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Why Julia Roberts Once Wore A Dress Covered In George Clooney's Face

Despite being internationally loved superstars, George Clooney and Julia Roberts have proven throughout their longtime friendship that no matter how grandiose your outer persona might become, it's important never to take yourself too seriously. Roberts demonstrated this idea beautifully at the 45th Kennedy Center Honors as she introduced her long-time pal and honoree, Clooney, in a custom gown that paid tribute to the "Michael Clayton" star.

Clooney and Roberts were both Hollywood royalty by the time they worked together on "Ocean's Eleven" in 2000, though that was the first time they really met.

And while each could boast a larger-than-life career, no clashing egos were involved. As Roberts explained to Jimmy Kimmel in early 2023, the two instantly hit it off, and she knew right away that Clooney was a forever friend (via YouTube). "We became, like, instant friends," Roberts said. "There some people (like Clooney) who you go, 'Okay, I'm going to know this person to the end of time.'"

When the time came to honor Clooney and his decades-long career at the Kennedy Center, Roberts was an easy choice for the introduction for the stoic ceremony. But with a friendship rooted in mutual respect and a willingness to be a little goofy, she had to slip in a joke or two — both literally and figuratively.

Roberts' hilarious and heartwarming tribute to Clooney

George Clooney was an honoree at the 45th Kennedy Center Honors alongside Gladys Knight, U2, and composer Tania León for their artistic contributions. When it came time to pay tribute to Clooney, Julia Roberts walked onstage in a floor-length gown by Jeremy Scott and Moschino covered bust-to-hem with framed portraits of Clooney over the years, from his days as Doug Ross on "ER" to his 2013 cover of W Magazine (via Instagram). "This old thing?" Roberts quipped at the start of her introduction during the ceremony (via YouTube).

"What? I'm here for Gladys Knight, can't you tell?" 

The "Pretty Woman" actress quickly shifted gears, adopting a more heartfelt tone to describe the attributes Clooney possesses — including his intelligence, social skills, physicality, and creativity — that make him a true Renaissance man worthy of the distinguished honor he received that night. "Maybe it is the small-town Southern girl in me that responds to the uniquely small-town Southern boy in him, but I've just always felt that I really see George, and he really sees me. He's the best combination of gentleman and playmate," she continued.

The two stars have had a magnetic friendship over the years

While some might wonder why two attractive, compatible stars like Julia Roberts and George Clooney never took their friendship to the next level, the A-listers insist that their friendship has always taken priority and that a romantic relationship was never in the cards. Moreover, both have built their own happy families. Roberts has been married to cinematographer Danny Moder since 2002, with whom she has three children. And in 2017, Clooney and his wife, Amal (née Alamuddin), had fraternal twins.


Throughout their separate personal lives, Clooney and Roberts have remained close, telling People in 2016 that their families are also intertwined in friendship. "All these people that come into our lives; my husband, my children, his wife Amal Clooney. We just keep stitching our lives closer together," Roberts said. Clooney even revealed the nickname his twins have for Roberts to the New York Times: Aunt Juju — adorable! But it's not just their two families that enjoy the stars' friendship. Their chemistry is palpable to their co-stars, too. 

Kaitlyn Dever, who played Clooney and Roberts' daughter in the 2022 rom-com "Ticket to Paradise," told Entertainment Tonight, "Their friendship is something that is so sweet. They love making each other laugh, and it's the best thing to be around." And as far as we're concerned, it's pretty great to watch, too.

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