Academy Award-winning actress Julia Roberts arrived at the Cannes Film Festival to discuss a meaningful new role close to her happy heart.
Julia Roberts in Chopard at the Cannes Film Festival 2022. Photo: Giulia Parmigiani
“I never thought I would have a new godmother at 32 years old, let alone that godmother be Julia Roberts. It’s all a bit surreal,” remarked British actor Jack Lowden to a delighted black-tie crowd at the Carlton Hotel. Both Lowden and fellow laureate, Ugandan-British actress Sheila Atim appeared to fully grasp the gravitas of the evening — a Chopard gala during the 75th Cannes Film Festival to honor their acting skills. Roberts, effortlessly elegant in a couture Dior bar suit and skirt with hair pulled back in a clean bun had been called up to the stage moments earlier to present the actors with their respective awards — the Trophée Chopard. Twenty-one years in the making, the trophy honors up and coming actors with “godmothers” of the likes of Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, and Jessica Chastain bestowing the winners with their prize. Chopard has now supported the film festival for 25 years; since its artistic director and copresident Caroline Scheufele redesigned the Palme d’Or — the festival’s highest prize awarded to a film on closing night. On this evening, the air was electric, with Roberts engaging guests with her megawatt smile, inspiring everyone to stand a bit taller, laugh a bit heartier, and stay a bit later. There was no mistaking that there’s “something about Julia.”
Julia Roberts with Caroline Scheufele on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival 2022
“I was a wreck last night, I was an absolute wreck,” insists Roberts, taking a sip of her espresso on the Chopard privatized rooftop of the Hotel Martinez the following day. She is sitting on a couch before a table laden with fruit and juices. It overlooks the sea, peppered with yachts. Overhead, helicopters appear like gargantuan flies charting people from Cannes to Monaco. Her signature wavy hair is loose and voluminous. Once more, she’s dressed void of chichi in an all-black pantsuit and flat brogues — not that her business outfit could cloak one iota of her star power. “When we first got out of the car, we were all standing at the beginning of this endless path that we had to take,” continues Roberts. “I turned to Jack and said, ‘Oh my god, my heart’s beating a hundred miles a minute, how about you?’” she says, chuckling at the memory. “Even at the dinner, I’m nervous because I want — particularly Jack and Sheila — them to feel my admiration and I want to be able to express the true feelings that I have,” she says, adding that even her face was flushed. Roberts admits that she gets nervous before any such situation. “That’s part of it,” she admits. “That excitement is still so terrifying but thrilling. I don’t think you should be blasé on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.”
Roberts is unafraid to show her innate vulnerability; a stalwart trait that has become a signature of her work in films like Steel Magnolias, Sleeping with the Enemy, Hook, Notting Hill, and Erin Brockovich, to name but a few. “Vulnerability is the superpower to observe vulnerability, understand it, portray it,” says Roberts. “It’s this special thing and everybody feels it in a unique way; and different things make all of us feel vulnerable. It’s this funny, little, special snowflake that we each have that’s different.” Roberts’s vulnerability is the kind that draws in crowds by the millions, making her one of the most bankable stars (male or female) of recent times. She earned an unprecedented $25 million for her role in Mona Lisa Smile (2003) and signed a reported five-year contract with Lancôme for $50 million. Collectively, her films have earned in the billions at the box office.
Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love
There are some 20 people silently milling around Roberts at the time of this interview. However, she still manages to give the impression of leading a down-to-earth life with her husband-of-20-years Danny Moder and their three children. She’s known to support charitable organizations like UNICEF and Conservation International. Her commitment to the Chopard Trophy is a further act of community. If power in cinema has been hotly debated over the past few years with the Me Too movement, Roberts considers power to be rooted in service to others. “Even at my age, I’m open to any source of encouragement,” remarks the actress who is 54 and whose career spans over 30 years. “We all sort of get fatigued, or we question ourselves,” she states. “So, it’s times like this when we can encourage one another and help people feel valued in what they’re doing and the choices they are making. At events, you meet people in passing, and you don’t get to share time in a unique way anymore. They’re both [Lowdon andAtim] such great people and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them. It’s been a quick trip but meaningful.” An assistant appears with Roberts’s lavender-hued sunglasses. The actress acknowledges her with a gentle, “Thank you, my love,” before finishing her evening recap. When Roberts did arrive on stage, rows of eager guests lifted their hands in the air, all clutching a phone to capture one of the greatest living actresses. Firmly, Roberts asked them to take their pictures, and then please put their phones away. “I understand it,” comments the actress. “I think that’s the thing — when you’re in a movie theater, you’re not on your phone, you’re not talking, you’re having this shared focus on one thing and that’s what makes it so special and that’s why we all love it and go back to it again and again.”
Chopard diamond brooch
Cinema is a great love shared with Chopard’s Scheufele. “One of the things that I think is so great about Chopard — they don’t just make beautiful things, they are inspired by different things,” states Roberts, who began her collaboration with the maison a few years ago, when Scheufele asked her to star in Chopard’s Happy Diamonds jewelry campaign. “City Lights (1931, starring Charlie Chaplin) is one of Caroline’s favorite movies,” offers Roberts. “The Dior silhouette of once upon a time — I felt so girly — was the perfect template to then wear this fantastic brooch.” The diamond rose brooch is a high jewelry nod to the one Chaplin wore in his movie. Meanwhile, to attend the earlier red-carpet screening of Armageddon Time, Roberts donned a black tailored jumpsuit and accessorized it with another Chopard jewel — one of its 75 Red Carpet Collection pieces presented at Cannes — a sparkling necklace made with ethical gold and featuring a yellow diamond weighing over 100 carats.
Roberts agrees that she has a certain chemistry with the family-owned Swiss high jewelry maison. She wasn’t always certain it would be the case. “You never know. I always say, everybody can be nice at lunch. Over time, you don’t know if that alchemy is going to hold or how it’s going to come together. The first time we made this film with Xavier [Canadian director Xavier Dolan] we entered the same room, started talking, and I was just like, ‘Where have you been all my life, this is going to be so fun.’” Roberts snaps her fingers for emphasis. “We proceeded to work for 12 hours, going full speed, happy as clams — all of us.” She recalls the mood on set, with the entire crew dancing and having a good time. “If Caroline is the mother and we are the kids — she just let us run wild and create something for her that we thought was magnificent.” Trust, the actress expresses, is integral to the collaborative creative process. “When I’m on a movie with a director, that’s how I do the best work, if I feel like he trusts me and then guides me. They were two of the most fun days I’ve ever had shooting.” Weeks later, the world went into lockdown. Later in the year, Roberts received a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot. “I started crying,” she recalls. “Seeing everybody maskless, close together, huddled, people hugging. It had been so long, and it was so touching to see and remember how fun it was. That’s the kind of spirit that Chopard cultivates and that they want us to have.”
Julia Roberts as Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman
Roberts, who is currently enjoying praise for her role in the political thriller series Gaslit alongside Sean Penn, shows no signs of slowing. Her acting will soon inspire more laughter this fall. Ticket to Paradise (October 2022) is a movie about a divorced couple (played by Roberts and George Clooney) who travel to Bali for their daughter’s nuptials. Highly anticipated, it is the actress’s first romantic comedy in 20 years. Many will still remember the scene from one of her earliest rom coms, Pretty Woman, where, dressed in a red gown, she is presented with a jewelry box carrying a ruby and diamond necklace. If jewelry is traditionally associated with romance, should that still be the case today? “Oh, I hope so,” Roberts says, flashing her inimitable smile.
Originally published in the June 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia
Read Next: Trophée Chopard 2022: Julia Roberts Awards Actors Sheila Atim and Jack Lowden in a Stunning Ceremony
Academy Award-winning actress Julia Roberts arrived at the Cannes Film Festival to discuss a meaningful new role close to her happy heart.
