Ticket to Paradise: Julia Roberts Return to Rom-Com after Decades of Absence from Genre (Co-Starring George Clooney)

In an interview with the New York Times, Roberts discussed why it’s been years since she’s last starred in rom-com amid her return to leading a romantic comedy with Ticket to Paradise, in which she co-star with George Clooney.

Oscar winner Julia Roberts has had numerous memorable romantic comedy roles in hits such as Pretty Woman, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Notting Hill.

Pretty Woman

Ahead of the upcoming Ticket to Paradise, the actress talked to The New York Times about why it has been 20 years since her last rom-com outing.

“People sometimes misconstrue the amount of time that’s gone by that I haven’t done a romantic comedy as my not wanting to do one,” Roberts said.

“If I had read something that I thought was that Notting Hill level of writing or My Best Friend’s Wedding level of madcap fun, I would do it. They didn’t exist until this movie that I just did that Ol Parker wrote and directed.”

Dermot Mulroney and Julia Roberts in 'My Best Friend's Wedding'

Sean Penn and Julia Roberts in Gaslit


Of starring in Ticket to ParadiseRoberts said that the film was one that “only works if it’s George Clooney.” “Lo and behold, George felt it only worked with me. Somehow we are both able to do it, and off we went,” she said.

Roberts agreed that it was “a joy to play in that sandbox” given “it has been a long time.” “I love to laugh and be funny. You get into that mode of those endorphins going off when you’re clever and people going, ‘Oh!’ Then that becomes this automatic thing where you’re always thinking in terms of creating fun,” she said.

Roberts explained that the bar was also raised “even more” as her three children were growing up. “That raises the bar even more because then it’s not only ‘Is this material good?’ It’s also the math equation of my husband’s work schedule and the kids’ school schedule and summer vacation. It’s not just, ‘Oh, I think I want to do this.’ I have a sense of great pride in being home with my family and considering myself a homemaker.”

She added, “For so much of my children’s younger life they would see their dad go off and I would work a little, but they almost didn’t notice.  I was only gone when they were napping or something. But as they get older, and particularly with my daughter, I do have sense of responsibility for showing my children that I can be creative and that it’s meaningful to me — so meaningful that for periods of time I will choose to focus on that almost more than my family, which has been hard for me to come to terms with.”

Roberts almost didn’t star in the 2013 film August: Osage County because filming was to begin at the same time her youngest son was starting kindergarten.

“I was like, ‘How could I miss this?’ ” she said, also recalling her husband Danny Moder advising, “At some point you were going to have to leave us to work. Wouldn’t you rather roll those dice in a situation like this, where you have a good understanding of what you’re going to be doing and the people you’re going to be working with?”

Roberts commended her husband for pushing her at the time “because if he said, ‘I don’t know,’ I would have been like: ‘I don’t either! I’m not going!’ That’s the female plight. That feeling of leaving is hard.”

As for rumors that her smile was insured, Roberts debunks the speculation: “What am I insuring it against? How would you do that? … I mean, if my smile was insured, there would be someone at my house on a nightly basis saying, ‘You need to floss longer.’”