|[Credits: Dave Lachance of Las Vegas,
Nevada, provided the audio tape for Julia's appearance with Larry
King on CNN. Thanks Dave for making the text of the interview available.]
Larry: By the age of 22 this powerful Hollywood woman, who prefers
to be called an "actor" not an "actress, was twice nominated for
an Academy Award, seemed to have it all but life on screen may have
been easier than her private world, now however happily married,
and making back-to-back movies. She seems cemented at the pinnacle.
Julia Roberts now stars in an action/comedy romance, styled from
the classics of the thirties and the forties. She plays a smart,
sassy cub reporter in I Love Trouble, from Touchtone Pictures, a
division of Disney, what else, they own everything. In theaters
nation-wide now her cohort in the battle of the sexes is Nick Nolte,
with whom we'll talk later on. The movie is both classic and contemporary,
like its star Julia Roberts.
You look pretty good Julia. Thanks for joining us; don't be shy.
Don't pull the shy thing on me we all know you're not shy. Why did
you pick this role and what is your role in role selecting, how
do you choose what you do?
Julia: I am very shy, very shy right now. I read a script and it's
pretty much just an immediate reaction to reading it that I know
whether or not that it's something that I want to do.
Larry: It's all gut?
Julia: Yeah, for the most part I'd say.
Larry: If you like it do you also think commercial, do you also
say this will be a hit?
Julia: No, how can you know that? If people could figure that out,
guess what, there'd be no bombs.
Larry: That's true, but does that enter into your thinking? Do
you say this could be a great commercial success or this is wonderful
but it's not going to be a commercial success.
Julia: No. I either like it or I don't. I want to do it or I don't.
And that's based on how the character appeals to me and how the
character translates into the story, or I just feel it.
Larry: Are there a lot of I wanna dos that never come out?
Julia: What do you mean?
Larry: Scripts you get, oh yes I love this and then something in
the transmission doesn't work.
Julia: From time to time.
Larry: Basically , if you're offered a script and you like it you
Julia: Yeah. I want to make one thing clear. No, just because you
mention at the beginning that I prefer to be called an actor than
an actress ...
Larry: Someone told me that.
Julia: No, it's true, but it sounds almost sort of like anti-my
gender or something, but if I were a poet you'd call me a poet not
a poetess. So, it's sort of like, we're all actors.
Larry: When is it -- actor is correct, you are all actors, role
players on a stage, you're all poets, you're all authors, you write
a book, so that's what you mean, you're not anti-feminist. It was
on your mind right? Through the whole first two questions you were
thinking, I've got to get this straight.
Julia: No, I just thought it when I heard it and I just said it.
Larry: Okay. Starting so young, was that, as you reflect back,
being in a hit early, good?
Julia: Well, I'm sure I prefer it to being a failure.
Larry: I know, but sometimes they say too much, too soon can cause
problems in any artistic business.
Julia: Well, I think everything for its purpose, I don't think
we're ever given anything that we can't deal with, that we're not
sort of meant to understand and act accordingly to what we need
to do. I mean, I've always felt a very even sense of perspective
for what and why I do what I do so I think that lends itself to
a balance when things around you sort of become heady and overwhelming,
that I just sort of stand still in the center and maintain myself.
Larry: Where did you grow up?
Larry: Was Eric first in the business before you?
Julia: My parents.
Larry: What did they do?
Julia: They ran a theater school when I was a child.
Larry: So you were on stage all the time or around it.
Julia: Well, I was in the dirt off the stage, playing in my diapers.
Eric and Lisa actually, my other sister who is also an actor, they
did a lot of plays.
Larry: Did you open curtain setups, did a little help.
Julia: Just sat. I was a loiterer, I was the youngest, I was just
a kid you know so I would just sort of sit and watch everybody,
but I head great pictures of all of them sort of doing this stuff.
Larry: Where along the line did Julia Roberts say, this is what
I want to do, this is what want, spend my life playing other people?
Julia: I think all along the way I sensed it but not really having
to say anything about it cause I was in school and it was not what
I was doing or whatever. I was very reluctant to sort of admit it
out loud I think cause it seemed like just following a sort of Roberts
line, my parents, Eric and Lisa then me, like that.
Larry: It was no news, Julia's going to be in movies.