As Julia Roberts famously said in Pretty Woman, “I want the fairytale.” It’s a sentiment a young Meghan Markle – the California girl who went from small-screen star to royal bride when an English prince swept her off her feet – no doubt related to. And an outing for the Duchess of Sussex in Santa Barbara over the weekend suggests Vivian Ward’s post-makeover wardrobe made quite an impression on her, too.
The Duchess turned out to support her husband Prince Harry, a keen polo player, at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, where his Los Padres team took home the Lisle Nixon Memorial trophy on Sunday, and her chosen outfit had more than a dash of Pretty Woman about it. Her breezy blouse with tie-front detail featured a polka-dot print – just like the dress Vivian wears to stomp the divots in the classic rom-com.
Meghan added high-waisted tailored shorts like those that were central to Julia’s ’90s power wardrobe in the film, once she’d relieved the boutiques of Rodeo Drive of much of their stock. Black Aquazzura heels, the requisite hat, and movie-star Valentino shades completed the Duchess’s retro look.
Post-makeover Julia loved a polka dot print. Photo: Getty
Meghan’s crisp white shorts, cinched with a black belt for added polish, are by Khaite, a New York brand that keeps cropping up in her wardrobe. She paired founder Cate Holstein’s off-the-shoulder bodysuit with tailored black trousers to join Prince Harry on stage at the Invictus Games in The Hague earlier this year. Khaite is typical of the labels that Meghan – who relied on Emilia Wickstead dresses and Givenchy formalwear as a working royal living in the UK – now gravitates towards as a mum-of-two living a private (though no less high-profile) life with her young family in Montecito.
These days, her style leans easy, minimalist and neutral, with a luxe touch. Think: cashmere separates by The Row and Loro Piana suiting for business trips to New York, Chanel ballet flats to pose for a relaxed family portrait, and swathes of taupe Ralph Lauren for a visit to the British Embassy in the Netherlands.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk
“Pretty Woman Holds a Special Place for Me”: Emma Roberts on Launching the Film’s Namesake High Jewelry Collection By Fred
As Fred opens its first boutique in the UAE, actor Emma Roberts launches its Pretty Woman jewelry campaign with heart and head.
Emma Roberts wearing Pretty Woman Glamorous Earring, Unconditional Ring, and Glamorous Necklace. Photo: Courtesy of Fred
The French have the expression “Il pleut des cordes” to describe a downpour. Meanwhile, Americans would remark, “it’s raining cats and dogs.” It was one such night in Paris for a dinner hosted by actor Emma Roberts and French high jewelry brand Fred in the courtyard of the Michelin starred restaurant Apicius. Under such dreary climes, both the sparkle of jewelry and a high-wattage smile can transform the evening into a bright soiree.
A welcoming demeanor as embodied by Roberts colored the evening, as did the high jewelry necklace of white diamonds and rubellites set as hearts within hearts forming a necklace around her neck. “I felt very glamorous,” remarks Roberts the following day. Petite, the star is dressed in a chic black suit and sitting in a suite at Hôtel de Crillon. Her blonde hair is loose to her shoulders and her red mouth offers a spot-on resemblance to her aunt Julia Roberts. “It was special because I haven’t traveled abroad since before the pandemic. So, to be a new mom, be in Paris, and have a night out surrounded by such great personalities – and I brought my best friend with me as my date – the jewelry was the cherry on top.”
If cheerful, warm, and curious are a few of the qualities Roberts embodies, the star of the Fred Jewelry Pretty Woman campaign and niece of the Pretty Woman of cinema is also a successful actor. Her debut role was as the daughter of Johnny Depp’s character in Blow (2001), when she was nine. Later roles would see her thrive in the satirical horror genre with the likes of Scream 4 (2011) and the TV series Scream Queens, but also romantic comedy with a leading role in Holidate, which came out last year.
Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Photo: Courtesy of Fred
For the time being, Roberts is enthused about her role as the face of a high jewelry campaign. “They approached me mentioning they were doing a Pretty Woman collection and obviously Pretty Woman holds a special place for me, as well as being such an iconic movie. I was immediately honored that they asked me – being an American girl to be approached by such a gorgeous, luxury French jewelry brand is, well… It makes the day much better,” she says, laughing in a sing-song voice. “I was just so honored, I said yes, immediately.” Pointing to the campaign posters, Roberts notes that she was seven months pregnant at the time of the shoot, with her now one-year-old son, Rhodes. She wears earrings that dangle with diamonds to drop hearts; a diamond and rubellite ring; and a sautoir necklace with a graphic heart larger than her wide green eyes, fully encrusted with diamonds. There are also delicate pieces that can be layered, and their various gold colors mixed and matched.
While vice president and artistic director Valérie Samuel oversees the jewelry creations today, the house was founded by her grandfather Fred Samuel in 1936, who engraved the words “Creative Modern Jeweller” on his first business cards. Born in Argentina in 1908, Samuel first developed his passion for cultured pearls and later explored colored stones, ultimately being commissioned by the king and queen of Nepal to create jewelry to match the court saris. His quest for color and light remains a pillar of the house. The jewels have seduced Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Hutton, and Princess Grace of Monaco and the maison has collaborated with artists Jean Cocteau and Bernard Buffet. Recently, Fred expanded to the UAE, with a boutique opening in the Dubai Mall.
Fred Samuel, the founder of Fred Jewelry. Photo: Courtesy of Fred
“The history of Fred is so beautiful and fascinating – it’s a family-owned business. You can feel how organic the brand is,” nods Roberts. “There are these high-end luxurious pieces and these great dainty pieces that are more affordable and that you can wear every day. To have a maison that can do both is unique and it speaks to me. When I’m not on the red carpet having to give back the jewelry to the security guards at midnight, I still want to wear the brand, in my everyday life, as a mom, with jeans.”
Photo: Courtesy of Fred
Roberts reveals that she feels beautiful when she is settled and carefree. “To me, the prettiest woman in the world is never the most done up and looking for attention; it’s always the one who is comfortable and happy.” When Roberts is à l’aise, don’t be surprised to see a book in her hand. She is exceptionally well-read and even launched an online book club called Belletrist in 2017, which has 265 000 followers on Instagram – Roberts’s own feed has 17 million. “I was homeschooled, and I had to work harder on my own time to catch up with what everyone was doing at school. Often, it was me and a tutor or me and my mom and a pile of books. I made books my best friend because I wouldn’t have gotten through high school otherwise,” she remembers. “I would go out of my way to find books I loved and that kept my morale up. With the job I do, if I have downtime on set, I try to read and not be on my phone. When I was doing American Horror Story: Coven, I read Steven King and became obsessed with that.”
Pretty Woman Glamorous Brooch. Photo: Courtesy of Fred
When traveling, Roberts’s first stop when shopping is always a bookstore. In Paris, she is sure to visit WHSmith and Shakespeare and Co., where she purchased W-3: A Memoir by Bette Howland, and she always picks up a tote as a memento. Jewelry souvenirs also hold a special place in her heart. For her mother’s recent birthday, Roberts found a vintage tennis charm from 1916 to gift her. For her own 30th birthday in February this year, her mother gave her a diamond band. “I remember seeing her wear it when I was younger and thinking it was so sparkly,” Roberts recalls. “It was a ring my father gave her when she had me. It was so meaningful and unexpected. I was just taken aback that she thought to do that.” Perhaps 30 years from now, Roberts will gift a member of her family a high jewelry keepsake, one from this trip from Paris marked by this very pretty woman who will decide for herself.
Read Next: How Julia Roberts Plans to Bring Joy into Her Life This Year
Originally published in the December 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia
Julia Roberts for Chopard. Photo: Courtesy of Chopard
She has the most famous smile in the world, so when the word “happy” is mentioned, it’s only natural Julia Roberts would come to mind – and when heritage luxury brand Chopard wanted a dazzling face for its new Happy Sport campaign, her superstar wattage delivered. “It was my good fortune that Chopard came to me,” she says in an exclusive interview with Vogue Arabia. “There was an immediate synergy. As a longtime admirer, this has all been very exciting.”
