Julia Roberts graces the November cover of Harper’s Bazaar wearing an evening gown and a pair of sneakers while she climbs up the side of a rock. The issue is themed around the concept of daring, which for Roberts is a concept that extends well beyond her fear of heights and into her life as a whole — something she says, now that she’s into her 50s, is changing all the time.
In conversation with Oprah Winfrey for the magazine, Roberts said her actual 50th birthday was pretty perfect. She and her husband, Daniel Moder, went on a small private getaway. “It was just the two of us, and there was a point where I thought, ‘Gosh, this is kind of weird,'” Roberts said. “Not being all together with the kids, the five of us, for my birthday. I was kind of like, ‘Huh. Maybe I didn’t think this all the way through.'”
However, Roberts’ family had something special up their sleeves. On the day of her actual birthday, her husband and her kids worked together to surprise her: “We went into this surf shop, and I go to the bathroom in the back of the store, and I come out and Danny’s standing there holding a surfboard, and he goes, ‘What do you think of this one?’ I said, ‘That’s a big board. What is that for?’ He moves it, and all three kids are standing behind it. I could burst into tears thinking about it…. That’s what getting older is about — it’s about turning even more into the person your loved ones know you to be.”
Roberts said that her recent foray into Instagram was prompted by her kids, who thought it would be cool if she joined the social media platform. She also admitted that comments on a photo posted by her niece, fellow actor Emma Roberts, made her feel for teenagers who are growing up in a social media-laden atmosphere.
“[T]he number of people who felt absolutely required to talk about how terrible I looked in the picture…. I was amazed at how that made me feel,” Roberts said. “I’m a 50-year-old woman and I know who I am, and still my feelings got hurt. I was sad that people couldn’t see the point of it, the sweetness of it, the absolute shining joy of that photo. I thought, ‘What if I was 15?'”
In a similar vein, Roberts said that she is constantly seeking to learn more about the environment in which her kids are growing up. “Danny and I really don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager today. Sometimes my kids ask me things and I just say to them, ‘I’m going to say no, and I’m going to look into it because I don’t even know what we’re talking about,'” she admitted.
While it’s hard to believe Roberts is now in her early 50s, it is easy to understand how she’s become one of the most legendary figures alive in Hollywood today. Her vulnerability, even in this one interview, is unparalleled.