Julia Roberts Confessed How Meeting Her Future Husband Transformed Her Life

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Even glamorous Hollywood actors need someone special in their lives. Movie superstar Julia Roberts, an Academy Award winner and star of box office smashes including Erin Brokovich, Notting Hill and Pretty Woman, recently spoke at length about her own special someone. This is husband Danny Moder, a cinematographer that she states changed her life.

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Roberts and Moder have been married since 2002 and have three kids together. Both Roberts and Moder were married before – in Roberts’ case, it was to musician and actor Lyle Lovett. But it was seemingly the second time round that the pair found true love. And in a recent interview recorded for Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop podcast series, Roberts opened up about her marriage.

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The Goop podcast is an enlightening insight into the high-profile marriage between Roberts and Moder. Many relationships crack under a media spotlight, which can be overbearing. But the couple – who first met in 2000 while both were working on the movie The Mexican – seem to be the exception to the Hollywood rule.

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Two decades later, Roberts and Moder are still together, having been married for the last 18 years. And in the candid interview with her fellow actor and friend Paltrow, the Georgia native spoke at length about the impact her husband has had on her life. It was a little-known fact in an otherwise highly public life and career.

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Julia Roberts needs little introduction to international movie audiences, having been a bona fide A-lister for over 30 years. Indeed, it was a role in 1989’s Steel Magnolias that first brought Roberts to attention. Playing Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie, Roberts received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. This, however, was not to be her last nod of recognition from the Academy.

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Roberts’ breakout role as a leading lady came in 1990’s Pretty Woman, starring as prostitute Vivian Ward alongside Richard Gere. It was a role that launched Roberts to superstardom and secured her second Academy Award nomination. She has barely looked back since, with the intervening years producing a litany of hits for Roberts, whose first credited film role had come in the largely forgettable Satisfaction only two years prior to Pretty Woman.

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Roberts’ career has also spanned some eclectic genres. She has, for instance, starred in notable romantic comedies such as 1999’s Hugh Grant-starring Notting Hill and Runaway Bride, which once again partnered her with Richard Gere. She can also be seen in hard-hitting dramas including Michael Collins, Closer and Eat Pray Love.

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As well as the rom-coms and dramas, there have been thrillers – such as Conspiracy Theory and The Pelican Brief – as well as voice work in animated features like Smurfs: The Lost Village. Not every Roberts film has been a success, of course. But generally speaking, there have almost been too many hits to mention in a prolific career that shows no signs of slowing down.

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Roberts’ career hit its pinnacle to date when she starred as unemployed single mother Erin Brockovich in the 2000 movie of the same name. The picture, based on true events, was a star turn for Roberts, and secured the actor her only Academy Award win so far. The actor scooped a number of other of notable prizes for her portrayal.

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As well as critical success, Roberts has won big in the financial stakes. The star was reported to be the biggest earning actress on Earth for most of the decade before 2000. That was a mantle that continued for a few more years into the new millennium. In additional to her material wealth, Roberts has also been named the most beautiful woman in the world no less than five times by People magazine.

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Roberts has so far enjoyed a movie career spanning more than three decades. In that time, Roberts has starred alongside Hollywood royalty. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Denzel Washington and Owen Wilson are just some of the names to have shared top billing alongside Roberts down the years.

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In real life, there have also been many notable leading men for Roberts, including some of her co-stars. She has been romantically linked to Liam Neeson, who she first starred with back in 1988’s Satisfaction and subsequently acted alongside in 1996’s Michael Collins. Additionally, there was Dylan McDermott, who joined Roberts in Steel Magnolias.

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A notable early relationship of Roberts’ was with another co-star – Kiefer Sutherland. The pair appeared together in 1990’s Flatliners, and subsequently started dating. By August of that year, the couple announced their engagement, but Roberts ended the relationship three days before the scheduled wedding. In a further twist, on the day that the ceremony had been set to take place, Roberts went to Ireland with a friend of Sutherland’s, the actor Jason Patric. Roberts and Patric later went on to have a brief relationship.

