11 Facts About Julia Roberts That Prove She’s Full of Surprises
The queen of rom-coms, Julia Roberts is undoubtedly a Hollywood icon who has maintained her status as an A-list actress for over 3 decades. She is well-known for her acting skills as well as her effortlessly glamorous red-carpet style. And despite the passing of time, she appears to have not aged, and many people are fascinated by her. Below, we’ve collected lesser-known facts about her that are about to leave you bewildered.
1. Her real surname is Mitchell.
It was recently revealed that Julia Roberts didn’t get the surname “Roberts” biologically. This information came to light after a TV show conducted research into Roberts’ family history. They discovered that her great-great-grandmother had married a man named Willis R. Roberts, but he died more than a decade before her great-grandfather, John, was born.
Additionally, a DNA test conducted on Roberts and her cousin showed that they were both related to an ancestor named Henry McDonald Mitchell Jr., which means that the actress is actually biologically a Mitchell, not a Roberts. Her real name would have been Julia Mitchell.
2. Her stepfather didn’t treat her well.
Julia Roberts’ parents were both passionate about the performing arts, but their marriage ended when she was only 4 years old. Her mother’s new husband proved to be a difficult figure in Roberts’ life. He was rough with her and her siblings, but her mother eventually divorced him before Roberts graduated high school.
3. Her biological father passed away.
In addition to her issues with her stepfather, when Roberts was just 10 years old, she lost her biological father to throat cancer. At a young age, she had to endure many difficult experiences.
4. She was a model at the very beginning of her career.
Despite the hardships she faced in her childhood, Roberts still managed to pursue her passions. As a teenager, she was part of the school band and had aspirations of becoming a veterinarian. However, after graduating high school in 1985, her plans took a different direction. She moved to New York City, signed with a modeling agency, and started taking acting classes.
5. She had a passionate romance with Liam Neeson.
At one point in time, Julia Roberts and Liam Neeson had a romantic relationship. However, their relationship was met with controversy due to the large age gap between them, with Roberts being 19 and Neeson being 35. Nevertheless, despite that fact, they moved in together, but their romance was short-lived and ended after a year.
6. Her breakout role was in Mystic Pizza.
Many people consider Roberts’ most iconic role to be in the romantic comedy, Pretty Woman, which helped establish her as a household name. However, her breakout role was actually in the coming-of-age film, Mystic Pizza, which was released in 1988.
Roberts knew she had made it as a star when a fan approached her in a public restroom and asked if she had been in Mystic Pizza, and after she confirmed it, the fan asked for her autograph, sliding a napkin under the door.
7. She had a hard time behind the scenes of Steel Magnolias.
Steel Magnolias is a drama flick that is remembered by many as a tear-jerker about southern women from different backgrounds. However, the behind-the-scenes experience for the cast was not as positive. Actress Shirley MacLaine has shared that the director of the film was particularly harsh toward Roberts, criticizing her acting and even suggesting she cut off the mole she had under her eye.
8. She had an affair with her married co-star, Kiefer Sutherland.
After her relationship with Liam Neeson, Roberts moved on to co-star Dylan Mcdermott during the filming of Steel Magnolias. However, she soon began dating another co-star, Kiefer Sutherland. The relationship was complicated, as Sutherland was already married with a young child at the time, but he separated from his wife and began dating Roberts.
Unfortunately, Sutherland ended up having an affair with another woman who sold the story to the press and spoke poorly of Roberts. Surprisingly, despite all the drama, Roberts and Sutherland got engaged afterward.
9. She actually was a real “runaway bride.”
In real life, Roberts’ story mirrored that of the character she played in the movie, Runaway Bride. She had made arrangements for a big wedding. The ceremony was set to take place just a month after the engagement. However, 3 days before the wedding, Roberts called it off and left for Ireland with her friend, Jason Patric, who was also best friends with her then-fiancé, Kiefer Sutherland.
10. She had a lifelong feud with director Steven Spielberg.
Working on the movie Hook with Steven Spielberg caused a bitter quarrel between the actress and the director, and the 2 never worked together again. According to Spielberg, Roberts was difficult to work with, refusing to leave her trailer for hours and proving to be hard on the crew. However, according to Roberts, it was Spielberg who was the nightmare to work with, and the 2 haven’t resolved their dispute until today.
11. She sided with her brother’s ex-wife in a custody battle for her niece.
Typically, family members tend to support each other, but Julia Roberts made it clear where her morals stood in a particular situation involving her brother. When her brother and his wife separated and went through a custody battle for their daughter, Roberts paid for her brother’s ex-wife’s legal representation. This suggests that her brother’s actions were particularly egregious.
What’s your favorite Julia Roberts movie? Drop the title in the comment section below.