Julia Roberts is one of the greatest living actresses our time. Her roles are a cultural touchstone that have helped us define brilliant stories about womanhood: the charming, uncompromising sex worker in Pretty Woman, a gusty lawyer in Erin Brockovich for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
That success came very early for Roberts, who found fame with 1988's Mystic Pizza, when she was just 21. A year later, she appeared in the ensemble cast of Steel Magnolias, for which she was nominated for her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. "I was my [only] priority," Roberts tells Harper's. "A selfish little brat running around making films." Of course, one's early twenties are the cradle for that kind of self-prioritization; that's the time in our lives when we are trying to figure both who we are and how to become the person we want to be. We don't blame Roberts for focusing on herself at all, even if she feels it was selfish.
She also talks about being selective in choosing her roles. At this point in her career, she doesn't have anything to prove. "Remember why you're doing what you're doing," she advises, and honestly, this are sage words that could apply outside Hollywood.
"That's your anchor. Cultivate your taste and decision making...Deep down, we all know you can't stand on the top point of a pinnacle on your tiptoes, and not at some point lose your balance, or get tired...There are great things I've accomplished and I'd be happy to accomplish more, of course."
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