The star whose movies have earned over three billion dollars is picky about her new movie roles, but gladly took on the role of the jewelry ambassador for Chopard
The story is true: in the fall of 2017, around five o’clock in the afternoon, a casually dressed woman with a pink cap on her head walked into the Bokeria Kitchen & Wine restaurant in Split, Croatia. The restaurant was almost empty, the staff had just set the tables for the evening shift. A surprise guest who wanted to have lunch but without prior reservation, was reluctantly seated at one of the high tables on the side and was also told that other guests would soon be arriving to that table. In other words – hurry up.
She smiled widely and at that moment it became clear to the waiter that the guest was Julia Roberts. Pretty woman, herself. When she had eaten the ordered dish, the co-owner of the restaurant came to greet her, to thank her for her visit and to ease a feeling that she had not exactly received deserved treatment. But one of the world’s most popular actresses did not give the impression of dissatisfaction at all.
They chatted for a while, and then the star booked a table for ten people on the first floor of the restaurant, where the next day she had dinner in privacy with the friends, also included Daniel Moder, a cinematographer, and her husband, who was filming a movie in Split at the time.
Regardless of whether she wears a sports cap on the street, or jewels around her neck on the red carpet, Julia Roberts looks equally convincing and natural. This is perhaps best confirmed by James Gray, an American director whose five films have so far been shown in the official program of the Cannes festival, the most famous of which are ‘Little Odessa’ and ‘Armageddon Time’.
Gray was hired by the Swiss watch and jewelry company Chopard to direct the Feel Good campaign for them, 12 video clips in which Julia Roberts is the main star alongside watches and spectacular jewelry. In recent years, she has been the muse and ambassador for the collection of women’s watches and jewelry of this prestigious luxury house, a family owned company since 1860. The They also produce the Golden Palm, the most important award of the film festival on the Côte d’Azur, and the Chopard Loves Cinema program is just one more link with the film industry.
‘Julia Roberts is that rare thing: a genuine movie star. She also happens to be a person with the tremendous sense of humor about it all, and somehow she hasn’t let her legendary status go to her head. And the work is always a pleasure, if for no other reason than the fact that the camera is as big a fan of Julia’s as I am! Both Julia and Chopard embody a true sense of happiness’, that’s how director James Gray described their collaboration.
Julia Roberts wanted to become a veterinarian, but in 1987, at the age of twenty, she made her debut in the TV series ‘Crime Stories’. The attention of the audience and critics she won two years later in ‘Steel Magnolias’. She starred in it alongside Hollywood legends Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine and Dolly Parton, but it was she, an unknown girl from the small town of Smyrna in Georgia, who earned her first Oscar nomination, for a supporting role.
The second nomination, for the leading role, she earned in romantic comedy ‘Pretty Woman’ with Richard Gere: she played a prostitute who stole the heart of her client. Then followed ‘The Pelican Brief’, ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’, ‘Michael Collins’, ‘Notting Hill’… Finally, the story of Erin Brockovich, a lawyer who defeated a powerful Californian oil company, in 2000 brought her double satisfaction: she won the Oscar for the leading actress and became the first one to be paid 20 million dollars for the role.
A year later, on the set of the gangster comedy ‘Mexican’, she met cameraman Daniel Moder, whom she soon married on her ranch in New Mexico and later gave birth to three children, twins – girl and boy in 2004, and the son in 2007. Motherhood did not slow down her career, she only became more selective in accepting the roles.
The films starring Julia Roberts earned almost three billion dollars, with her sister Lisa Roberts Gillan she founded the production company Red Om Films (which is the reverse of the family name Moder), and started to support various projects, from women’s rights protection to raising the public awareness.
She made a documentary about the genetic disorder known as Rett syndrome and lent her voice to the Mother Nature documentary about climate change. At the end of the year, the premiere of the psychological thriller ‘Leave the World Behind’ directed by Sam Esmail is expecting on Netflix. Julia Roberts stars alongside Ethan Hawke, and the film is produced by Michelle and Barack Obama’s company Higher Ground Productions.
‘I don’t have the bug to work. I have the bug to make good movies, and those don’t come along very often’, once she explained her choice of films. Perhaps this attitude is the reason why in the world of cinema she is synonymous for authentic glamour. The image of pretty woman with an irresistible smile and an incredible sparkle in her eyes, is comparable to the playful creations of the Happy Diamonds collection. And it doesn’t fade.
Julia Roberts The Feel Good Interview
WHAT IS YOUR FEEL-GOOD MOMENT IN CANNES?
The first time I was there, running late and racing down the hallway. Somebody was still sewing me into my dress, so we were all running down the hallway to the elevator and somebody was sewing away. And I just thought ‘It’s so classic’. It was a ‘Cannes’-Do moment.
YOUR FEEL-GOOD PARTY?
A Feel-Good party is my birthday party as my husband always organises some fun birthday parties for me.
YOUR FEEL-GOOD MOVIE?
‘The Philadelphia Story’ starring Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant.
YOUR FEEL-GOOD SURPRISE?
I think any time friends turn up from out of town is always a good surprise.
YOUR FEEL-GOOD CITY?
Paris is the ‘city of lights’ and I have some very good friends that live in Paris, so it always makes me happy to see them. Plus my very best friend is Parisian.
YOUR FEEL-GOOD VALUE?
The greatest single value that we can share with each other is compassion.
A CHOPARD FEEL-GOOD VALUE?
I think that for a luxury house like Chopard to be leading the way in being such a champion of sustainability in this line of work is pretty impressive.
YOUR FEEL-GOOD MUSIC?
Across the board, what always makes you feel good is the Beatles.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
My family. My friends. My health.
DO YOU CELEBRATE THE DAY OF HAPPINESS?
Every day to me is international happiness day, Global Happiness Day.
Text Dubravka Tomeković Aralica
Photos Greg Williams