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Julia Roberts Almost Passed on One of Her Most Iconic Roles for A Surprising Reason

Julia Roberts (right) and her co-star are pictured together on a viral YouTube thumbnail.
Source: YouTube/ScreenBites

Hit romantic comedy Notting Hill turns 25 years old this year, and it’s still making headlines to this day! While many might know that Julia Roberts almost didn’t star in the role, co-stars and fellow team members are releasing more information about the filming process — clarifying the why behind her near-miss decision. Here’s what you need to know.

Richard Curtis spills the beans 

The movie-making process is generally fairly secretive — and the casting process even more so. When Richard Curtis spilled the beans about the Notting Hill filming and casting finalization process, many fans couldn’t believe their ears. 

He went on record with British Vogue, detailing the conversation between him and Julie Roberts. 

Julia Roberts had mentioned hesitancy to take the role, as she would be starring in the role of a movie star as a movie star, per Huffpost. 

The reason? Unexpected, to many. Roberts was concerned about playing an actor, despite her being one herself. She went on record stating that the process was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” per Huffpost. 

Many might assume that the process would come naturally to the actress, but she went on to assert that she felt “so uncomfortable,” and that she “almost didn’t take the part because it just seemed so awkward.” 


“I didn’t even know how to play that person,” Roberts continued per Huffpost. 

Roberts’ uncertainty came through at other points in filming, even after the contract was signed. She was known for saying that she hated dressing like a movie star would, insisting that she wear clothes of her choosing during certain scenes. 

An example of this is during her famous scene, where she tells Hugh Grant’s character that she is ‘just a girl,’ per Huffpost. The director and wardrobe staff had picked out clothing for her to wear that didn’t align with what she wanted to see, so she opted to change into something of her own choosing. 

What did she pick? Pieces from her bedroom, according to Huffpost. 

Julia ended up stopping the scene, requesting that her driver leave the set and go to her personal home to pick out outfit pieces to choose from. 

Per Huffpost: “I said ‘Go into my bedroom and grab this, this, and this out of my closet…and it was my own flip-flops and my cute little blue velvet skirt and a t-shirt and my cardigan.” 


During the Huffpost interview, Curtis teased Roberts about her wardrobe issues, stating that he was always “disappointed” that she wouldn’t wear a better costume for the scene. He also laughed off the push-and-pull relationship that the two shared, as Julia Roberts would often call “audibles” on wardrobe and script choices. 

When Roberts accused Curtis of lowballing her contract on-set, he insisted otherwise; stating that “I lowballed you — you insisted on me changing the script so that your price for your next movie would go up.”


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