"I got lucky because ... the strange culture of celebrity and the Internet age — I kind of am too old for that silly mess that goes on," says Julia Roberts, who stars in 'August: Osage County.'
(Photo: Todd Plitt, USA TODAY)
NEW YORK - Julia Roberts doesn't flaunt adorable snaps of her three kids on Instagram. She doesn't post her whereabouts on Twitter. And when a friend recently gave her a copy of J.D. Salinger's short stories, she penned an honest-to-god thank-you note, written on actual paper, that was shared only with its intended recipient.
Roberts, once anointed America's sweetheart, hailed as the biggest star on the planet and heralded as the world's highest-paid actress, knows exactly how to disappear, whether at homes in California, New Mexico or Manhattan, where she lives with her husband, Danny Moder,
"We try to protect our kids. We just want to have our family life and not have that intruded upon," she says.
For Roberts, that means trusting her instincts about juggling her public and private selves. "There has to be some natural understanding of what I feel good about, what can satisfy most people from me, and just try to find that happy balance," she says.
She recently managed the impossible: taking her entire brood to Disneyland without generating any headlines. "I'd never been there. We took the kids there. When we were leaving, Danny said, 'What did you think?' It's the most magical place on earth. We did everything. We had so much fun. You have to just go with it. Get into a meditation about it," she says.
That means Roberts, 46, is grateful she hit success when you didn't have to worry about your every move ending up on Facebook or Twitter.
"I also think I got lucky because ... the strange culture of celebrity and the Internet age - I kind of am too old for that silly mess that goes on. I'm glad about that. It's helped that I'm definitely of a particular age," she says.
She's not afraid to go there, showcasing an exterior often as haggard as her interior, in her Golden Globe- and SAG-nominated turn in August: Osage County (in select theaters Friday). As the eldest daughter of a harridan dying of mouth cancer, Roberts' frumpy, depressed Barbara is a study in barely repressed rage: at her cheating husband, her letdown of a life and, most of all, her pill-addicted mother (Meryl Streep).
Vanity, says Roberts, "was just not part" her performance. "We all have those phases where you're over it and over yourself. For Barbara, it's gotten a little critical. It's kind of fun to have more (than looks) to rely on."
Besides, says Roberts, she can spruce up.