Julia: Yeah, I sort of felt a little bit reluctant to do it and
didn't really sort of really profess it wholeheartedly until I got
my first job.
Larry: Which was?
Julia: Which was a guest part on an episode of Crime Story.
Larry: The television series.
Julia: Um hum.
Larry: You were how old then?
Julia: Seven, Eighteen.
Larry: Did you like it right away?
Larry: Why? Talk about I Love Trouble.
Julia: Great Fun, the movie,
Larry: No, I want to talk about this -- what is the kick of it?
Julia: Everything. Everything about it, even the bad things I sort
of like, like having to get up at the crack of dawn is not my favorite
thing to do, but there's something sort of strangely great about,
that you just have to. That you know I wake up at 4:30 or whatever,
and I'm exhausted and the last thing I want to do is get up, but
I have to and there's something sort of great about that, I guess
Larry: Is there something sort of great too about all the time
in between cuts, let's wait, back in an hour...
Julia: Yeah. You know you do things, either I have to work to prepare
for that's coming up or you know I sort of make lots of things,
I've made curtains, I'm knitting a sweater right now, you sort of
Larry: You know some actors think about scenes, think about the
role or become totally in the character they are and they have a
tough time doing other things, you don't.
Julia: Well, it depends on what we're doing. You know, there are
times when I can go back to my trailer and sort of just sew, do
whatever I want, and there's times that I go back and like I said,
work on what's coming up or what's following.
Larry: Is part of the kick the fact that, as Anthony Quinn once
told me, it is for a lifetime, childlike to be an actor.
Larry: You're rolling down a hill as cowboys and Indians ...
Julia: Yeah, it's a bunch of adult people running around pretending
to be somebody else, I guess that's pretty childish. You know, but
it's sort of to me like being in a circus. Sort of, travel around,
you try to do things that are interesting and entertaining, and
you know, I particularly like shooting at night because ...
Julia: Well, because it's so sneaky and everybody's sleeping and
you know, all these sort of adult people running around doing all
this crazy stuff and it's so silly ...
Larry: Like on the street.
Larry: Like with a great blow-up scene in Pelican Brief.
Julia: Yeah, we worked like ten days of nights I think and it was
so much fun -- well, I don't mean fun, it wasn't fun, you know,
all that stuff, but just the whole idea of it lends itself to sort
of, it has great dramatic appeal.
Larry: Why did you take I Love Trouble?
Julia: Because I really like this character, I liked her sort of
spirit and her the way she says things and her sarcasm and her off-handed
Larry: She's a reporter?
Julia: She is.
Larry: This is sort of in the Hepburn Tracy tradition?
Julia: Well, I think what we attempted to do is reminiscent of
the style of those movies of that time in that we tried to have
grace, energy and rhythm and a great sense of this equality of this
sort of toe to toe, these two people going at it matching each other
at every point and being very competitive and so I think we tried
to achieve a certain sense of that, that is very reminiscent of
Larry: Comedy romance right?
Julia: Comedy, romance, action, adventure, drama, suspense ...
Larry: But not sexual.
Julia: What do you mean?
Larry: Someone told me it's no sex in it..
Julia: What do you mean by sex?
Larry: What do I mean by sex?
Julia: Yeah. I mean there's sex and then there's ....
Larry: I tell you what, we'll give a pause now, throw another long
on the air conditioner and be right back.
Larry: We're with Julia Roberts, later with Nick Nolte. Was Nick
cast before you, you before him ...
Julia: Me before him.
Larry: Did you have any say in who would be the co-star?
Julia: I did. I said we'd take Nick.
Larry: I mean, how does that work? Do they say to you here's a
list of people we're considering, or they were up to Nick right
away weren't they?
Julia: Yeah, we went to Nick and he was, you know we all sort of
met together and stuff and he sort of sat there and seemed very
Peter Bracket like and we said hey, what the heck, let's go with
Larry: That's the name of his character? Okay. Working with him,
you work very differently, he's sort of one who engrosses himself,
he goes into six weeks of study, like you work more off the top
right? Is that difficult, easy, different?
