Julia Roberts on How We Can All Be Better Humans: ‘We Need to Stop Criticizing'
“I think we need to stop criticizing," Julia Roberts tells Good Housekeeping
Julia Roberts is asking people to be kinder to one another, saying criticism has become like a “sport.”
The actress, 50, who plays the mother of a child with craniofacial differences in her new movie Wonder, spoke about being less judgmental as a culture in the Dec. issue of Good Housekeeping alongside the film’s director, Stephen Chbosky, and author R.J. Palacio.
“I think we need to stop criticizing,” Roberts said. “Honestly, it’s become a sport — at lunch, online, wherever. ‘I can’t believe the way she’s wearing her hair,’ or ‘He looks so…’ It’s all so petty, and we’re grown-up people.”
She added, “There have to be more interesting things to note about one another … and I’m talking to myself here too, because I find the sarcasm and the criticism and stuff like that very humorous, but there’s a time when you go, ‘Well, why don’t I say all the true and kind things.’ “
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The film, based on the best-selling book by Palacio, tells the story of a boy, played by Room star Jacob Tremblay, who has facial differences and strives to be treated the same as his peers as he begins the year at a new school.
Roberts related the story to her own children while explaining the difference between unconditional love and spoiling a child. “I think some people confuse unconditional love with spoiling,” she explained.
“None of my kids would think I have a problem with that distinction. I do love them unconditionally, and I try, when they do something wrong, to say, ‘This doesn’t change the amount of love in this house for you, but you’ve got to do your homework.’ Because I think that also makes a child feel safe,” she added.
Roberts also revealed that she got involved with the film after reading it as a bedtime story to her three children, twins Hazel and Phinnaeus, 13, and Henry, 10.
“It was getting tricky in my house to have a nighttime chapter book everyone would like, so I bought Wonder, and I could not put it down. I read it to the three kids , and they were all as knocked out as I had been,” she said. “I remember calling my agent after I read the book and saying, ‘I’ll play the mom!’ ”
Wonder hits theaters Nov. 17.