, and there was a point where I thought, “Gosh, this is kind of weird.” Not being all together with the kids, the five of us, for my birthday. I was kind of like, “Huh. Maybe I didn’t think this all the way through.” And on the day of my birthday, we drove to a city we’ve been before. I was like, “This is a great town. We’ll do some shopping. We’ll eat some good food. This is going to be great.” And the kids all had soccer games, and other parents had been texting me scores of games and stuff like that, so I knew when all their games were over that they’d call us and we’d talk to them on my birthday. We went into this surf shop, and I go to the bathroom in the back of the store, and I come out and Danny’s standing there holding a surfboard, and he goes, “What do you think of this one?” I said, “That’s a big board. What is that for?” He moves it, and all three kids are standing behind it. I could burst into tears thinking about it. They had tricked me so completely. There was no soccer game. Even these friends of ours who were texting me scores of games, everybody was in on it, and it was so incredible and beautiful. That’s what getting older is about—it’s about turning even more into the person your loved ones know you to be.
OW: That’s beautiful.
JR: That was turning 50 for me. It was pretty spectacular.
Wat een prachtige groene jurk!!
Wat is Julia toch een leuke vrouw 🙂