Julia Roberts on Why She’s Done With Romantic Comedies

2 minute read

Julia Roberts has been the face of some of the most popular romantic comedies of all time. (Hello, Notting Hill and Runaway Bride.) But a few decades on, the actress who made Pretty Woman has no plans to step back into a role in the popular genre. It’s not that she doesn’t like rom-coms, Roberts told Entertainment Tonight; it’s that she doesn’t think they “work” for her now.

“There came a point in my career where people thought I had turned on romantic comedies, which—I love them, I love to be in them, I love to watch them,” Roberts said. “But sometimes, they just don’t work at a certain point of life experience… unless we [play] the parents of the people that are rom-com-ing.” Roberts seems to believe that an element of youth might need to be involved to make the hijinks of a classic rom-com seem believable to the audience. “It’s not about age, it’s just about what people know that you know,” she said.

Of late, Roberts has focused on more serious fare in her career, with the upcoming dramatic thriller TV series Homecoming and winter release of family drama Ben Is Back, costarring Lucas Hedges, in which Roberts plays a mom keeping her family together. Meanwhile, the rom-com is having something of a renaissance, with recent movies like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Crazy Rich Asians and Set It Up getting warm reviews and winning starry-eyed fans. But Roberts may have a point; this new crop of stories does tend to focus on younger characters.

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com