Julia Roberts: My Kids Don’t Watch My Movies

03/12/2012 at 01:00 PM ET
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Julia Roberts‘ kids don’t watch her movies – yet.

She’s starred in countless films, but according to the actress, it will be a while before her kids get to see any of them.

Roberts’s three children, 7-year-old twins Hazel Patricia and Phinnaeus Walter and 4½-year-old Henry Daniel, will even have to wait to see her latest film, family flick Mirror Mirror.

“I think they are [too young] considering the part that I play,” Roberts, 44, told reporters at a press conference for the film, in which she plays Snow White’s evil Queen.

“We have a pretty rigid viewing feeling in our house,” she says of her policy with her husband, director of photography Danny Moder, about exposing their kids to their work.

“We’ll find our right time that will be happy and joyous for us to share that all together, but it probably isn’t in two weeks.”

For now, her three kids don’t watch many movies or TV shows at all.

“Those nice, cozy, very short hours before bed, we just really spend together as a family talking and sharing the day and reading books, and really, before you know it, it’s time for bed,” she shares. “Part of it is there’s just not time for that. We would prefer something different in that time.”

Rather than spending family time gathered around the television set, Roberts and Moder share story time with their children.

“We’re more book people in our house,” she explains, adding that her family is interested in “stories and poetry and talking, sharing ideas.”

Which isn’t to say the actress is entirely opposed to her kids watching TV.

“They do get to watch some things,” she says. “But for us, we just feel there’s a real time and a place for it.”

— Jessica Wedemeyer

FILED UNDER: Multiples , News , Parenting

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 55 comments

Marky on

I agree with having very little time with TV and being careful what your children watch. Many children grow up with the TV as their babysitter and best friend; they miss out on so much! I grew up in an area without TV and we had so much fun using our imaginations, reading books, and doing crafts, having clubs with our friends. We didn’t get in trouble and, as adults we are successful and very capable of thinking through problems and entertaining ourselves under all circumstances. We also quite easily make friends and converse on a wide variety of subjects.

I have 3 grandchildren who rarely watch TV, and they are the same way. They are imaginative, clever writers, artistic, and can talk to other children, and to adults, about so many things, and they are very successful academically. They are also capable of entertaining themselves without being little zombies in front of a screen, unlike the ones who are used to watching and have TVs in their rooms. I’m not totally against TV, but I see too many people flip it on and leave the children in front of it for hours!

kjc on

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen pictures of Julia’s children. …I can’t believe how old they are already either.

Liz on

This is the most recent picture I’ve seen of the twins…

B.J. (the girl) on

I don’t think I’ve seen the twins since they were toddlers — That picture was a shock! They’re cute kids. Wonder when the kids will be seeing Pretty Woman? Haha.

vicster on

I am with her kids on not viewing Julia’s movies, I don’t either!

Professor K on

It’s kind of obnoxious, that she makes her living on the basis of people having some kind of “screen time” (whether it be television or movies), but she seems to have quite a condescending attitude towards watching television. Besides, they are pushing her new movie non-stop on Nicklelodeon, if she thinks television is so horrible why she does she make her living making it? Pretty hypocritical.

My son does watch television, but he also reads and does art work and plays outside. I am a college Literature Professor and although we do watch T.V. we also would consider ourselves “book people” (Shocking!).

Hey, Julia Roberts instead of spending any more of my money viewing your crappy movies next time i’ll just by a book.

Jen on

So why is she so relevant now? Her movies aren’t, even a current one. I don’t see a picture of the twins like one commentor said. And Marky, don’t use People magazine to toot your horn, please. Would rather read the Kim Kardashian articles than read someone’s life story posting as a result of their low self-esteem. The only kind of feedback from here is back talk. Wise up.

Karen on

When her kids are grown and out on their own, the last thing Danny and Julia will be saying is, “I wish we’d watched more tv!” Good going.

Aidita on

Julie, U are my favorite actres, bur really, this is CRAPPPPPP. Are U insane?

Nadine on

@ Marky – I grew up with a TV in my room, did my homework in front of the TV, watched more TV than most of my friends and I still had all the time in the world to hang out with my friends, be imaginative and never got into trouble. I graduated Valedictorian of my high school class, went off to college, graduated, and got promoted at work immediately after graduating.

Just because people watch TV, and sometimes a lot of TV, doesn’t mean they’ll turn into antisocial, incapable, unsuccessful people.