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A love life that has had enough ups and downs to warrant its very own movie began a new chapter in 1992. That year, Roberts, yet again, fell for a man she met on set. This time the movie was The Player, and the man is question was Lyle Lovett, better known as a country music singer. It was a whirlwind romance for the pair, and only three weeks later they were married.

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Unfortunately, the marriage only lasted a couple of years, with career pressures supposedly the reason for the Roberts’ and Lovett’s divorce. During the time they spent married, the couple also appeared together in the 1994 film Prêt-à-Porter, also known in the United States as Ready to Wear. But by 1995 the relationship was over.

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Roberts’ next romantic entanglement came with yet another actor. This time she fell for the charms of Matthew Perry, star of the hit sitcom Friends. The pair reportedly dated from 1995 until 1996. Then, in 1998 Roberts met and started seeing Benjamin Bratt. It was Bratt that escorted Roberts down the red carpet to her Academy Award success in 2000.

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Roberts and Bratt split in 2001. But while filming The Mexican with Brad Pitt in 2000, Roberts met the little-known cinematographer Danny Moder. At the time, Roberts was still dating Bratt, while Moder was married to his first wife Vera Steinberg. Yet the following year, Moder divorced Steinberg. On Independence Day, 2002, Moder and Roberts tied the knot on the latter’s ranch in New Mexico.

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Danny Moder, originally from Los Angeles, began his career in the movie business as a production assistant in 1992, working on Crimson Tide. He worked his way up, and following a stint in the camera and electrical department on movies such as 1998’s Enemy of the State, moved into cinematography. His subsequent work includes 2008’s Fireflies in the Garden and 2015’s Secret in their Eyes starring his wife Roberts.

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The marriage between Roberts and Moder has been blessed with three kids. The couple’s twins – a boy named Phinnaeus and a girl called Hazel Patricia – were born in November 2004. A second son name Henry Daniel, meanwhile, arrived in June 2007. Neither of the couple had children from any of their previous relationships.

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The Roberts-Moder household is understandably rather busy. Indeed, in an interview with Vanity Fair Roberts spoke about the difficulty in balancing home life with a high-flying career. “Sometimes it’s smooth as silk and sometimes you feel like you’re just hitting all the branches on the way down,” the actor said.

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Roberts has also spoken about how her children are unimpressed by her fame, or that they only judge it in relation to other celebrities that they know. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey published in Harper’s Bazaar, Roberts elaborated on her kids’ feelings about her status. “I don’t think they will ever have a true sense of that [my fame],” Roberts stated.

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Roberts continued on the theme of her kids’ interpretation of her fame in the interview with Winfrey. As Roberts regaled, “I think I told you once when they were starting to figure it out, it was like, ‘You’re famous?’ And I said, ‘I think a lot of people might have seen the movie that I’m in or might know who I am.’ Maybe an hour goes by. ‘Are you more famous than Taylor Swift?’”

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But while also speaking to Winfrey, Roberts opened up about her life as a working mom. As she put it, “I guess it’s also that illusion of mastery because I can have a great Monday and a really crappy Tuesday. It’s not a static thing ‘Oh, I’ve got this. I’ve mastered this mothering thing.’ That doesn’t exist, and so everybody needs to make sure that they understand that going into it.”

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Roberts also emphasized the importance of having support from a partner. She said, “I think, as women, we fall into this place where we feel like it’s our responsibility to give everything, give and give and give. There’s nothing wrong with saying to your spouse or to your child or to your friend, ‘Can I get a hand? I need somebody else in here helping me do this because I can’t do it by myself.’ Or ‘I don’t want to do it by myself!’”

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Roberts’ relationship with Moder has really transformed the actor’s life – and she certainly is not afraid to admit it. “I’m so proud of my marriage,” Roberts told Winfrey. But in an interview with her friend Gwyneth Paltrow on the latter’s Goop podcast, Roberts was even more effusive about her husband.

