Julia Roberts, a renowned movie star and recipient of an Academy Award, has gracefully embraced her most cherished roles over the past twenty years: a devoted wife to Danny Moder and a loving mother to Hazel, Phinnaeus, and Henry. Her journey in the film industry has solidified her status as an enduring icon.
Julia Roberts made a conscious decision to prioritize motherhood over her acting career almost 19 years ago, and it’s widely known that her children have been the center of her universe ever since. Even though Roberts’ professional commitments were toned down, her version of stepping back still had a touch of Hollywood magic. As evidence, her pregnancy was integrated into the storyline of the film Ocean’s Twelve, showcasing her ability to balance personal and professional life.
In a 2014 interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Oscar-winning actress shared her perspective on this significant phase of her life. She expressed her deep contentment with the accomplishments she had already achieved and her sense of security in that aspect of her life. Roberts and her husband, cinematographer Danny Moder, embraced the family phase with genuine joy and sincerity.
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In fact, Roberts revealed that for a considerable period, her children were blissfully unaware of her career because she devoted so much time to being present at home. The actress effectively created a nurturing environment where her role as a mother took precedence over her public persona.
The late Mike Nichols, who directed Julia Roberts in Closer (2004) and Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), praised her exceptional role as a mother. According to Nichols, Roberts excelled at maintaining a sense of authenticity in their family life. He noticed the little things that spoke volumes about her dedication to her children. When visiting their home, there were no hired staff tidying up; instead, toys were scattered around, creating a genuine environment with Julia, Danny, and their kids. Nichols admired how Roberts effortlessly shifted her focus away from the spotlight.
Although Roberts eventually revealed her profession to her children, the magnitude of her stardom during the Pretty Woman, Notting Hill, and Erin Brockovich eras might have been challenging for them to fully comprehend. Reflecting on her decision to step back from her career and prioritize motherhood, Roberts described it as an “incredible luxury” during an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow on The Goop Podcast in October 2018. After 18 intense and successful years in the film industry, she believed she had earned the freedom to dedicate her time to her family and explore new avenues with them in their home.
During a conversation with Julia Roberts, she fondly recalled a humorous incident involving her children’s perception of her fame. After her kids found out about her career, they pondered the extent of her fame for about an hour before asking a memorable question: “Are you more famous than Taylor Swift?”
In 2015, Roberts had the opportunity to attend Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tour with her children, which added another layer of excitement to their perspective. Swift graciously interacted with Roberts and her kids, recognizing their status as fans. She even invited Roberts to join her on stage during one of the songs.
Recalling the experience, Roberts shared in an interview with Extra that Swift was incredibly kind to her children, who had never attended a live concert before. When Swift asked Roberts if she would be willing to come on stage and dance, she turned to her children for their input. Overwhelmingly, they encouraged their mother to seize the opportunity. Roberts mentioned that her youngest son, in particular, sweetly added, “Only do it if you want to, Mommy.”
The moment encapsulated a heartwarming exchange between Roberts, her children, and Swift, showcasing the supportive and caring dynamic within their family.
From an early age, Hazel, Finn, and Henry, affectionately called Finn by their parents, had plenty of hints that their parents’ lives were not conventional 9-to-5 jobs. Their upbringing involved frequent travels, playing on film sets and in Broadway theater dressing rooms, and even having the occasional visit from Oscar-winning actors (aside from their mother) at their Malibu home, where they have resided since becoming a family of five.
Despite these extraordinary experiences, Julia Roberts maintains a grounded perspective. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, she expressed her gratitude for the sense of normalcy they have as a family. Roberts treasures the feeling of being like any other family in the neighborhood and embraces it without questioning or doubting its authenticity.
This sentiment underscores the down-to-earth nature and humble approach Roberts takes toward their family dynamics, cherishing the essence of a loving family unit, regardless of their unique circumstances.
In addition to their residence in Malibu, Julia Roberts and Danny Moder have a 30-acre ranch near Taos, New Mexico, where they exchanged vows on July 4, 2002. The actress has always cherished this retreat and enjoyed spending as much time as possible there. However, since their children attend school in Southern California, the majority of their daily activities and memorable moments take place in that region.
