Julia Roberts: A genuine Hollywood icon, vision in glamour

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JULIA ROBERTS Together: You character has a very tough moment seeing her little boy heading off to school for the first time. How was it for you with you kids?
Julia Roberts: Torturous. I hate it. I hate it every day. I want them to stay home with me (laughs). Oceans of tears (laughs).

Bullying is a big issue of concern for my husband and I. We’ve always been very open with them and emphasize the point of telling a grown-up if they’re being picked on or bullied. Always knowing that.

Because bottling it up and trying to compartmentalize which is a virtually impossible task for a child, that’s where the problems stem and grow. So, knowing you have that open dialogue with a parent or a teacher, an adult you trust, is the first step to solving that situation.

How did you become involved with this movie?
I adored the book. I actually bought it for my eldest son after reading about it in the New York Times, forgot about it, discovered again when a lot of time had passed for some reason. I churned through it over a weekend and then I knew I wanted to introduce my children to it but I couldn’t anticipate the reaction it got. We read together all the time, it’s our tradition, family tradition, but with other books, there’s a different response and reaction from my kids who are all at new, constantly evolving times in their lives.

With Wonder, it was extraordinary how equally they were all mesmerized and enraptured.

JULIA ROBERTS That’s a cool tradition you have, all reading together.
I learned it from my father, who would read to us every night, and I loved the tradition – it was my time of the day for wonder, right before I went to sleep.

My kids are now telling me not to do the voices, which they used to love. (laughs) I do know they will enjoy this because they loved the book.

I met a good friend of mine for the first time, years ago and I remember when she walked into the room, I judged her and felt like I immediately knew who she was and what she was about. And I was 99.3 per cent inaccurate. And that has stayed with me, whenever that little voice starts to formulate a judgment, I think of my friend and think, ‘wait, I was wrong then and I’m probably wrong now’.

Do you have a favourite?
Oh, I have favourites (laughs). It changes but I do. The trick is to disguise who that is at various stages (laughs).

What brings you wonder and happiness?
Being with my family, that’s happiness for me. Doesn’t matter what we’re doing, as long as we’re all together.