The 53-year-old is her generation’s biggest female movie star – the first to be paid $20 million (for 2000’s Erin Brockovich, four years after Jim Carrey became the first male actor to command that fee), then the first to be paid $25 million (for 2003’s Mona Lisa Smile). In December 2000, Roberts was also the first actress to make The Hollywood Reporter’s Power 100 list of most influential women in show business (which usually only includes behind-the-scenes executives), ranking third. “I feel quite fortunate that I’ve made my life as an artist a career,” she shares. “My creative process brings me a lot of happiness and a great sense of fulfillment.”
Julia Roberts wears Chopard to the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival in 2016. Photo: Venturelli/WireImage
This creative process continues in the sparkling new campaign for Happy Sport, Chopard’s equally joyful seminal watch. Designed in 1993 by Chopard’s co-president and artistic director, Caroline Scheufele, the Happy Sport watch embodies joie de vivre and a free-spirited attitude; its dancing diamonds as liberated as the women who wear it. Scheufele wanted to create a versatile watch for the modern woman, a piece she could wear as effortlessly playing sports as doing business or going to dinner. The result was a boundary-pushing watch mingling steel and diamonds, with a comfortable pebble-link bracelet, and seven diamonds dancing whimsically across the white dial. For 2021, the Happy Sport watch has been reimagined in a comfortable 33mm diameter case, inspired by the “golden ratio,” with 11 new references: models entirely crafted from steel or ethical 18ct rose gold, as well as bi- material variations, all available on a leather strap or matching metal bracelet and framed by a polished or diamond-set bezel.
Another version, made of ethical 18ct white gold, is entirely set with diamonds on the case, bezel, crown, and bracelet. All of them beat to the rhythm of the Chopard Manufacture 09.01-C movement with automatic winding, and each dial is graced with the legendary dancing diamonds. “This watch is rather perfect,” Roberts says of the iconic Happy Sport. “The balance of everyday elegance and surprising whimsy of the free diamonds! I love it. The watch is, of course, extremely special in its craftsmanship. I feel the type of person to wear this watch appreciates the details but doesn’t spend time fussing over them.” Along with the Happy Sport watch models, the new campaign also includes a collection of Happy Diamonds and Happy Hearts jewelry under Chopard’s Happy Diamonds line.
Photo: Courtesy of Chopard
Happiness is indeed what Roberts exudes in the joyful campaign video, helmed by director and Cannes film festival darling Xavier Dolan. In it, she dances joyfully, a crisp white shirt and jeans offsetting the Happy Sport watch, her smile the only other accessory. “Working with Xavier was like getting a present! He has so much talent and energy,” enthuses Roberts. “It was the fastest I think I have ever connected with someone on how to make the shoot work.” For his part, the filmmaker raves about his star. “There’s no question that Julia represents, for me, that kind of modernity in a woman that we think is really sensual and beautiful. That’s definitely what strikes me most about Julia: her humanity.”
While part of her appeal is assuredly her warmth and openness, when she unleashes that adored smile – perhaps only rivaled in reverence by her auburn curls and ferocious talent – Roberts disarms all around her. Born in Smyrna, Georgia, in 1967, to playwright and actor parents who also ran an acting school, she soon succumbed to what her mother called “the family disease,” moving to New York to pursue the stage and screen.
After having two words of dialogue in the forgettable Western Blood Red opposite her brother, Eric Roberts, she landed the role that made Hollywood sit up: as fun-loving waiter Kat in Mystic Pizza (1988). She followed that the next year with an Oscar-nominated turn in Steel Magnolias – but it was her magnetic performance in Pretty Woman (1990) that heralded her arrival as the Next Big Thing. “I am proud of the staying power of Pretty Woman and how much people still enjoy it,” she says fondly. Then came Erin Brockovich (2000), a Steven Soderbergh home run that unleashed her full power; her endless limbs barely contained in tiny skirts and laced-up vests, masking the steely determination, infectious energy, and compassion that makes her such a force of nature. She would pick up the best actress Oscar at the 2001 Academy Awards wearing vintage Valentino, cementing her Hollywood legacy.
