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Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 12/ 8/2008

Comment Box: Julia Roberts -- Not Gone, But Forgotten?

By Liz Kelly

Julia Roberts as Joanne Herring in 'Charlie Wilson's War.' (AP)
Comment Box

Hey, What ever happened to Julia Roberts? Didn't she used to be some big time movie star? Last I heard she went to Broadway and was never heard from again. -- Trenton, N.J.

It's true, Roberts's projects have been anything but blockbuster since she won her Oscar for her turn as a buxom, spunky crusader in 2000's "Erin Brockovich," but rumors of her demise are greatly exaggerated. In fact, she's been working at a steady -- albeit slower -- pace all along. Perhaps you missed her as George Clooney's wife in "Oceans 11" (and "12"), or opposite Sam Rockwell in the Clooney-directed "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," as a free-thinking art teacher chafing at the strictures of '50s American life in "Mona Lisa Smile" or as the voice of Charlotte the spider in 2006's "Charlotte's Web." "Brokovich" was the last Roberts-fronted film to break the $100 million domestic box office mark.

But surely you didn't miss the praise heaped on Roberts last year for her turn as the Texas gajillionaire who helped Tom Hanks kick the Russians out of Afghanistan in "Charlie Wilson's War." The blond wig and the safety pin/mascara thing really did it, I think.

Was it Roberts's -- now a mom of three -- choice to slow down? Or, like many rom-com sweethearts of yesteryear did she peak early and step aside for [Kate Hudson/Jennifer Aniston/Reese Witherspoon/Anne Hathaway/next] to shoulder the chick flick mantle? Probably a little of both.

Either way, the show goes on. Roberts co-stars with Ryan Reynolds in "Fireflies in the Garden," about a family making it through a tragedy, which was slated for a 2008 release but hasn't made it out of the gate yet. In March, Roberts re-teams with "Closer" co-star Clive Owen in "Duplicity," about the "steamy" world of corporate spies. And Roberts has been attached to a film adaptation of Kathleen Jacobs's novel, "The Friday Night Knitting Club," due in theaters sometime in 2010.


Liz, This is a Lost-Celebrity question... Where has Doc Jensen been? I had his EW Lost page book marked and I think in his last recap column he promised some in between season analyses would be posted. Some Ausiello guy has been posting Lost news, but no word from Doc J! Is he still with EW? -- Seattle

Even hardcore "Losties" need a little break from island fever, and what better time to take it than while the show is on hiatus? Doc may not have written tomes about "Lost" during the off-season, but he's been busy nonetheless. In July, he moderated the "Lost" panel at Comic-Con and less than a month ago wrote this season 5 look-ahead for But a quick scan of also reveals that he's been using his "down time" to write about video games, post to the site's PopWatch blog and write this phat inside peek at the upcoming "Star Trek" reboot (coincidentally directed by "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams). And, in the meantime new-ish TV insider Michael Ausiello has been keeping up with incremental tidbits from the set -- like new guest stars and likely plot devices (fancy a trip back to the '70s?).


Comments of the Week
"Proof that Mary-Kate Olsen is pregnant: she was overheard saying, 'I'm eating for one now.'" -- Byoolin

"I'd like to see a Shatner-hosted home improvement show called 'Who Shat In My House?'" MStreet1

By Liz Kelly  | December 8, 2008; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  Comment Box  
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Actually it's kind of refreshing that she is not, what was the word? A Needia, needium?

Posted by: hodie | December 8, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

*I haven't missed Julia a bit. I think she's an overrated, one-dimensional actress and not nearly as beautiful as all her admirers think. That said, if she's spending her time tending to her kids, I certainly can't fault her priorities.

*Excellent choices for Comment of the Week.

Posted by: pras40 | December 8, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Tips for Julia to stay relelvant:

-Start a blog/newsletter with musings on motherhood and recipes

-Adopt a few more kids and start moving around a lot

-Become a Scientology or Kabbalah adherent

-Go into rehab for something -- there must be something!

-Convice Lizards to repeatedly type "Julia Roberts" anywhere and everywhere on the Net.

