It’s not uncommon for tensions to arise on Hollywood sets, but the 1989 film had a particularly tumultuous behind-the-scenes story. Despite the movie’s heartwarming themes and standout acting, rumors about a darker side to the production have persisted for years.
Specifically, the late director Herbert Ross’s strained relationship with a young Julia Roberts has been the subject of gossip and speculation. actress has fueled the fire by confirming some long-standing rumors about Ross’s apparent vendetta against Roberts.
During the making of , tensions behind the scenes were not apparent to viewers. The director, Herbert Ross, was known for his harsh criticism of Julia Roberts, which caused a lot of controversy.
Sally Field, who played a key role in the film, spoke out about the difficult relationship between the two.
In a reflective moment in 2013, recalled to how she bonded with Roberts after they both were told by the director that they couldn’t act.
“My deepest memories of the film were how we bonded together after he told one of us or all of us we couldn’t act. He went after Julia with a vengeance. This was pretty much her first big film.”
For a young , such targeted criticism from an established director could have been detrimental to her career. However, history proves that she rose above it and cemented her place as one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars.
Herbert Ross was known for being outspoken with his opinions, which some admired while others found overly harsh. In 1993, several years after the film’s release, Ross made a bold and surprising statement by declaring that Roberts had given a poor performance and in the movie.
However, wasn’t about to let such comments slide, ever the spirited force. She hit back, branding Ross as
Roberts wasn’t the only star to bear the brunt of Ross’s brusque demeanor. Dolly Parton, globally celebrated for her music, charisma, and undying charm, found herself at the receiving end of Ross’s unsolicited advice as well.
The director, questioning Parton’s acting chops, suggested she needed lessons to enhance her performance. Always one to respond with grace laced with a touch of sass, , in her , reveals that she reminded the director of who she was.
“I’m not an actress, I’m Dolly Parton. I’m a personality who has been hired to do this movie. You’re the director. It’s your job to make me look like I’m acting.”
With that, Parton, in her inimitable style, silenced critics, echoing sentiments many in the cast felt but perhaps lacked the candor to express.