The family’s routine includes a myriad of enchanting experiences, such as shared meals, holiday baking sessions, friendly mahjong games, engaging in crafts like knitting and needlepoint, birthday celebrations, attending soccer games, and enjoying activities like surfing and skateboarding. Roberts revealed in a 2009 interview with the U.K.’s Telegraph that there are days when the household chores seem relentless, moving from one meal to the next without a break, contemplating the possibility of ordering takeout to simplify things. However, there are also days when the domestic duties become a source of creativity and great enjoyment. Roberts emphasized that being a mother and wife means integrating these responsibilities into her daily routine. Some days are incredibly fun and rewarding, while others may feel more like a chore—reflecting the experiences shared by many moms and wives.
These glimpses into the Roberts-Moder household highlight the balance between the extraordinary aspects of their lives and the ordinary moments of family life, emphasizing the relatability of their day-to-day experiences.
As the children grew, certain aspects of family life remained unchanged, only growing in significance over time.
One constant that held great importance was the act of eating together. Julia Roberts highlighted the meaningfulness of sharing meals as a family, stating in a 2017 interview with InStyle that it provided an opportunity for incredible conversations. She made it a point to have breakfast and dinner with her children on a daily basis, recognizing the value of starting and winding down the day together, collectively processing their experiences.
In addition to the bonding time shared during meals, Roberts proudly revealed that her children were good eaters. In an interview with E! News, she mentioned that Finn, in particular, enjoyed dishes like salmon with brown rice. Roberts expressed her satisfaction in not encountering any difficulties when it came to getting her children to eat their greens. She playfully commented that she didn’t personally develop a taste for salads until she was around 20 years old, a preference she didn’t share with her children.
These anecdotes demonstrate the significance of shared meals in the Roberts-Moder family, providing a space for connection, conversation, and healthy eating habits.
Julia Roberts attributed her children’s non-fussy palates, in part, to the extensive traveling they do as a family. When traveling, they often have to eat what is available to them, fostering a sense of adaptability in their food preferences. However, Roberts also noted that her cooking skills play a role in their enjoyment of mealtimes. Being a talented cook, she takes pride in preparing meals for her family.
Despite her success and being recognized as the highest-paid actress in Hollywood at times, Roberts ensures that her children receive the same treatment as any regular mom would provide at home. She embraces the role of a “regular mom” wholeheartedly, prioritizing the everyday aspects of parenting and creating a nurturing and loving environment for her children.
This balance between a jet-setting lifestyle and the familiar warmth of home life showcases Roberts’ ability to offer her children unique experiences while grounding them in the joys and routines of family life.
Julia Roberts emphasized the importance of providing her children with a normal and balanced upbringing, even though they have certain advantages that she didn’t have growing up. During an interview on ITV’s Lorraine in 2019, she highlighted her alignment with her husband in maintaining a down-to-earth experience for their kids. While they want to shield their children from some of the struggles Roberts faced in her own childhood, they also believe it is crucial for them to acquire essential life skills such as making their bed, doing laundry, and preparing a meal.
Roberts acknowledged the delicate balance between wanting to provide a more comfortable life for her children while ensuring they have their own experiences and learn to navigate challenges. She acknowledged that they must forge their own paths and have their unique journeys in life.
Despite her fame and success, Roberts remains grounded and unaffected by the opinions of strangers. She shared with Gwyneth Paltrow that returning home from glamorous events and immediately being asked for a snack by her children serves as a humbling reminder of what truly matters. This grounding aspect of motherhood resonated with Paltrow, and they both recognized the importance of maintaining perspective and prioritizing the everyday aspects of family life.
In July 2021, Julia Roberts’ daughter, Hazel, had a remarkable experience as she made her red carpet debut at the age of 16. She accompanied her father, Danny Moder, to the Cannes Film Festival for the screening of Flag Day, a film directed by Sean Penn, for which Moder served as the director of photography. This high-profile event provided Hazel with a closer glimpse of the glamorous world her parents are part of.
