The breathtaking ease with which Julia Roberts has captivated Hollywood and legions of fans is a throwback to that Golden Age of Clark and Vivien Leigh a time when movie stars had that unmistakable star quality that could light up the screen with a larger-than-life glamour. Ever since the release of only her third major film, Pretty Woman the blockbuster that pulled in sales of over $400 million worldwide Roberts has wielded the power of being the number one female box office draw.
In Pretty Woman (1990) Roberts plays a down-on-her-luck prostitute who is whisked off the streets into the lap of luxury by a wealthy Prince Charming played by Richard Gere. This modern-day Cinderella story has parallels to Roberts?s real-life rocket to fame a rather swift trip accomplished with a minimum of dues-paying and no formal training. Three days after her high school graduation, Roberts left her hometown of Smyrna, Georgia, for New York City.
Almost immediately she was offered a modeling contract by the CLICK agency, and shortly thereafter secured a role in her first feature film. Never mind that prior to this her sole acting credits were a couple of high school plays.
Roberts?s older siblings, brother Eric and sister Lisa, are actor as well. It was at Lisa?s apartment in New York that Roberts made her home away from home at age seventeen, and it was Eric who secured the novice actress her first movie role playing his on-screen sister in the still unreleased 1989 western Blood Red.
When Roberts moved to New York, her initial plan was to study acting. However, she soon found that the academic route just didn?t work for her. As she told American Film, ?I never really made it to acting school. I went to acting classes a few times, but it never seemed very conducive to what I wanted to do, somehow. I never really decided, I?ll go to school, I won?t go to school things just sort of happened. Sometimes people seem kind of disappointed by that; they want to hear about all these grueling tears.? She did bounce around for a year, on the one hand enjoying the bohemian life and TV work, but coming up empty.
Because Roberts had become so hot so fast, she found herself exhausted and badly in need of some time off. After Hook she essentially took two years off, during which she could relax away from the spotlight. As Jeol Schumacher revealed in Vanity Fair, ?[Roberts] needed this time off. Deserved it. If she had kept up her professional pace, then people would have accused her of being a workaholic. You can?t win. I mean, though shes very sophisticated in many, many ways now, shes still so very young, and needed some time so she could grow up a bit.? While a two-year hiatus might have proved disastrous for other actresses, Roberts was able to command $8.5 million when she returned to the screen in the 1993 movie The Pelican Brief. Based on John Grisham?s bestseller, The Pelican Brief centers one a law student (Roberts) who discovers the man responsible for the murder of two Supreme Court justices. The movie scored well at the box office, though some critics were less than impressed. The 1994 romantic comedy I love trouble, in which she costarred with Nick Nolte, was neither a critical nor popular favorite.
Although Roberts takes her work very seriously, cultivating a close, supportive base of family and friends and friends is the top priority for her. ?I mean acting is a true love of mine,? she told rolling stone, ?but it?s not the true love. There are times when I get so bogged sown by the politics of this business that I just have these great domestic fantasies. Being at home, and being quiet, and reading , and having a garden, and doing all that stuff. Taking care of a family. Those are the most important things. Movies will come and go, but family is a real kind of rich consistency.?