Wonder: Interview with Star Julia Roberts


Message of Film

Julia Roberts:  One of the great things that I love about the way R.J. wrote this novel and what we tried to translate into the film is that it’s not about giving advice; it’s not about teaching something, it’s about leading by example.  It’s about talking about the salient points of something as opposed to the big overarching moment. So for me it’s really about just a mother talking to her child about how she feels about him, about what she hopes he can see and feel inside of himself, that it’s not just about all the sort of scared bad guys out there; that it’s about what’s in here because that’s what you can control, that’s what is your super power.

Julia’s Childhood

JR: I appreciate the fact that you see my idyllic childhood as sweet, deep conversations with my parents about how special I am (laughter) and I now pass that onto my children. But I think when I was growing up it was different.  We didn’t have these deep conversations about feelings and emotions, and the way that we do now to the point of exhaustion.

Social Media

JR: There’s no social media but it’s more I think I would probably talk more to my older sister about problems at school.  It was maybe my mom as she’s cooking dinner but it wouldn’t be the special sit down time.  My mom had a full-time job and a full house and lots of people to take care of so that’s kind of a different thing. Now my family, we do have the luxury of a family dinner where a lot of things come up, negative and positive, of what people are going through in the day. We share in that way and so far we haven’t had any incident that would require, mom, dad, can you come in here so I can talk to you about something. Just to let your kids know that they can talk to you about anything without judgment or that quick response of “what.  I’m calling the principal.” They want to just talk and not have it be emotional.

Being 50

JR: I celebrated with my family and I feel great and I felt great last year and I’m pretty sure I want to feel really good next year.  I don’t know the big hub, nobody got too excited when I was 47.  I do appreciate the flowers, don’t get me wrong, but I am not quite sure the surgical nvestigation of turning 50 as opposed to just the celebration of any trip around the sun that we’re all so grateful for.

Seeing Inner Beauty

JR: I guess your best friend does that for you.  When we were kids I don’t think we examined ourselves and our emotions as we do now.  They’re just sort of classified as this like awkward phase or oh, all teenagers need more self-confidence.  It wasn’t handled on a kind of weekly basis of that sort of conversation–for better or for worse. Certainly my mom wasn’t sitting down with her mom talking about anything so we progress and we progress and now we’ve become these people who really enjoy sharing and talking about things and how to make things better, how to make things more interesting and so I do quite enjoy that as a parent.



JR: I have been bullied. I think there’s no child that went to school that wasn’t picked on in some way.  Maybe you guys.  You’re so cool but most of us have been picked on at some time or another.


Trump and Protecting the Planet

JR: We should all be involved in taking care of this planet, right, because it’s everybody’s place to live and we do things.  Being a family of 5 people, we try to reduce the amount of waste that we create in a day, in a week, in a month in all kinds of ways.  We use all reusable containers for lunches that the kids take to school.  There’s always more that I feel I can do as a parent and, they make things that aren’t good for the planet so easy, take so much less time to use a baggie or a paper towel but you just have to resist those temptations.  I don’t think I wouldn’t want to or could speak for him.


Impact on Being Mother on Playing the Part

JR: My kids were sort of the driving force behind.  We all loved this novel and one of them said, you know, do you think that they’ll make this into a movie and I said oh, I’m sure they will and then my wheels started turning.  And I called my agent and said has this been made into a movie?  Will it be made into a movie because I would just like to put my name into the hat for the mom because we just loved the story so much.  Fortunately for me it was.  It had started going but hadn’t gone far enough that they had already cast the parts and so I was lucky enough to get onboard.

Once you are a mom I think there are things that you could never imagine before you have children just the subtleties of the change inside of you so knowing that so intimately now for almost 13 years I think that you do sort of allow yourself a special like Owen was saying the other day or this morning or I don’t even – it could have been a month ago honestly now.  I don’t even know what day it is but he said that it was so interesting to him the scene with Jacob and myself when he says, you know, why am I ugly and he said he thought it was so interesting that instead of speaking to him in this very sweet and gentle voice of, you know, oh, no, you’re not ugly, you know, that I took this very stern voice to proclaim this fact which I hadn’t even really noticed as a stern choice, it was just my reflexive, maternal idea of that conversation so I think things like that maybe 15 years ago I would have said oh, my little baby, it’s okay but now that’s just not how I approach being a mother.