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Caroline Young

‘Not To Be Criticizing Others’ Choices:’ Julia Roberts Opens Up about Why She Doesn’t Take Movie Roles That Require Nudity

Julia Roberts smiling in Ticket to Paradise.

Julia Roberts has had a long and fruitful career starring in a number of different kinds of roles over the years. The A-lister has never shied away from challenges like Aaron Sorkin dialogue in Charlie Wilson’s War or leading a performance heavy film like Erin Brockovich. However, Roberts has boundaries when it comes to the roles she takes and that means no nudity. Recently the actress opened up about her choice not to have a nude scene and maintain what she dubs as a “G-rated career.”

The Pretty Woman star was recently the subject of a fashion spread for British Vogue where she reflected on her iconic movie career and different role choices she's made along the way. She in particular talked about her new Netflix thriller Leave The World Behind, and why she has opted out of doing films that would require nudity from the actress. She didn’t think doing so would be an indicator of how she wants to be perceived as an actress, or of her as a person. Roberts explained (via Variety):

I think it would be more to the point that the things I choose not to do are representative of me.

While there are plenty of sexually explicit movies on Netflix, Leave The World Behind is certainly not one of them, and it doesn’t seem like Roberts would ever be interested in changing her boundaries anytime soon. She was also keen to mention that she respects every actress’s personal choice when it comes to their body, and this is just a personal choice she has made for her. Roberts continued:

You know, not to be criticizing others’ choices, but for me to not take off my clothes in a movie or be vulnerable in physical ways is a choice that I guess I make for myself. But in effect, I’m choosing not to do something as opposed to choosing to do something.

While nudity may be a hard line for Roberts, this hasn’t stopped the movie star from participating in a provocative movie here and there. Pretty Woman may not feature any outright nude scenes, but it’s still seen as a very sexy movie by many. Pretty Woman is centered around a prostitute, which could definitely be seen as provocative in some circles. Movies like Closer and Full Frontal aren’t exactly kids movies, but the more explicit content has rarely come from characters played by Roberts. After over 30 years in the business, Roberts has definitely earned the luxury of choice when it comes to her movies, so of course having films that are reflective of her boundaries are essential. 

Every actor should make choices that are reflective of what they are comfortable with, and for Julia Roberts, nudity just isn’t a part of it, no matter the subject matter. Actresses like Margot Robbie and Emma Stone have gotten comfortable with artfully done nudity for the sake of a creative project, but not every actress feels that way, and for Roberts to continue to stick to her own principles throughout her long career in the business is admirable. She has still managed to do creative and artful work over the years, without ever compromising what matters to her. 

You can see Julia Roberts in her latest film, Leave The World Behind, now, as the film is currently available to stream for Netflix subscribers. Fans of the Oscar winner should also check out our feature on the best movies starring the Notting Hill actress, many of which would be perfectly appropriate to be enjoyed by the whole family. 

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