Now that Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are once again engaged, the fashion world has been welcoming low-rise pants with open arms, and Britney Spears in pregnant again, the transformation into the early aughts is almost complete. The last step, is for the queen of rom coms, Julia Roberts, to return to her rightful throne. And luckily, that is exactly what she’s doing. This October, Roberts and George Clooney will star side-by-side in the romcom Ticket to Paradise, Roberts first starring role in the genre in two decades.
During a discussion with The New York Times recently, Roberts insisted she hasn’t purposefully avoided romcoms for the last 20 years. “People sometimes misconstrue the amount of time that’s gone by that I haven’t done a romantic comedy as my not wanting to do one,” she said. “If I had read something that I thought was that Notting Hill level of writing or My Best Friend’s Wedding level of madcap fun, I would do it.” Luckily, Roberts finally found that in the Ol Parker written and directed Ticket to Paradise, though there was something missing. “Even with [Ticket], I thought, well, disaster, because this only works if it’s George Clooney. Lo and behold, George felt it only worked with me. Somehow we were both able to do it, and off we went.”
Roberts headed to Australia to shoot the film with costars Clooney, Kaitlyn Dever, Billie Lourd, and Lucas Bravo not long after she wrapped her other upcoming project, Gaslit. “To play these scenes with the greatest dramatic actor, I think, of my generation in Sean Penn, and then run around Australia with George playing these very funny scenes—I’m living my acting dreams,” she said.
These days, Roberts is pretty busy with various projects, but there was a while when we really didn’t see too much of her. “It wasn’t by design so much as not finding something that I was interested in,” she said. “I was surprised how quickly the years seemed to go by.” The actress was also busy raising her three kids over the past 18 years, but now, she’s finding more time for her own pursuits. “As they get older...I do have a sense of responsibility for showing my children that I can be creative and that it’s meaningful to me,” she said. So, it’s possible we will see Roberts in more romcoms in the future, following Ticket. “I love to laugh and be funny. It’s a joy to play in that sandbox. It has been a long time.”