Julia Roberts has been a friend for around three decades, ever since she acted in our 1999 film, Notting Hill.
I remember when the director Roger Michell, producer Duncan Kenworthy and I first had lunch with her to discuss
the possibility of her being in the film, it was very clearly her auditioning us. We were nervous schoolboys being grilled by our potential headmistress, although she was far and away the youngest person at the table. When we presented our list of Hollywood’s most famous, glamorous actors who might play her boyfriend, she pointed out with horror that they were all 20 years older than her. She was perky and friendly, but firm.
But then she turned out to be soft and sweet as well. On the day of the film’s premiere, she rocked up at our house in Notting Hill with a little blanket she’d knitted on set with my daughter Scarlett’s name on it. When we said Scarlett was at nursery school over the road, Julia just left us and went to the school, rang on the bell and asked to see Scarlett so she could give it to her in person. She’s naughty too.
A decade later, when I went to her for her help with our newly launched Comic Relief USA, she instantly took the big job and went to Kenya with Bear Grylls to visit a vaccination project, and be tortured en route. She gave only one instruction: that she was scared of heights, so no “climbing stuff”. The first task Bear gave her was to walk across a very high, wobbly wooden bridge over a river full of very visible crocodiles. She gave me an ironic look, and set off. She’s game. And she was spontaneously warm with everyone we met there. That extraordinary smile is an actual, natural gift – and she gives it freely. (SOURCE/READ FULL ARTICLE HERE)
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