Julia Roberts"I, like anyone, like to see a nice picture of Clive in a magazine, but I don't need to see a picture of Clive in his boxer shorts taking out his garbage."

'Closer' co-stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen reunite on the big screen this month for 'Duplicity,' a romantic screwball caper comedy in which they play fast-talking spies turned corporate operatives who team up to try to con two rival titans of industry out of million upon millions of dollars -- and perhaps fall in love along the way.

The film, writer-director Tony Gilroy's impressive and assured follow-up to 'Michael Clayton,' boasts plentiful plot twists, the Gatling-gun dialogue of a Bogey-Bacall flick and -- most importantly -- Roberts' first true lead role since 2003's 'Mona Lisa Smile.'

Moviefone sat down with Roberts and a small panel of journalists for a relaxed but revealing chat about the film -- and ended up unearthing quite a few fun facts in the process. From why she and Clive have such great on-screen chemistry to what it takes to be invited into her kitchen to why she'd rather eat the world's biggest, greasiest slab of meat than read a gossip magazine, here are eight things we learned about Julia Roberts.



Julia Roberts'Closer' co-stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen reunite on the big screen this month for 'Duplicity,' a romantic screwball caper comedy in which they play fast-talking spies turned corporate operatives who team up to try to con two rival titans of industry out of million upon millions of dollars -- and perhaps fall in love along the way.

The film, writer-director Tony Gilroy's impressive and assured follow-up to 'Michael Clayton,' boasts plentiful plot twists, the Gatling-gun dialogue of a Bogey-Bacall flick and -- most importantly -- Roberts' first true lead role since 2003's 'Mona Lisa Smile.'

Moviefone sat down with Roberts and a small panel of journalists for a relaxed but revealing chat about the film -- and ended up unearthing quite a few fun facts in the process. From why she and Clive have such great on-screen chemistry to what it takes to be invited into her kitchen to why she'd rather eat the world's biggest, greasiest slab of meat than read a gossip magazine, here are eight things we learned about Julia Roberts. -- By Tom DiChiara

1. Playing venomous lovers in 'Closer' actually did make Julia and Clive closer.

Roberts and Owen first met and became friends on the set of 2004's 'Closer,' in which they played a husband and wife who lie, cheat and verbally abuse the hell out of one another -- and yet Roberts insists they had a blast filming it. "'Closer'... is pretty ferocious at times," she says. "But the great thing about that is that we came from a piece led by 'The Master,' Mike Nichols, and he really forced us to get in there and play those scenes no matter how raw or ugly. And so I think that with that kind of acting you either become good friends and really have a trust for each other, or you never talk to each other again -- you know, you just kind of always feel uncomfortable around that person. And, fortunately, we were the former." The evidence of this friendship can be seen in every chemistry-fueled scene the two share in 'Duplicity' -- a fact of which Roberts is keenly aware: "I think that idea of safety and trust with a person allows you to be more fun and playful, which a lot of these scenes called for -- just that little bit of sparkle and subtext."

Julia Roberts Photos

    PARIS - MARCH 12: Actress Julia Roberts attends "Duplicity" Paris Premiere on March 12, 2009 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Julia Roberts

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    PARIS - MARCH 12: Actors Julia Roberts (L) and Clive Owen (R) attend "Duplicity" Paris Premiere on March 12, 2009 in Paris, France (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Clive Owen;Julia Roberts

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    PARIS - MARCH 12: Actress Julia Roberts attends "Duplicity" Paris Premiere on March 12, 2009 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Julia Roberts

    Getty Images

    PARIS - MARCH 12: Actors Clive Owen (L) and Julia Roberts (R) attend "Duplicity" Paris Premiere on March 12, 2009 in Paris, France (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Clive Owen;Julia Roberts

    Getty Images

    PARIS - MARCH 12: Actress Julia Roberts attends "Duplicity" Paris Premiere on March 12, 2009 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Julia Roberts

    Getty Images

    PARIS - MARCH 12: Actress Julia Roberts attends "Duplicity" Paris Premiere on March 12, 2009 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Julia Roberts

    Getty Images

    PARIS - MARCH 12: Actress Julia Roberts attends "Duplicity" Paris Premiere on March 12, 2009 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Julia Roberts

    Getty Images

    PARIS - MARCH 12: Actress Julia Roberts attends "Duplicity" Paris Premiere on March 12, 2009 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Julia Roberts

    Getty Images

    PARIS - MARCH 12: Actors Julia Roberts (L) and Clive Owen (R) attend "Duplicity" Paris Premiere on March 12, 2009 in Paris, France (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Clive Owen;Julia Roberts

    Getty Images

    U.S. actress Julia Roberts gestures following a presentation for the film "Duplicity", in Paris, Thursday, March 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

    AP



2. Julia likes to lie ... on-screen.

Roberts' sexy corporate double-crosser Claire Stenwick isn't exactly the most moral person she's ever played, but it's impossible not to fall head-over-heels for her -- as Owen's Ray Koval does. And Julia can certainly understand the character's appeal. "Well, I think the thing about Claire as the movie unravels [is] that her armor starts to fall away, or her drive shifts a little," she muses. "The great thing about her is, like her or not, or whatever her motivation is, she's perfectly happy with who she is and what she's doing and how she's accomplishing it. She's kind of ruthless that way, so as things go on and as this relationship unfolds with Ray, for better or worse, it really does change her focus. I just love that scene in the airport in the end, you know, playing that scene. It was just -- it's masterful. Tony is a really, really smart guy because to watch these two people try to put their cards on the table and nobody believes anybody, it's just great! I mean how do you convince the best liar you know that you're not lying! It's kind of, really, a super idea."

