Julia Roberts has some choice words for Hollywood executives who don’t believe women should have acting careers after a certain age. The Academy Award-winning actor, who turns 51 this month, opened up about ageism in Hollywood in a new interview and how she’s skeptical about it.
“I think that’s made-up bullshit that at a certain age, the bell is going to ring and you are done, go on back home,” Roberts told U.K. outlet I News in an interview published Friday. The uncensored quote comes from E! News, who shared a preview of the interview on Thursday.
Roberts said that when it comes to this type of blatant ageism, “I don’t think anybody buys into that.” She also reflected on her own lengthy career: “I don’t think I am special. I’ve always been fortunate that I have found the work I am looking for. I mean, 30 years is a long time — and I am grateful and satisfied.”
For Roberts, finding work she’s looking for includes knowing what she can convincingly play. As an example, at a promotional event on Sunday for her new drama series Homecoming, Roberts said that in her opinion, she’s no longer the right fit for protagonist roles in romantic comedies. “It’s not about age, it’s just about what people know that you know,” she said.
Roberts has achieved a number of important milestones in her career, including becoming the first woman to break the $25 million per film payday in 2003’s Mona Lisa Smile, according to I News.
“It’s an ongoing thing that we wish was more in the rear-view mirror,” she said of the wage gap between men and women in Hollywood. “But every day… today I know the World Surf League announced that they will have equal pay for their female surfers and male surfers. And Manchester United has a female team that started this year. I think there are places where people are really making efforts in the right direction. So if it’s a little bit of time, then we have to take it.”
Roberts has delivered some truly thought-provoking comments during press for Homecoming, in which she plays psychologist Heidi Bergman, who may (or may not) be the bad guy in the story. Her candor is much appreciated.