Reason for Julia Roberts' rom-com break revealed as actor explains why she's stayed away from the genre

Julia Roberts' rom-com history includes Pretty Woman, My Best Friend's Wedding, and Notting Hill. So why doesn't she star in them anymore?

Julia Roberts attends the GASLIT World Premiere on April 18, 2022 in New York City.
(Image credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Julia Roberts' rom-com rap sheet includes some of the best-loved movies of all time.  Despite her obvious flair for the genre, the star hasn't appeared in any romantic comedies for quite some time. 

In recent years the actor has starred in fewer feature films and has turned her talent to the small screen, starring in TV shows including Homecoming and her upcoming series, Gaslit. Sean Penn and Julia Roberts are unrecognizable in the trailer for the Watergate drama, which premieres on Starz on Sunday, April 24, 2022.

As the star of some of the best romantic movies Julia was keen to assert that she hasn't totally spurned the genre, during a recent interview with the New York Times Magazine.

"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," she explained, adding, "Here's the thing: If I'd thought something was good enough, I would have done it."

As well as not being impressed by any scripts, the actor also spoke about the other job she's had over the last 18 years, being a parent, and how that's impacted not only her career but also her decisions.

"That raises the bar even more," she explained, "because then it's not only Is this material good? It's also the math equation of my husband's work schedule and the kids' school schedule and summer vacation. It's not just, Oh, I think I want to do this."

Julia Roberts takes photos of her children on the pitch after the Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 27, 2016 in Manchester, England.

(Image credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Julia explained that her priorities with work-life balance changed as she took to motherhood like a duck to water and grew to have great pride in being there for her family and as a homemaker.

"For so much of my children's younger life, they would see their dad go off and I would work a little, but they almost didn't notice. It was like I was only gone when they were napping or something."

However, she opened up about how life is changing as her children grow older and more aware of the fact that she's not just their mother, she's also an independent, creative woman. Julia explained that she feels a weight of responsibility, especially towards her daughter to lead by example and show them her talents—even if that means some personal sacrifice.

The actor explained, "I do have a sense of responsibility for showing my children that I can be creative and that it's meaningful to me—so meaningful that for periods of time I will choose to focus on that almost more than my family, which has been hard for me to come to terms with."

Aoife Hanna
Aoife Hanna

Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.