America’s sweetheart, the darling of rom-com, the actress with the sunniest smile in Hollywood: all of these could be used to describe Julia Roberts, who turns 48 today.
As a stalwart of romantic comedies, she made Hugh Grant blush, Richard Gere soften and Cameron Diaz a happy bride. However, for every comedy and dash of romance, there was a crime caper or an intense drama; and who can forget her as Tinkerbell in Steven Spielberg’s epic fantasy adventure, Hook?
Just shy of 50, the actress is as busy as ever, flitting from playing a vain queen in Mirror Mirror to getting an Oscar nomination last year for August: Osage County.
M-Net Movies is celebrating her illustrious and romantic career by taking a look at her best dramatic and comedic roles to date.
Any list detailing Julia Roberts’ most iconic roles has to include the vivacious Vivian. In this modern-day Cinderella story, she stole everyone’s heart by adding warmth and wit to a character that could easily have been rendered superficial.
Roberts didn’t stray far from home, as she took on the role of a Hollywood star in this London-based rom-com. It’s her chemistry with Hugh Grant that’s the charm, rivalled only by her on-screen sparks with Richard Gere.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
Taking a backseat as the love interest, Roberts plays best friend to Dermot Mulroney and reluctant maid of honour to Cameron Diaz. Roberts sparkles and snaps in the role, boosted by her entertaining riff with Rupert Everett.
Acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh found a favourite in Julia Roberts when it came to his leading ladies. They have worked together four times, starting with Roberts’ gritty portrayal of the title character in Erin Brockovich. The role led to a string of awards for the star, including her first Oscar.
Pretty Woman brought Roberts unprecedented fame and fortune, skyrocketing her career to the point that she remained the world’s highest paid actress throughout the ‘90s. However, thanks to her Oscar-nominated role in Steel Magnolias, critics and filmmakers had already started taking note of the young, and relatively new, actress who stood out amongst a stellar cast that included Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine and Daryl Hannah.
Based on the play by Patrick Marber, the four central characters in his intense drama are the kind actors dream of. Complex and confused, dramatic and distraught, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman and Jude Law perfectly portrayed every emotion without ever tumbling into melodrama.
Do you agree with our pick of comedic and dramatic roles? Have your say on Facebook and Twitter, and tune into M-Net Movies Family on Friday 6 November at 19:00 as Julia Roberts lends her voice to the spider of the title, in Charlotte’s Web.