Julia Roberts Thinks Hollywood Ageism Is "Made Up"
America’s reigning rom-com queen, Julia Roberts, is returning to the public fore in a medium somewhat foreign to the Oscar-winning Hollywood veteran: television.
But Roberts’s TV debut isn’t your typical “hold for commercial break” fare — she stars as former psychologist Heidi Bergman in the Amazon streaming series Homecoming, the long-awaited second act from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail.
At 50, Roberts is entering a new phase in her career, but in an interview with the U.K.'s iNews, she maintains that her age has nothing to do with it. “I think that’s made up, that at a certain age, the bell is going to ring and you are done. I don’t think anybody buys into that,” she said of Hollywood ageism.
“I don’t think I am special. I’ve always been fortunate that I have found the work I am looking for. I mean, 30 years is a long time — and I am grateful and satisfied.” Obviously, women over that elusive "certain age" are more than capable of prolonged careers (which was maybe the point Roberts was making), but sometimes it boils down to the availability of roles.
Though she might not see it, Roberts is, in fact, special. She’s one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, maybe ever, so it’s understandable that she wouldn’t be able to see the shift in her own career. Other actresses, including Oscar winner Geena Davis, admit they have “a front row seat” to the industry’s ageism. “The numbers show that female characters are profoundly skewed toward younger females and the bulk of male characters are older, so that’s definitely a big problem,” Davis told InStyle just last month.
All that considered, it appears that Roberts hasn't always felt this way. In a 2017 interview the actress told The Telegraph that she's "taken a big risk in not having had a facelift."
Clearly, when it comes to aging in Hollywood, it's complicated.