The now Duchess of Sussex, 37, shared in a Glamour profile back in August 2017 that Roberts, 51, inspired her to act, and the Oscar winner was thrilled to hear the news. PEOPLE caught up with Roberts at the New York premiere of Ben Is Back Monday night, where she was surprised to learn that she has a royal fan.
“It’s a great night for me!” Roberts exclaimed, saying she wasn’t previously aware of Markle’s admiration. “But I am just going to be floating on that all night!”
As part of the profile, Markle listed the 10 women who “changed her life,” and Roberts was included among Madeline Albright, novelist Toni Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland. Markle singled out Roberts for inspiring the best compliment she had ever received.
“She was the first person I saw onscreen and thought, ‘That looks like so much fun; I wanna do that,’ ” Markle wrote of Roberts. “When I was younger, someone once told me, ‘You kind of look like Julia Roberts in profile.’ It was the best compliment of all time.”
Roberts is busy promoting the heart-wrenching drama Ben Is Back, also starring Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges. The movie, directed by Hedges’ Oscar-nominee dad Peter Hedges, follows as Hedges’ Ben comes back home from rehab for the holidays.
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To get comfortable playing a family, Roberts said she invited the father and son, along with movie daughter Kathryn Newton, to her house several times before filming.
“We just spent a few days where they would all come over and I would say to Lucas and Kathryn, ‘Okay, the kids are gonna take you guys surfing, so you’re gonna go down to the beach and Peter and I are gonna be here talking about stuff and making lunch.’ And off they’d go,” Roberts told EW, referring to her three kids with husband Danny Moder — Hazel and Finn, 13, and Henry, 11.
Ben Is Back hits theaters Friday.