3. She wouldn't call 'Duplicity' a comeback, but she hasn't been neglecting her kids either.

Before 'Duplicity,' America's Sweetheart hadn't tackled a full-on leading role since 2003's 'Mona Lisa Smile,' having appeared in mostly ensemble films or supporting roles since starting a family with cameraman Danny Moder (they have three children). But she insists this isn't a comeback. Says Roberts: "Well, it doesn't seem like that long ago that 'Charlie Wilson's War' came out, and then I have a movie ['Fireflies in the Garden'] coming out on Father's Day, so I mean I feel busy ... I think somebody said that I made 13 movies in the past 6 years." When a reporter points out that this includes her voiceover work in 'Ant Bully' and 'Charlotte's Web,' Julia laughingly responds, "Well work is work. If I leave my house to go to work, it's work." And she recognizes that reporters can spin things the other way, too: "Listen, if somebody wanted to, [they could] say I'm not being attentive to my children and, 'Look, she's made all these movies in the past six years.' So you can make whatever case you want." But for her part, Roberts feels that she's been "pretty methodical" in her work habits, pointing out that she doesn't often do multiple movies in the same year. "Early on, I mean, I would take any job that was offered -- not really. But, yeah, I never quite had that kind of momentum in work that some people do. I admire it; I think I'm lazier than that."

4. If you make 'Michael Clayton,' Julia will invite you into her kitchen.

Say you're a filmmaker and you want to get Roberts to commit to your film -- what does it take? "It's just really an instinct. I just kind of feel like, 'Okay, yeah, I want to be a part of this,'" she says. As for why she chose to do 'Duplicity' specifically, the answer is simple: "It's the whole package. I mean, it's certainly a really well crafted script, this one, and Tony is so alluring, that brainiac. You know, he came over to my apartment and sat in my kitchen, and we had a long conversation. And I just remember saying to him: 'If you tell me that you are going to be the guy who has been sitting in my kitchen for the past three hours on the set for the next six months, then I'm in! If you're gonna be this guy.' And he absolutely was the guy that sat in my kitchen. To this day, he is the same person." And in case you were wondering, Roberts adds, "Not everybody gets to come into the kitchen."

5. She's not exactly Paparazzi Superfan No. 1.

Sorry, paps, but Julia just doesn't find those sneaky snapshots of celebs taking their kids to school or picking up their dog's poo all that fascinating. "It's so insidious and pointless," she says of the paparazzi's relentless pursuit to capture the excruciating minutiae of stars' lives. "I think that takes away from getting to have this special moment where you go and see someone in a movie. That magic gets diluted because you see these people every hour, every day in something that's bound together and called a publication ... If I could avoid it altogether I would, but I also love my job. And [in] a situation like this where there's a movie I really enjoyed making, I am happy to talk about it. I just think it'd be nice if there were some clearer divisions of what people think is interesting."

'Duplicity' Trailer





6. She refuses to read the gossip rags.

Julia may be a fixture on the pages of the tabloids, but they're certainly not bathroom reading material in the Roberts-Moder household. "I'm not a consumer. I used to be. It got kind of so sickening." How sickening? "It's like eating a giant cheeseburger, and halfway through you're like: 'What the f*** am I doing?! This is gonna make me sick.'" That said, she's all for a classy photo shoot in a respectable magazine. "I, like anyone, like to see a nice picture of Clive in a magazine, but I don't need to see a picture of Clive in his boxer shorts taking out his garbage. I think that's where people think they want so much coverage. They think they want those private moments stolen away. But they don't really because it does make you sick and you do end up looking at it and thinking: 'I really shouldn't be seeing this. I really shouldn't be voting on the popularity of who has the cutest baby. Doesn't that make me kind of a small person?' So, I think that we just need some relief and some re-programming." And some pants to wear while taking out the garbage.

7. Julia isn't (technically) done with romantic comedies.

While Roberts has moved easily and gracefully from genre to genre, some of her most memorable and beloved films have been romantic comedies: 'Pretty Woman,' 'My Best Friend's Wedding,' 'Notting Hill,' and the list goes on. But she hasn't zipped up her hooker boots or laced up a wedding dress for a rom-com in almost eight years. Still, the 41-year-old actress isn't opposed to doing another one. "It's not dead to me," she says of the genre. "I've read a couple really funny romantic comedy scripts in the last year, which is unusual, but it hasn't been something that I can apply myself to in the circumstances that were presented in the script. Because I think you kind of have to change the game a little bit for it to work the older you get ... You kind of have to change the circumstances to accommodate that and sometimes it just, the map doesn't work for me. But, you know, it's certainly not dead, and I enjoy having the laugh reading it."

8. Julia and niece Emma Roberts never talk shop.

Eighteen-year-old Emma Roberts is quickly climbing the Hollywood ranks, thanks to starring roles in 'Aquamarine,' 'Nancy Drew' and 'Hotel for Dogs,' but it doesn't sound like she's being coached by her Aunt Julia. "I don't really give Emma any advice about show business," Roberts confesses. "You know, our conversations tend to be on a more personal family level." As for her own kids, Julia's in no rush to have them join the family biz.: "My first instinct is that I would prefer if my children wanted to be artists that they wait, you know, that they just wait -- as long as they can."