Julia Roberts turned down rom-coms for 20 years because good scripts ‘didn’t exist’

Julia Roberts returns to the genre later this year with Ticket to Paradise.

Julia Roberts has been absent from the romantic comedy genre for many years because she could not find a “good enough” project.

In an interview with The New York Times Magazine, the actress, who is best known for romantic comedies such as Notting Hill, Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride and My Best Friend’s Wedding, insisted that her lack of rom-com work isn’t due to an aversion to the genre.

“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,” Julia began. “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 added that such a project “didn’t exist” and said, “If I’d thought something was good enough, I would have done it.”

The star recently returned to the genre for the first time since 2001’s America’s Sweethearts with Ticket to Paradise, which will be released later this year.

When Julia got the script for Ol Parker’s film, she knew it would only work if she could appear opposite her Ocean’s Eleven co-star George Clooney.

“I thought, ‘Well, disaster, because this only works if it’s George Clooney.’ Lo and behold, George felt it only worked with me. Somehow, we were both able to do it, and off we went,” she said, adding that she was thrilled to work in the comedy space again.

“I love to laugh and be funny. You get into that mode of those endorphins going off when you’re clever and people going, ‘Oh!’ Then that becomes this automatic thing where you’re always thinking in terms of creating fun. It’s a joy to play in that sandbox. It has been a long time.”

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