Julia Roberts has a legacy few actresses can boast of. There are two ways to describe her career graph — one, as legitimate showbiz royalty and two, as probably one of the pickiest actresses from her generation.
What then, compelled her to take on this role which sees her collaborating with other formidable names like George Clooney and Jodie Foster, who is directing the duo in 'Money Monsters'? In an exclusive chat with hitlist, the actress spills some secrets from her on-set adventures and her future plans among other things.
Q. Apparently George Clooney reached out to you with the script of 'Money Monsters'?
A. Yeah he did, and I thought it sounded interesting and intriguing. And of course there was the element of Jodie Foster. I told him, 'Of course, send it to me... I'd love to read the script.' And I have to say I do read a lot of them, but this was one of those things that I just sat down and read in one full swoop; it was just so terrific. I just got really excited, not even so much about the idea of hoping to be a part of it, but just the idea of it as a potential movie. I just thought, 'Wow, this is really a dynamite'.
Q. What was it that caught your attention the way it did? It's common knowledge that you're picky about your scripts.
A. For me, it was the stuff that will probably go unnoticed, not so much the foreground of the character. It was her background, which I thought was really interesting. I just thought of her as very much a New Yorker, third-generation in television — you know, that her dad was probably in television, her grandfather was probably in television. And that this is her world — that control room. Also the relationship and rapport that my character has with George's... Of how different they are and yet how they have an appreciation for each other, which I think is getting a little bit exhausted at times. All of that is fun to play.
Q. Let's talk about Jodie Foster. It's surprising, with your individually prolific body of work that you haven't worked together before.
A. We never had. In fact, as many times as we've crossed paths over the years, I think I've actually maybe only ever spoken to her, ever so briefly, a couple of times, ever.
Q. Were you an admirer of her work?
A. I remember going to my first ever Independent Spirit Awards for Mystic Pizza (in 1989) and she was there for Four Corners. And I just remember thinking, "I'm just a table away from Jodie Foster!"
Q. How is she like on the other side of the camera?
A. She was just so fired up about the project and it was really infectious — how excited and enthusiastic she was. She's such a consummate actor that to get her incredible intellect as a director intertwined with the deliciousness of her acting, as her point of view, I mean what more could anybody ask for?
Q. And what was it like when you were finally working with her on set?
A. Well, just everything I could have hoped for, really. It's funny too because she's incredibly encouraging almost to the point where I was like... 'Come on, tear it apart! Tear my performance apart!' You know, 'Fix it for me! Jodie-Foster it!' And she was like, 'No, you've got it. You're exactly right. You've got it.' And I'm thinking, 'I just want to be Jodie Foster.'
Q. Has this experience inspired you to take up direction yourself?
A. No! It in fact inspires me to stay away from directing even more.
A. It just makes me realise how totally unqualified I am for that job. I think, if anything, I would want to go back to theatre.
Q. Is that a possibility?
A. I would love it... I mean there's nothing sitting on my desk that I'm being coy about. But I would love it.
Q. You've worked with George Clooney several times over the years. How was it like facing the camera with him again?
A. We have. And it's my great fortune to have such talented friends. I've worked with him as an actor, director and producer and I just think we're very much alike in our approach to work. We both really enjoy what we do and put a lot of effort and joy into it. It's so terrific. And when you get to work with such people over and over again, I think it just allows you to fine-tune it (acting skills) just that much more each time, which is a real gift.
Q. What does this movie have in store for us, as an audience?
A. It's just one of those great thrilling, movies. I think the things about it that are funny are unexpected; the things about it that are suspenseful are unexpected... You kind of bite your nails a little bit through this one.