Hazel, who hails from the outdoorsy culture of Los Angeles, occasionally shares captivating and often cinematic photos or videos of herself and her siblings on Instagram. However, her appearance at the Cannes Film Festival was undoubtedly her most prominent public outing to date. Nevertheless, it came as no surprise to those familiar with her, as her mother has previously praised her for displaying remarkable poise and maturity beyond her years.
In 2017, Julia Roberts shared an inspiring story about Hazel’s selfless act of donating her hair to create wigs for children with cancer. Despite having long, beautiful blond hair that often attracted comments, Hazel demonstrated tremendous kindness and bravery. She saw her donation as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
Hazel’s actions showcase her compassionate nature and willingness to go beyond societal expectations. Her involvement in philanthropic endeavors at such a young age is a testament to her character and the values instilled in her by her parents.
In 2017, Julia Roberts took her daughter Hazel to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., shortly after the 2016 presidential election and Hillary Clinton’s loss. Both mother and daughter were affected by the outcome, but Roberts was determined to ensure that Hazel still felt a sense of belonging and empowerment in the world. She wanted her daughter to continue believing in the causes and values she held dear, even with a different president in office. This experience was particularly impactful for Roberts, as Hazel became her guide and inspiration in participating and engaging as an active citizen of the country.
Having experienced the loss of her own father at a young age, Roberts finds immense joy in witnessing her children’s growth and development. She cherishes every moment with them, whether they are ordinary and everyday, such as the excitement of back-to-school shopping, or significant milestones in their lives.
These glimpses into Roberts’ parenting journey reflect her deep love for her children and her commitment to instilling in them a sense of purpose, compassion, and engagement in the world around them. She seeks to empower them to navigate life with confidence and make a positive impact, just as she continues to do in her own life.
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Julia Roberts exudes profound love and adoration for her family, and she finds it difficult to put into words without sounding sentimental or silly. She shared with InStyle that her mind is filled with exclamations when she thinks about her family, emphasizing the sheer joy and affection she feels for her husband and children.
Trust is also an essential component of their relationship. Roberts had to have faith in her husband, Danny, when he gave their youngest child, Henry, a home haircut last year. Henry ended up with a quasi-mullet, which Roberts found surprisingly cool. On the Table for Two With Bruce Bozzi podcast, Roberts playfully recalled how she quietly urged Danny not to go for a full mullet, revealing their lighthearted banter and the trust they have in each other when it comes to parenting decisions.
These anecdotes highlight the deep bond and love that exists within the Roberts-Moder family. Their interactions and playful moments demonstrate their shared affection and the trust they have in one another, allowing for a harmonious and loving family dynamic.
Julia Roberts and Danny Moder first crossed paths on the set of the 2001 film The Mexican and have been inseparable ever since. Their connection and love for each other are evident in their lasting marriage.
In July 2022, on their 20th wedding anniversary, Roberts shared a heartwarming Instagram post celebrating their milestone. The photo captured a mid-smooch moment between the couple, accompanied by a caption expressing her joy and love.
Roberts has playfully attributed the secret to their successful marriage to “lots of making out.” She reiterated this sentiment to E! News, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a passionate and affectionate relationship. She firmly stands by this belief, having mentioned it before and continuing to embrace it as a key aspect of their marriage.
During her appearance on The Goop Podcast, Roberts described meeting Moder as a seismic shift in her life. She emphasized the profound impact he had on her and how it forever changed her existence in an indescribable and incredible way. Roberts considers Moder her favorite human, expressing their deep connection and genuine liking for one another. She acknowledges their immense luck in finding such a strong bond and genuine affection.
The love and admiration Roberts expresses for Moder showcase the deep connection they share. Their relationship is built on mutual respect, friendship, and a genuine liking for one another, which have undoubtedly contributed to their lasting marriage.
Throughout their marriage, Julia Roberts and Danny Moder have made it a point to minimize the time they spend apart. The longest period of separation they experienced was seven weeks, and they vowed not to let it happen again. In the past, phone calls were their primary means of communication. However, when they discovered Skype, Roberts excitedly showed their then-four-year-old son, Finn, a video call with his father. However, the sight of his dad on the screen caused Finn to burst into tears. When they finally reunited, they embraced each other tightly, vowing to avoid such lengthy separations in the future.
