She has, arguably, been the leading lady in Hollywood for the last 20 years. But even Julia Roberts gets nervous about her film projects, including her latest: a big-screen adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling memoir, Eat Pray Love.
But it's a good thing.
"If I'm not feeling anxious and excited and nervous, then I haven't invested much in it, and I shouldn't be there," Roberts, 42, says. "So, really, I just want to put myself in a position where I am really feeling like I have to ramp up and accomplish my goals."
Here are some other interesting tidbits culled from an AP visit with Roberts and Eat Pray Love director Ryan Murphy.
HE'S NERVOUS, TOO: Murphy confessed he also faced a bout of nerves — but only about meeting his star. "I was really nervous before I met her because I have been a fan, too. I have seen all of her movies," he said. "Nothing surprises me about her because what you see is what you get with Julia, which is why I think people love her and why she lasts and continues to last. Because she is very sincere, very empathetic, and compassionate. What I didn't know is how funny she was."
GLOBE-TROTTING: To take Gilbert's memoir to the big screen, the film crew replicated the author's round-the-world journey. And Roberts' family — including 5-year-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus as well as 3-year-old Henry — came along for the ride. "Well, the funny thing is, they had just been in India because my husband (photographer Danny Moder) had just been working there in January and this was in October," Roberts explained. "So, we had been in Jaunpur and Agra and all these places, Goa … They loved it. So, when I said we were going back, they were so excited."
OFF-SCREEN WORK: Since her box-office breakthrough in 1990's Pretty Woman, Roberts has done little work for the small screen — until now. She serves as a producer of a documentary series set to debut in January on Oprah Winfrey's new cable network. "It's called Extraordinary Moms," said Roberts. "It really is, for me, a celebration, a show to honor moms who I think do. … I mean, every mom does amazing things every day. But we found some that really, really are extraordinary, and we wanted to make a show about it. Oprah made it happen for us."