Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks on adult education, starting out in Hollywood, the power of optimism, and their new dramedy, Larry Crowne, the recession-era story of one man’s reinvention.
Lynn Hirschberg: In Larry Crowne, you play a professor at a junior college who teaches public speaking. Did you go to college?
Julia Roberts: No. This was my first college experience. And the first time I had to speak in front of a classroom, I was apoplectic. All these faces looking up at me, thinking, What is she going to teach us? I needed to find my composure. It was very hard—it was terrible, in fact.
If you went to college, what classes do you think you would take?
What did Tom say?
He said he’d take history classes.
Oh, come on—does he need to learn more history? If you cut Tom Hanks open, you would find history books. Enough with the history [Laughs]. I guess I’d take a class in homeopathy or psychology—something that I would use in my life. I did actually start taking sewing classes recently. I can wear what I’ve sewn, if I’m not in a strong wind. And I’m taking piano lessons with my kids. We can blame this new frontier on Tom Hanks. I sat next to a musician at a dinner party at Tom Hanks’s house, and I started thinking about piano lessons. In your 40s, you’re supposed to learn new things so your brain doesn’t turn to mush. So I’m practicing scales.
Julia Roberts, the Oscar-winning actress who starred in last year’s film, Eat, Pray, Love, wants you to think about food.
Not the eating part — but cooking. And not fancy cooking, either. Roberts has just become a Global Ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
Her job: to let the relatively affluent half of the world’s population know about the hidden danger facing the more impoverished half: deadly smoke from fuels like wood, coal or animal waste.
Oprah played 20 Questions with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, who star in the upcoming Larry Crowne movie, on her show today.
Among the things we learned:
Hanks and wife Rita Wilson recently celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary. Q: How has his marriage survived the Hollywood fame trap?
“I happen to still be married because I’m not an idiot,”declared Hanks.
And how about Roberts? “I’m just in love with my husband,” she said of Danny Moder, whom she wed in 2002. She added that a friend told her “if you want an interesting relationship, stay in one. And it’s true. He gets more interesting every day.” Plus, she said, “he’s hot.”
Julia Roberts wants to turn her upcoming Extraordinary Mums Tv special into a series for pal Oprah Winfrey’s new network – because there are so many great mothers.
The Oscar winner interviewed fellow mums Hillary Clinton and Rosie O’Donnell for the Mother’s Day show, which debuts in America on Saturday (07May11) – and admits she struggled to narrow down the subjects for the show to six.
She says, “For the filming, the only mum I was able to be with was Madam Secretary, Hillary Rodham Clinton, which was such an honour and a privilege, but they (crew) travelled, filming these women all over the country, all over the world. It was so impressive.
“The hardest thing was to narrow it down to just six women so I keep hitting Oprah up for a series because there are so many mums that are extraordinary.”