Julia Roberts: There's an express elevator to rehab

Feb 28, 2012 at 1:49 p.m. ET

Julia Roberts is thankful she entered the movie industry years ago, and believes the young stars of today are being given the short end of the stick. Is Hollywood too harsh?

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts believes it's harder than ever to be a young actor trying to break into the business. The Mirror, Mirror star reflected back on her early days in the film industry during a recent interview with Vanity Fair.

Back before Julia Roberts became a big name in 1990's Pretty Woman she was just another girl with a dream to be in the movies. The 44-year-old told Vanity Fair there was "a time when I was encouraged — as all young actresses are — you know, 'You've got to keep going; you've got to get out there.'"

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Try again is exactly what she did, but Roberts believes the young stars of today aren't given the luxury of a second and third chance. "The business is so different," she explained. "You can never be that new girl that has that moment of 'Where'd she come from?'"

"There's the express elevator and there's rehab," the mother of three said of the grim reality of Hollywood today. "It's so awful; nobody gets a fair trial-and-error period that everybody deserves and everybody needs."

Despite having fought hard to establish her career decades ago, Julia Roberts now covets anonymity. As the mother of 4-year-old son Henry and 6-year-old twins Hazel and Finn, the actress struggles to keep her public persona away from her children.

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As an example of the delicate balance Roberts recalled a time "on a crowded street, and somebody noticed me, and then another person noticed. Somebody said as we were walking past, 'Oh, that's Julia Roberts.' We all just kind of kept going, and then Finn said, 'Yeah, my mom's Julia Robinson.' That's what gives you perspective. It could be Robinson, it could be Johnson, because it has nothing to do with me as a person."

Pick up the latest issue of Vanity Fair for even more from Julia Roberts!

Image via WENN