Julia: No, in fact, the fact that we do come from completely different
Julia: So to speak. He and also I had very little time between
Pelican Brief and I Love Trouble, and working with Denzel was so
perfect, I mean it just really could not have been better, so you
know off I go racing to Chicago to encounter this stranger Nick
Nolte, and he um, we really merged on the same mind of, we both
wanted the same kind of pace out of this whole thing, we both had
the same ideas for the energy of the relationship and this sort
of antagonistic spirit that these two people had and the competition
and stuff, so we worked on that a lot and it worked out really well,
you know we sort of, we both had the same ideas, how we came about
them I'm sure was very different, but working on them together was
Larry: The process is not what's important, what's important is
the finished product right? What process you use or he uses is really
not, so what.
Julia: Yeah, what you have to do to get on the set is your own
business, you know, and what you do once you get there is everybody's
business. The actor is a story teller. I mean you're involved in
the telling of a story that I'm going to be caught up in and accept.
Larry: The willing suspension of disbelief. Cause I know you're
Julia Robert, I've got to accept that you're this woman. How important
is it that the two people get along?
Julia: At work? I think it's not vital, it's not fatal if you don't.
But certainly it makes working a whole lot more fun, I mean and
I really like to go to work, I really like my job, I like to have
a good time, I think that this is a great thing that we get to do
we might as well really enjoy it while we're there.
Larry: It is a hoot isn't it. It doesn't seem a bad way to make
Julia: No, it's great, it's really good, so yeah
Larry: So it's better if you do but not fatal if you don't.
Julia: Well no, cause sort of like getting up at 4:30, you have
Larry: You gotta do what you gotta do. I mean, if you are antagonists
might it help if two people don't get along?
Julia: Well, I think that Nick and I in our friendship that we
have that element to it like he'll make a joke and I'll make a comment,
or I'll make a joke and he'll make a comment, it's all very, but
I mean it's all in a sense of fair play and nothing is sort of mean
spirited, it's all sort of very funny in the same way that they
Larry: Lot of slap stick in this movie? Lot of movement?
Julia: Yeah, I think it's sort of like screwball at time. I mean
we cover a lot of ground in this movie as far as different ideas
of what's funny.
Larry: Like what happens, I'm told there some scenes where you
do your own physical scenes?
Julia: Yeah, for the most part I do
Larry: You went sliding down something?
Julia: Yeah, a catwalk. That was hanging 60 feet in the air above
Larry: Why did you do that?
Julia: Because I'm stupid.
Larry: Did they say, "Let's have a stand-in do this?"
Julia: Well, no in fact, they didn't. That's what was so weird.
Larry: What was there motive?
Julia: That's the thing I couldn't believe - they asked me to do
it. That was first and foremost my thought. I am surprised that
they would even, I was sort of expecting a fight, oh let me try
it and if it doesn't work out then Tabby Hansen who was my stunt
double, then Tabby can do it, I thought I was going to have this
conversation so I get there and I say so catwalk stunt, so yeah,
basically you'll be up there and sliding down here and
Larry: Who's the director?
Julia: Chuck Shyer, but I'll tell you the only reason I'm on that
catwalk was our stunt coordinator, a man named Jack Gill who is
the smartest, safest, most cautious man, and uh, it was only because
of his sort of painstaking explanation and showing me everything
and all, like this is how you're hooked on, and this is this, you
know, cause it was really high and I don't like to be that high.
Larry: So you had faith in him.
Larry: Now, you're coming down this catwalk
Larry: Are you acting or just plain scared?
Julia: Well, it's one of those non-acting kind of days Larry, you
know they say we want you to look really terrified and they say
cut -- that was brilliant! I mean, I'm scared of heights, I don't
want to be up there, it's really, I would have never been able to
do it if I was suppose to make it look like fun.
Larry: How long did it take?
Julia: Twenty minutes.
Larry: Not a bunch of shots.
Julia: We did a bunch of different ones but for the most part,
the really sort of particular scary things, we did as quickly as
possible. But it's not just be suspended in mid-air sort of sliding
as fast as I can down this catwalk, there's also a camera sort of
mounted on a spool of string and five guys hanging off of it, and
I mean the whole atmosphere was -- but then you look over and there's
your director sitting in their cast chairs drinking their coffee
and you know saying "oh that was great - let's try that again"
Larry: Was all exteriors in Chicago?
Larry: We'll be back with Julia Roberts who stars with Nick Nolte
in I Love Trouble that just opened and this is the big July 4th
weekend and Nick will be with us later, we'll be right back.
Larry: We're back with Julia Roberts. Is comedy harder?