Typically, Roberts and Moder try not to take on long work assignments simultaneously, unless they have the opportunity to work together. They have collaborated on multiple projects, including the 2015 thriller Secret in Their Eyes. Roberts played the role of a grieving mother, and she relied on her deep trust in her husband and their strong connection to provide her with a sense of security during the intense preparation for the role. Roberts explained that being with Moder is her safest place in the world.
Despite the potential emotional weight of her roles, Roberts firmly believes in leaving her work on set at the end of each day. While she puts her heart and soul into her performances and aims to create a deeply moving experience for the audience, she understands that it is acting and not real life. She finds solace in knowing that she can finish her work, return to her husband, and have dinner with their healthy children. This perspective fills her with gratitude for the blessings in her life.
Julia Roberts and Danny Moder, in addition to instilling life skills in their children, have also recognized the importance of discussing current events and the state of the world with them. They understand that their seemingly idyllic home life can contrast with the challenges and frustrations present in society.
Roberts, who actively encourages civic engagement, urged her Instagram followers to vote in the 2020 election using a Notting Hill-inspired meme. In a 2017 interview with People, she acknowledged the current state of the country, expressing her concern and frustration. However, she emphasized the importance of not giving up hope. Roberts believes that in challenging times, it is crucial for communities, households, and the nation to come together, raise their voices, and strive for positive change.
Having children who are old enough to be aware of politics and world events, Roberts and Moder prioritize honesty in their conversations with them. They want their children to feel empowered and understand that their voices matter. They strive to create an environment where their children can express their beliefs and values confidently, fostering a sense of agency and encouraging active participation in shaping the world around them.
Roberts and Moder’s approach reflects their commitment to raising socially conscious and engaged individuals who can contribute positively to society. They recognize the importance of teaching their children about the realities of the world while also instilling a sense of hope and the belief that their actions can make a difference.
Julia Roberts approaches social media with caution, mindful of what she chooses to share online. While she considers herself private, she also maintains a friendly presence. In a conversation with Oprah Winfrey in 2018, Roberts acknowledged the ease with which one can engage in global affairs and express opinions without leaving the comfort of their home. However, she is mindful of the potential pros and cons that come with it.
When Winfrey asked Roberts if she believed that “unconditional love” would be enough to guide her children in today’s world, she reflected on the differences between her own teenage years and those of her children. Roberts admitted that she and her husband, Danny Moder, do not fully understand what it’s like to be teenagers in today’s society. She acknowledged that her children sometimes ask her questions or discuss topics that she isn’t familiar with, leading her to respond honestly, saying, “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.” This response reflects Roberts’ humility and willingness to learn alongside her children, ensuring that she provides them with guidance and support while acknowledging the unique challenges they face in their generation.
Roberts’ approach highlights her genuine interest in understanding and navigating the ever-evolving landscape of modern life, particularly as it pertains to her children’s experiences. She remains open-minded and willing to explore unfamiliar territory to offer the best guidance possible.
Julia Roberts maintains an unwavering sense of optimism despite the challenges of raising children in the present time. She firmly believes that positive change is possible and emphasizes the importance of actively participating in that belief. Roberts understands that to make things better for everyone, one must have faith in the possibility of improvement and actively contribute to that change.
At the premiere of Ticket to Paradise on September 7, Roberts expressed her emotions through her fashion choice. She wore a customized black Alexander McQueen dress adorned with hearts surrounding her children’s initials, significant years, and uplifting words embroidered in crystals, such as “Hope,” “Darling,” and “Love.” This sartorial display showcased her deep love and hope for her children and the future.
Reflecting on the journey of parenthood during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2017, Roberts emphasized that despite the challenges and uncertainties, parents navigate through trial and error and shed many tears. However, she finds the experience of raising her three incredible children to be amazing and transformative. She marvels at how quickly time flies, cherishing the memories of when they were small.
Roberts’ unwavering optimism, love for her children, and recognition of the fleeting nature of parenthood highlight her deep appreciation for the joys and challenges that come with raising a family.
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