Posted by: 44west | December 8, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Julia Roberts' career is a mixed bag. For every "The Pelican Brief" is a "Mary Reilly," and for every "Pretty Woman" (oh, how I hate that stupid, stupid movie) there's an "Everyone Says I Love You."

But "Notting Hill"? Great movie, even though after a few viewings you wonder why Hugh Grant still liked her by the end.

I just think Julia's enjoying the money and motherhood. She's not done yet. You watch, 10 years from now she'll get a Best Actress Oscar playing Anne Hathaway's mother in a remake of "Terms of Endearment."

(Nicole Kidman, on the other hand? Done.)

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | December 8, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm w/hodie, I'm glad she's not everywhere & she's just enjoying her kids.

Posted by: wadejg | December 8, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I just think Julia's enjoying the money and motherhood. She's not done yet. You watch, 10 years from now she'll get a Best Actress Oscar playing Anne Hathaway's mother in a remake of "Terms of Endearment."

Renamed "Terms of Endurement."

Posted by: mdreader01 | December 8, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"In March, Roberts re-teams with "Closer" co-star Clive Owen in "Duplicity," about the "steamy" world of corporate spies."

Wow. Talk about a plot ripped from today's headlines. Corporate spies, tapping the cell phones of their competitors trying to find out when they're taking that federal bail out.

Crawling through the ductwork (there's got to be a good ductwork scene, otherwise, it's not a white collar thriller) to overhear that discussion about filing Chapter 11.

Whispering into your Nextel 2-way (gratuitous product placement) "They're liquidating all their Russian assets because they can't get adequate financing."

Posted by: mdreader01 | December 8, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Must be the end of the world. "Pretty Woman" is now knitting?

Must be preparing for her new character-actress role as Madame DuFarge in a remake of "Tale of Two Cities"!

Posted by: reddragon1 | December 8, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

PS For the record I would crawl through ductwork behind either Julia Roberts or Nicole Kidman. They always seem to get enough light in there not just to film, but to do closeups. How do they do that?

Posted by: reddragon1 | December 8, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

reddragon, I recall reading that Julia Roberts has been an avid knitter for quite a few years.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | December 8, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The only three words in this post that matter to me are: "Clive Owen", and "steamy."
You know, if some one told me Clive Owen was coming to my high school reunion next summer with a bottle of Bourbon, I'd go. In fact, I'd go even without the Bourbon.

Posted by: possum_pouch | December 8, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Yo marsupial, carm down!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | December 8, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

My husband and I were watching Mona Lisa Smile last year. And for all the pretty young actresses, my husband and I still thought she was far more appealing and sexy than any of them.

I think she might be a wee bit over-rated at times, but she possesses a certain vivacity and has developed a knowledge of her range that makes her watchable.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | December 8, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I spoke to soon. This is as close to a Christmas song that I've heard on the radio so far:

Sadly I think my family is starting to become more and more like the people in the song.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | December 8, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Dorkus. Care to translate for those of us whose employer blocks access to You Tube?

Is it Julia Roberts singing a song about knitting Christmas stockings? How does it go?

(To the tune of Pretty Woman)

Knitting stockings, for the world to see
Knitting stockings, to wear on your feet

...something like that?

Posted by: BMore_Cat_Lover1 | December 8, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, BMore, here is a link to the lyrics:

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | December 8, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BMore_Cat_Lover1 | December 8, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Julia Roberts? Meh. Never really liked her. Always thought she was an over-rated actress, funny-looking, and I can't figure why she won an Oscar. So, I can't say I miss her. But big ups to her if she's being a hands-on mom with her three little ones - there's far too little of that in Hollywood!

Posted by: jaybbub | December 8, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

She seems really contented with her life now, so let her slow down. She's made far too many movies as it is. Most of them were tripe. But she certainly brought the people to the theaters. I'd rather see a lot of other actresses.

Posted by: msame | December 8, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

has anybody else caught the ad on the right for CNN's "Planet in Peril?"

Owe the drama!

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Posted by: rosespears00 | December 10, 2008 3:38 AM | Report abuse

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