Notably private, the actor spent lockdown with her family – cinematographer husband Daniel Moder, who she met on the set of The Mexican in 2000, and their kids, 17-year-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and 14-year-old Henry. With the Chopard Happy Sport watch embodying the joyful spirit the world so sorely needs after 2020, how does she plan to bring joy into her life this year? “Last year was a challenge globally and things are still difficult. Moving forward, I believe, the sense of family and community has been revitalized. Our deep gratitude for being free to gather and hug. That brings me such joy. This time of the pandemic has renewed my feelings that the world is a small place in a wonderful way and we all should appreciate this fact. We are all in this life together.”
She would also like to spend more time reading books and less time watching the news, while returning to the small screen after her Golden Globe-nominated turn in the 2018 Amazon series Homecoming for the anthology series Gaslit, scheduled for release later this year. She’ll also be reuniting with her good friend and Ocean’s Eleven co-star George Clooney for Ticket to Paradise, a comedy out next year. She goes with her gut when choosing scripts, following her intuition. “I do not know how to fully explain it, but it is a feeling that has always guided me,” she shares. “I trust that feeling and have never questioned it. My sense of success is largely the same: to be able to take care of myself and be proud of my intentions.” Traveling, too, might be on the agenda this year, Covid permitting. Roberts hasn’t seen enough of the region, she says, but would love to spend time in the Middle East – especially Lebanon. “One of my closest girlfriends is Lebanese. I would love to go there with her on a trip,” she shares. It is mere speculation whether she is talking about Amal Clooney, wife of George…
Roberts only has to walk into frame to lift the spirits, but what makes her happy? “The sunrise,” she states simply. “Being a free-spirited woman means being comfortable in your convictions and sharing your convictions with those around you. Not all women have those liberties, and I am very grateful that I do.” Even though movies and the industry have changed irrevocably, a true star’s capacity to bring joy and luminosity will never fade. Adored by men and women in equal measure, exquisite yet endearing, Julia Roberts will always have our full attention.
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Originally published in the May 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia
Julia Roberts at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Photo: Getty
Julia Roberts making her Cannes Film Festival debut in 2016, barefoot, and wearing a gleaming Chopard necklace of white diamonds and an emerald drop pendant is a moment for the fashion history books. Now channeling the same joie de vivre, the Hollywood sweetheart is starring in a new campaign for Chopard‘s Happy Sport watches.
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The teaser for the campaign’s upcoming short film shows a “super happy” Roberts sitting in front of the camera, her signature smile on her face as she answers questions. “The sunrise,” the 53-year-old actor replies when asked what makes her happy instantly. As for her happiness tips? “Be kind to others,” she says.
Roberts, who is known to not endorse any labels apart from Lâncome, and has worn Chopard jewelry for her red carpet appearances, was chosen by the house’s co-president and artistic director, Caroline Scheufele, to be its “ambassadress” and the face of its Happy Sport campaign. Characterized by the free-spinning diamonds enclosed in the dial, the Happy Sport watches were created by Scheufele in 1993 and have since become popular joy-sparking accessories.
Scheufele’s love for cinema is not only evident in choosing an actor like the Pretty Woman star as the face of the campaign, but also in the concept of its short film. The soon-to-be-released film is directed by young filmmaker Xavier Dolan and styled by Elizabeth Stewart. In it, Roberts can be seen gracefully moving — almost as if embodying the “free-spiritedness” of the watch’s diamonds — to Upside Down by Paloma Faith. “There is something about looking at a watch that, every time you look at it, kind of jingle balls these sparkling diamonds — [it’s] pretty rad,” says Roberts of her Happy Sport watch. “It’s good stuff,” she adds.
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