Julia Roberts says being an actress in Notting Hill was 'so embarrassing'

Romantic comedy queen Julia Roberts was so uncomfortable with one of her iconic roles that it almost didn't happen. In a new interview with British Vogue , the actor revealed she almost turned down Notting Hill , saying her character Anna Scott "looked awkward" at first.

In an interview with "Notting Hill" screenwriter Richard Curtis, Roberts admitted that she felt weird about playing a fictional movie star after becoming an up-and-coming actor herself. "Honestly, one of the hardest things I've ever done is to play a movie actress in your movie," she said. "I'm so uncomfortable!"

In fact, the challenge seemed so daunting that she almost turned it down. "I mean, we had talked about it a lot, but I almost didn't accept the role because it looked - oh, it looked awkward," she said. "I don't even know how to play that person."

Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in Notting Hill . Getty Images/Helton Archives/Getty Images

Of course, Roberts figured out how to play Anna and doesn't regret it at all. "Notting Hill" apparently set the bar so high that Roberts hasn't made another romantic comedy in over two decades, simply because she hasn't until 2022's "Ticket to Paradise," starring with George Clooney. Never encountered a romantic comedy this good.

"People sometimes misunderstand that I haven't done a romantic comedy in a long time because I don't want to do one," she told The New York Times in April 2022.

"If I read something that I think has a Notting Hill level of writing or a My Best Friend's Wedding level of crazy fun, that's what I'm going to do. They don't exist until [ Heaven ]."

Hugh Grant's Notting Hill View

Roberts' love interest is played by none other than perennial romantic comedy heartthrob Hugh Grant, who has his own steamy take on Notting Hill. In an interview with Wired in March, he called the film's ending "disgusting" while revealing a hidden Easter egg planted by director Roger Michell.

“That sickening moment on the bench at the end, I was reading Louis de Berniere’s ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin,’ which was going to be his next film,” Grant said. "So this is a little joke from Roger Michell, God bless his soul." Michele died in September 2021 at the age of 65.

Where would Anna be now?

Watch What Happens Live with Julia Roberts. Bravo/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

In a recent interview with Gayle King on CBS Morning Show , Roberts speculated on where her most famous film roles would be now, including Notting Hill 's Anna Scott, who she thinks may be leaving acting boundary.

"She's retired. She's got six kids and she's maintained her waistline," she quipped. "He still runs the bookstore. Now she runs the bookstore with a little knitting annex." Maybe one day, a sequel can make that a reality.