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Speaking with Paltrow, Roberts said, “I think that first kind of real… seismic shift [in my life] was meeting Danny. Getting married to Danny. That was the first like, my life will never be the same in the most incredible, indescribable way.” It was high praise indeed for the man she married back in 2002.

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Roberts elaborated on why Moder had made such an impact on her life. “He truly, to this day, to this minute, is just my favorite human. I’m more interested in what he has to say or his point of view just than anybody. Really, I mean, we’re so lucky in that way. We just really, really like each other and we just enjoy each other’s company,” the actor told her friend Paltrow.

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Focussing on the length of time that Roberts and Moder have been together, Paltrow asked her pal whether the relationship that Roberts shares with her husband has gotten better as the years pass. “I think it does. It just gets deeper, it just gets more complex,” the Hollywood star replied.

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Elaborating further for Patrow, Roberts then went on, “We are so fortunate that there’s some kind of inexplicable harmony to the way we do things. Because we do things differently. I mean, we are different humans, but there is something together that just makes all the sense in the world.”

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Reaching 40 was also a major turning point in Roberts’ life, as she admitted to Paltrow. “I think that’s when I started to really find strength and some degree of self-acceptance,” the actor said. “I feel like it was late for me, and such a gift when it finally started happening, and to give myself the permission to go through that process. I think for women, something happens when you turn 40.”

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It’s intriguing to know that, for a woman whose life was irrevocably changed by her starring turn in both Steel Magnolias and Pretty Woman, other moments have been more monumental. Most people, after all, won’t experience international stardom and a life full of red carpets and private jets. But reaching 40 and falling in love are often more attainable goals.

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Paltrow dug more into Roberts’ relationship with Moder in the Goop podcast, asking, “So he was the first real shift for you?” Roberts then responded with, “I think that just I felt I really had a sense of ownership of my destiny.” She quickly added, “I’ve never said that before.”

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Roberts then went on to say something even more seismic, not to mention romantic. “He truly is the best decision I ever made in my entire life, was to hitch my wagon to Danny Moder. It is true,” the actress said, with her friend Paltrow audibly cooing in the background.

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In another interview with Oprah – this time published in O, The Oprah Magazine – Roberts again opened up on the joy that she has found. As she put it, “I’m so lucky to be crazy happy in my life. And I think it’s not so much that I’m happier now than ever. It’s that I’m more content. I’m in the harbor of my life.”

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Oprah was quick to ask Roberts about exactly what had brought about the sense of happiness that the actor was supposedly enjoying. “Why are you so content?” the interviewer probed. Roberts was quick to cite her husband once more. “A huge part of it is my marriage,” the star replied.

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In this same interview, Roberts went on to add, “My husband Danny has really shined the light for me. Because of being married, I’ve met people and experienced all these little things that have nurtured my life. Not so much changed it, just nurtured it in a way that’s astounding.”

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Interviewer Oprah then continued to probe the famous Hollywood actress even further. “So, what has Danny brought to you that you didn’t have before?” Winfrey asked. Once again, Roberts’ response was emphatic. “He makes me feel my most comfortable self. I don’t alter myself in any way,” the star responded.

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In the same interview, Oprah also made a point about an oft-cited cliché in relation to the relative success of partners. “So you’ve proven the theory that the rich, famous person can marry someone who isn’t so famous – and that can be successful?” she asked. Roberts quickly replied, “Yes. The jobs don’t get married.”

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“The people get married,” Roberts went on. “It sounds clichéd and I’ve said it a thousand times, but I do think that I am fundamentally the same relatively simple person I’ve always been. I just have this flashy, wacky job that confuses people into thinking that I’m somehow ultra-fascinating.”

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Yet to many of us, Roberts does indeed remain ultra-fascinating. And in an industry where romances are so often short-lived, it’s truly refreshing to listen to Roberts speaking in such glowing terms about her husband. And for a woman who has achieved so much, it’s heart-warming to know that Roberts has a similar sense of achievement in her personal life, especially after all those earlier false starts.

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