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“The press started this whole rivalry between us”: Julia Roberts Absolutely Lost it After Sandra Bullock Dethroned Her as America’s Sweetheart, Got Labeled “The Next Julia Roberts”
2023/08/31

Although Julia Roberts is best known for her roles in rom-coms, she has also played a variety of other genres throughout her career. Her successful work even earned her four nominations for Academy Awards and several awards over the course of her career, including three Golden Globes.

In 1985, Roberts attracted attention in the coming-of-age movie Mystic Pizza, which is when audiences first fell in love with her. As a result of her roles in several successful rom-com films, the Steel Magnolias star went on to win over more admirers.  

The movie industry was ruled by Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock, another 'sweetheart,' in the 1990s.

In 2001, Roberts even played the lead role in the movie America's Sweetheart. Although her movies continued to bring in millions at the box office, some producers were prepared to move on from her to the next love interest with another 'sweetheart.'

And as a result of those media rumors, there was a conflict between Roberts and Bullock.

Roberts openly discussed her feelings in The Oprah Magazine, which appeared in the December 2003 issue. The Notting Hill actress talked at length about being called 'America's Sweetheart,' her rivalry with Bullock, and her rise to the top spot among female actors at the box office.

When Julia Roberts First Heard About The America's Sweetheart Label

The host, Oprah Winfrey, recalled her first interview with Julia Roberts, which took place in 1989. During their conversation, which was published in the December 2003 issue of The Oprah Magazine, theCharlie Wilson's War actress, who brought about a change in cinematic style, claimed she can still recall certain parts of that interview,

"And I wore the most embarrassing clothes on that show. If I'm not mistaken, I had on this vest that I thought was so cute."

The billionaire host then questioned Roberts about how she has kept up her status as 'America's sweetheart' and maintained prominence in the industry.

Winfrey persisted in asking the actress if being called "America's Sweetheart" had any personal significance for her.

In response, Roberts said,

"No, because it's all a projection, and projection is very changeable. Projection comes not so much from what I'm doing but from the point of view of the person perceiving me. So, it's like a joining of two things, one of which I have no control over or understanding of."

Her Reaction when Sandra Bullock And Reese Witherspoon Became 'The Next America's Sweethearts'

She was mature enough to grasp this knowledge that she would inevitably be replaced by someone someday.

When questioned about her feelings on the same, Julia Roberts replied,

"Somebody else is always going to be the next sweetheart. It's all contrivance: Label them as fast as you can, so you can keep them all straight."

Roberts might have simply accepted the title bestowed upon her, but Reese Witherspoon actually objected to the moniker, saying, "I certainly didn't self-identify as anyone's sweetheart. I'm friendly, but I don't think I'm sweet," Witherspoon told Glamour. "I'm honest." 

Naturally, Roberts was aware that she would eventually be replaced, but when asked who would take her place, she immediately had someone else in mind.

Sandra Bullock, who was at the time a rising star, was most likely going to succeed over the Gaslit actress.

The August: Osage County actress claimed,

"The press started this whole rivalry between us a while ago when Sandra Bullock was first making movies. She was supposed to be the next."

But then she recalled that a writer appeared to understand that he was a part of the system around that time. She found it hilarious that he had written an article titled 'The Next Julia Roberts' in which "I was the Julia Roberts of the story. He turned the whole thing on its head," she added. 

However, because of her fame, persona, wit, grounded outlook, and sense of humor, Roberts' fans still find her to be incredibly endearing and they grow to love her even more. 

Source- The Oprah Interview

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