JM on

Professor K, 🙂 yeah i was kind of wondering that. it is funny to me when people demonise tv and watching films. i loved watching tv with my family. my brother and i have a lot of happy memories of stuff we used to watch together. like everything else, if you are an involved parent with an ounce of common sense you don’t have to worry about tv. be sensible and encourage your kids to be sensible.

itznia on

My staight A children both have TVs in their room – and they are RARELY on – its the quality family time that really counts – if you have a good family core your children are going to want to spend time with you and not the TV – and my children are 19 and 15.

Rebecca on

please, self righteous people like this make me nauseated; she use to be one of my favorite actresses

JulieA on

I think Julia’s ideas about parenting are spot on! After allm the best gifts you can give your kids are your love and yor time. I don’t think she’s being self-righteous by stating how she parents her kids. Team Julia!!!

Janeet on

My STRAIGHT A son watches TVs/Movies alot and (shockingly) plays video games. He is 8 years old, in second grade, and has been tested to possibly go into the gifted program at his school next year. I guess he should spend some more time reading, huh?!.

vicster on

I agree with your kids…. Don’t watch your movies!

Sophia on

It makes me smile when I read her talking about her family and when I see her with her husband. She has had quite a lot of boyfriends in the past, and now she’s been with the Danny Moder for 12 years! 🙂 I’m 26 and single and her story gives me hope that I too can meet “the love of my life” one day. More happiness to them!

hus on

Thank you, Liz, for the link to a picture of Julia’s twins. I have never seen a photo of them.

Becker on

I don’t think she was demoninzing TV in her comments, nor was she being hypocritical. It felt more to me like that’s what she does all day, she makes things for other people to watch, so why would she bring her work home with her (so to speak)? I can understand her point of view on that. The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is work some more; I would rather do something different with the people I love. But just a few little comments on an issue like this is going to change your mind about whether you watch her movies? Seriously? It’s entertainment. It’s not politics.

Hazel Gully on

I like romantic comedy and Julia does it well. She and her husband are to be admired for putting their most important roles (parenting) first and daring to live outside the fake glitter.

Anonymous on

Did anyone actually read the article? She never said that she and Danny ban TV outright (even stating at the end that the kids do watch some TV), just that TV-watching isn’t something their family does a lot of. She also said that she’s not opposed to her kids watching her movies when they’re older. So I fail to see how she’s being hypocritical.

I also want to point out that if she had said that she DID allow her kids to watch her meant-for-adults movies, she’d be getting blasted for that, too. So what exactly is she supposed to say?!

Oh, and it sounds like her husband switched jobs, as the last I saw, he was a photographer. 🙂

Anonymous on

Becker- Thank you. That’s exactly what I was trying to say, but you put it much better than I did!

Shannon on

Her children will appreciate it later. TV is overrated.

timeismonkey on

File this under ‘Who give a sh*t’.

Julia has always been a self important, holier than thou, narcissistic person. Her and Gwyneth Paltrow need to go live on a deserted island together where they tell stores of how their lives are so much better than everyone elses.

Guest on

I don’t watch her movies either!!

Jacqueline on

I find it very funny when a debate like this arises. There will never be two exactly the same parenting styles. Julia Roberts isn’t wrong for hers and the rest of you commenting don’t seem to be wrong for yours. There are WRONG ways to parent- but choosing to let your kids watch or not watch television isn’t one in my opinion.

I have three boys- one of them loves tv and movies and video games (he’d watch all the time but we limit his time.), one of them doesn’t like tv/movies/video games at all and one of them can take it or leave it. I will say when my kids were younger I didn’t allow them to watch, imo, mindless cartoons…but that gets harder as they get older. lol!

In any case, all three of my children are well educated and advanced in their classes, are very imaginative and converse well with other people. They are polite and respectful and kind…I’d like to think that has to do with me and my husband and not so much whether or not the watch tv. 🙂

Ashley on

I always find it ironic (moronic), how people who have amassed great wealth in the media, don’t let their kids watch TV. Madonna, Julia, Rosie, to name a few. They’re afraid of the effect it will have on them. But YOU and YOUR FAMILY, go right ahead and watch all you want….more money for them!

Kim on

Some of you might want to actually read the entire article. No where does she say she doesn’t let her kids watch TV at all. She said there are things they watch, but everyone prefers reading to watching TV. Nothing wrong with that! Some of my best memories of my childhood are of my Dad reading books to me. Can’t say the same for staring at a television.

Amy on

What a coincidence! I don’t watch any of her movies either!

rafiki on

My son is 8. We’re currently living in Cape Town, SA so there’s a lot of beautiful nature outdoors to be enjoyed but the kids here are just as much into TV and video games as back in western countries.

