They call her America’s Sweetheart for a reason. Of course, as schmaltzy and cornball a title as that may sound, there’s an explanation for the moniker – it’s due to a certain quality every bit as appealing as it is intangible. She’s an extremely consistent performer, the camera loves her, and winningest of all combinations in Hollywood? She’s gorgeous and self-deprecating at once. This is precisely why Julia Roberts is one of the most beloved, popular and indeed highest-paid actresses on earth.
What’s your favorite Julia Roberts movie? Mine’s a tie – Pretty Woman and Notting Hill (See? I’m a sucker for the dark, gory stuff.) In fact, Roberts is one of those actors for me (like a Johnny Depp or a James Spader) whose movies I’ll watch almost unconditionally as soon as they open. Even though I found the book Eat, Pray, Love to be an insipid, indulgent poor-me-hicle, I succumbed to its big screen iteration because I love JRob. To that point, she’s also known for invigorating less-than-stellar scripts, and for bringing warmth and familiarity to even the most tepid movies.
She’s also got 14 PCA nominations – and 12 wins, an Oscar and 3 nominations, and plenty of Golden Globes. In an age when we’ve seen this and Googled that, when nothing is impressive before an audience unless it trades in CGI Cyber power, or extreme extremism, there’s something decidedly charming about an actress who’s simply that: someone who is evocative, who you can root for, who (ostensibly) suffers just like the rest of us, who smiles like there’s no tomorrow, and who conveys genuine warmth. What’s wrong with that? Nothing like a girl, who’s just looking at a boy, is there? The infectious laugh part never hurts either.
Roberts grew up in Georgia and actually came to Hollywood because of her brother Eric – who’s also a well-known actor (niece Emma Roberts and sister Lisa are also in the biz). Her first taste of fame came with Mystic Pizza; Steel Magnolias brought her real notoriety and with Pretty Woman she became an international sensation (along with an eminently bankable star). Firmly entrenched in the romantic comedy genre (My Best Friend’s Wedding, Runaway Bride, Notting Hill) she’s also at home with thrillers (The Pelican Brief, Ocean’s Twelve and Duplicity). As a consistent top-ranker on every Hollywood Power list, she’s got her pick of the parts litter. As is what happened with Erin Brokovich, which garnered her that Oscar.
Right now audiences are getting ready for her turn as the Evil Queen in Mirror, Mirror opposite Armie Hammer and Lily Collins (one of two dueling Snow White movies headed our way, the other being Snow White and The Huntsman). After 40-odd movies, she’s already had twice the career younger stars only dream about, and yet she doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. Is Julia Roberts your Favorite PCA Movie Actress? Let us know, and don’t forget to vote!
Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these Julia Roberts films is your favorite?
1) Pretty Woman
2) Erin Brokovich
3) Notting Hill
4) Steel Magnolias