The friendship between Julia Roberts and George Clooney is one of the sweetest and most iconic in Hollywood. The actors have known each other for decades, starred in multiple films (including Money Monster and the Ocean's Eleven series) together, and remained close throughout it all.
In a new interview with The New York Times, Roberts spoke about just how much Clooney means to her, and said that while filming Ticket to Paradise in Australia, far away from her husband and kids, it was he who helped keep her sane.
"The Clooneys saved me from complete loneliness and despair," she said. "We were in a bubble, and it's the longest I've ever been away from my family. I don't think I've spent that much time by myself since I was 25."
(Roberts has been married for 20 years to cinematographer Danny Moder, and the two share three kids, Hazel, Phinnaeus, and Henry Daniel.)
Clooney, who brought along wife Amal Clooney and their 5-year-old twins, Ella and Alexander, to Australia, also recalled the routine they developed with Roberts.
"We started in Hamilton Island, with all these wild birds, and Julia had the house down just below Amal and me and the kids," he said. "I would come out in the early mornings and be like, 'Caa-caa,' and Julia would come out and be like, 'Caa-caa.' And then we'd bring her down a cup of coffee. She was Aunt Juju to my kids."
In Ticket to Paradise, which premieres this October, Roberts and Clooney play estranged exes who agree to reunite in Bali in an attempt to stop their daughter from going through with her destination wedding.
Funnily enough, because the actors are actually such good friends, it was hard for them to spark that romantic chemistry on screen. Roberts said that when it came time for them to kiss in a scene, "It took 79 takes of us laughing and then the one take of us kissing."
Earlier this year, in an interview with the Times published in April, Roberts explained why she returned to the big screen to do a romantic comedy with Clooney after years of staying away from the genre she was so celebrated in (Notting Hill, Pretty Woman, My Best Friend's Wedding, Mystic Pizza, Runaway Bride).
"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," she said at the time. "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."
"They didn't exist until this movie that I just did that Ol Parker wrote and directed," Roberts continued, referring to Ticket to Paradise. "But even with that, 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."
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