My son has a friend from school whose parents are hippy-like and refuses to own a TV. It’s true what they say, ‘you don’t miss what you don’t know.’ I’ve noticed it with this boy Luke. Unlike all of my son’s other friends, when Luke comes home for a play date, he is the only who wants to go play outside in the garden, hunting for bugs and things and discovering.

I think it’s amazing how he still sees the world like a child. That is so rare these days. Luke has already learned to surf, and he’s very craft and into nature – doing wood work and gardening and things like that, which is amazing for an 8 year old boy.

Now my kid is an avid reader, and he enjoys other things too like chess, but sometimes you almost have to “suggest” that he does an activity, and I find his creative mind is wrapped around the characters on the TV sometimes (like he’ll play imaginary Ben 10 sword fighting); and I also find the minute you allow TV time like on a Saturday morning, the kids don’t want to do anything else even when it’s a beautiful day and you literally have to switch off the TV and get them into their beach gear.

I definitely can see how TV can somehow have a negative impact on kids but I do it anyway, coz I believe in moderation.

Grace on

@Ashley: She just said in the interview that she does let her children watch TV. I’m unclear as to how you got from this article that she doesn’t let her children watch TV.

suzy diamond on

I imagine her kids won’t be seeing her movies because she hasn’t had a hit movie in well over TEN years! All her movies have flopped!

ecl on

If you all are so secure in your parenting style, why do you feel so attacked that she does something differently? She never said that she is against tv. She said they have one and they watch it, just not all the time. How is this a bad thing? The kids are young and if the family wants to spend the few short hours between coming home and going to bed doing other things then good for them. She never said movies are so awful and my kids can’t watch them, but all you peons should so that I can get rich.

Also, I always enjoy the spouted off stories about all your little geniuses who spend hours in front of the tv, but are the smartest, most bestest kids in the world. Besides, you can defend your choices without talking smack on someone else’s choices.

Anonymous on

This article is not a matter of Julia Roberts demonizing TV and movies or even giving her take on how kids “should” be raised. This is simply a few quotes from a press conference that a reporter turned into a story.

There’s nothing hypocritical or judgmental about her description of how her family tends to spend their time together. It sounds like she was answering some specific questions, not writing a parenting guide.

SMM on

Come on everyone, most people do seperate their work lives from their personal lives…why should an actor be any different? Why in the world would her limiting her children’s TV time make her hypocritical?? Her and her husband are parenting…that is NOT something that should be bashed…it should be respected and admired.

Liz on

Wonder if her chidren are aware that their mother is a homewrecker who couldn’t get a man of her own so she paid off Vera Moder. Danny is bought and paid for.

$ascha on

Wonder what age she will consider it “appropriate” to tell her children how she had an affair with a married man who left his wife for her…the guy who happens to be their father. Danny is a known ****hound and she couldn’t keep him out of Kirsten Dunst’s trailer when they were filming Mona Lisa Smile. The hypocrisy and irony is that she had to watch like a hawk the guy she took from another woman because he was on the make before they ever tied the knot and right in front of her, no less, because that’s what he does; did she think he wouldn’t do that to her, too, after leaving his wife for greener pastures? Why? Because she’s Julia Roberts? Puh-leeze. Julia took a nosedive in my book when she showed up in Hollywood wearing a t-shirt bearing a take on the words Aloe Vera: “A LOW VERA” (Vera being Danny’s ex-wife. Tacky, evil and spiteful and it enraged Danny’s dad, film producer Michael Moder [Beverly Hills Cop, Crimson Tide] who happened to love Vera as a daughter-in-law.) Julia flaunted her man-snatching in Vera’s face in a very public manner. Vera was crushed when Danny left her, but did nothing wrong, unless you call expressing her hurt over his betrayal and being reluctant to sign divorce papers, inappropriate because she didn’t want her marriage to end, forcing Julia to wait just a bit longer to get her way. Those who thought they knew Julia saw a completely different side to her when she went after Vera, then flaunted her relationship with Danny. She is known for going off on frequent rants at Danny about her waning career, blaming him for her staying home to raise kids and support his career, while people were forgetting her and not knocking her door down with movie roles. She wanted those children, then she resented the kids and Danny because she wasn’t the center of the universe anymore. She’s a pretentious, self-absorbed, hypocritical, adulterous piece of work.

lynn on

Sounds like they live in a giant bubble, located somewhere in fantasy land. Books are wonderful……..but please, add reality to the mix.

