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Julia Roberts Explains Why She’s Moving Away From Rom-Coms

Julia Roberts has a number of memorable romantic comedies in her lengthy repertoire, but that doesn’t mean she has to star in them forever. In fact, she says it doesn’t make sense for her to play the protagonist in a rom-com at this point in her life or career, but that doesn’t mean she dislikes the genre or thinks she’s somehow beyond it.

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“There came a point in my career where people thought I had turned on romantic comedies, which I love them, I love to be in them, I love to watch them,” Roberts told Entertainment Tonight on Sunday at a promotional event for her new drama thriller series Homecoming. She added, “But sometimes, they just don’t work at a certain point of life experience. It’s not about age, it’s just about what people know that you know.”

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Roberts has a point. At 50, she’s still conquering career milestones and challenges effortlessly, but since rom-coms rely on their protagonists to be generally inexperienced for their tropes to play out effectively, it doesn’t always make sense for older, more experienced people to play those parts. 

That being said, there are other roles in romantic comedies that Roberts says she might be interested in playing, such as one of “the parents of the people that are rom-com-ing,” as she told ET.

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While some of Roberts’ most famous and enduring film roles include rom-coms like Pretty Woman, Notting Hill and My Best Friend’s Wedding, it’s perfectly valid for Roberts to distance herself from starring romantic comedies because she doesn’t think she’d be believable — especially since that creates space at the table for new young actors to audition for roles like the ones that helped launch her career. In a way, by taking herself out of the running, Roberts is paying it forward, which is fantastic. It also gives her audience a chance to see her take on even more different and dramatic roles than we’re used to seeing from her, which is always exciting.

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