Film & TV

Julia Roberts Talks New Film Wonder and the Importance of Human Connection

L'Officiel caught up with the American icon to discuss her latest project and the perils of social media.
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Julia Roberts has not really changed since Pretty Woman; she still possesses the same confidence, the same empathy, and the same natural charm coupled with a hypnotic aura. Her latest role, as the mother of a child with Treacher Collins syndrome in Stephen Chbosky's Wonder, has been very well received, and she's looking as beautiful as ever in a new campaign out for the tights brand Calzedonia. And yet, Roberts, whose smile is worth far more than a million dollars, still traces her career path with humility. Here, we caught up the Hollywood superstar under a late summer sun in Verona.

 

Being an ambassador of a tights line, while your legs are the object of a fascination, of a myth itself, is this a way for you to play with your own image?

In part, yes. I find it fun and important to cultivate all those things that are part of you and that you can never change, without dwelling on what it generates. This story of legs, of a smile... all this is only a dice throw. My two sisters and I have different physiques. Chance wanted me to inherit such legs.

The acceptance of differences is the whole subject of your latest film, Wonder...

Today, people, especially the youngest ones, have trouble taking the time to get to know each other. Someone on the outside might not be handsome inside, and vice versa, you know? Everything is going very quickly around us, the children are parasitized by all their gadgets...it's a nice idea to say: "Let's take the time to sit and talk together."

You think about the impact of social networks on human relationships...

My opinion is mixed. I like the idea of ​​being able to keep in touch with people we rarely see, who are far away...but virtuality creates a separation, a barrier with the human experience. Nothing replaces sharing space, time, a conversation with someone.

Let's talk about legs...and cinema. What's one mythical scene you can think of?

The dialogue between Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman in Mike Nichols's The Graduate: "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me, aren't you?" 

What has changed since that film, in 1967, in the way of filming, these famous "compasses" that Truffaut was talking about at the same time?

Many things have changed, not only in the cinema, in real life too. Today, people are much more comfortable with their bodies, they strip themselves in the street, and that's a good thing. However, I find that in the cinema – and I do not want to talk like a grandmother — trivializing nudity reduces the ability of the seventh art to suggest. Today, directors have more trouble provoking as they did in the 1960s and 1970s — like with a simple touch of the legs. 

Stephen Chbosky's Wonder is in theaters now.

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