Marky on

Jen, maybe you’re just having a bad day, but there is no need to be rude to anyone on the thread, including me. If I gave you my life story, it would be much longer than my post. I gave my opinion, just like everyone else does on here, and if you would rather read about Kin K., please do so. Eat an M&M and sweeten up!

Nadine, et al, please note I did NOT say everyone should never, ever watch TV; I indicated many children end up watching too much, and don’t read, or read below level, or don’t learn to enjoy other types of activities. That doesn’t mean I don’t won a TV or ever watch it. Sheesh, people, does it really have to be a free-for-all every time someone gives an opinion, names their child, or cuts their hair? Really?

Bob Stanton on

Right on kiddies. I don’t watch Mommie’s movies either.

melissa on

I agree with Professor K.!!!!!!!

Nancy on

I liked her in Pretty Woman and Erin Brokovich and thats about it. I dont understand how Hollywood makes so much money anymore when most television is realty tv and most movies are terrible.

Shannon on

I have a lot of respect for her. I realize now that I have not seen a photo of the twins in years!

Shannon on

She totally stepped otu of the light when she had her children. Pretty amazing decision.

Ella on

That is probably best. Most of them suck.

Tee on

My word, this thread turned ugly real quick like! I can’t believe the number of people that are being nasty towards Julia Roberts because she chooses to limit the amount of television her children watch. Goodness!

Marky, certain comments that were made you totally uncalled for. I’m sorry that people felt the need to attack you like that. Personally, I enjoyed reading about your children and grandchildren! You sound like you’re a very blessed woman!

Lolly on

And your young kids would even be interested in watching your movies………..why? They’re too young. What a silly comment to make Julia?

Misha on

It never ceases to amaze me the HATE these types of articles bring around. I’m no fan of Julia Roberts personally. . .but I think her parenting is something that everyone can learn from. Limiting the amount of TV her kids watch is a good thing and everyone here is making her out to be an awful person because of it. A reporter asked her a question and she answered it. I don’t know how this makes her a hypocrite or pretentious etc.

Fred on

Good for Julia and Danny. In a dozen years, I bet you don’t see their kids in trouble with drugs and drink either.

USAyesterday on


It is great that you speak of all your grandchildren’s capabilities. The one I didn’t see listed is their ability to interact with children their own age. I agree too many kids spend too much time plastered to the tv, either shows or video games. However a well balanced schedule of both is not doing harm. When we were growing up, it was outside during the day and then family tv at night when it was getting dark out. There wasn’t as much after school programming directed at keep kids in front of the tv. The point is everyone got there exercise, and social development with their peers, and still were able to watch tv and enjoy conversations with their peers about that as well.

Fred on

She’s protected by the media. She’s a liberal media darling No kids pic’s no bad press Only this kind of stuff How mothering she is Blad and distorted

B.J. (the girl) on

Fred — Really? Watching TV leads to drugs and alcohol? That’s ridiculous.

jan on

I can’t believe some of you people. I swear some of you would be offended by waking up in the morning.

Marky on

Usa, please take a look at my post again and note that I say half of my grandchildren watch TV daily and have TVs in their rooms. Half rarely watch TV more than an hour a day. All I was saying was that the ones who didn’t watch as much, tended to be more artistic, conversational with ALL ages, great readers, and more socially adept with ALL ages. Grades seem to be higher with the ones who don’t watch, and those who watch less TV are in Honors classes, rather than regular classes. I’m speaking of my experience, not anyone else’s. Julia speaks to her own, as well.

I’m not saying everyone should throw out their TVs, although, when I thought my kids were watching too much, it was off except during tornado warnings, LOL. I had a large family, and it would have been easier to let them watch TV as much as they liked, but it was more important to me that my children “learn how to learn”, discuss lots of topics(including current events and whatever they were reading, or studying at school), and have outdoor play, than to see what was happening on Sesame Street or Barney. That was my opinion, and what I chose, it’s what all but one of my children has chosen, and anyone else can chose their own route, which is fine with me. I never meant to start something antagonistic; I simply gave my opinion. I thought this was a place to share; perhaps not.

SMiaVS on

Hmmm. Could the fact that celebrity parents are constantly in the public eye, and exposed to jerks like the ones on this site, possibly be why they don’t want their kids’ lives to be media-saturated? She never said she didn’t let her kids watch television. She just limits it. That’s good. TV’s generally a babysitter, and she can definitely afford to hire a better one.

On a completely unrelated note, I was disappointed to learn Mirror Mirror was not based on the Gregory Maguire novel….