Take Julia Roberts for example. For years, her life seemed perfect — she had a successful career, a healthy bank account, and she was celebrated as one of the most beautiful women in the world. But it was only when she found her one true love, Danny Moder, that she felt really happy. Here is their wonderful love story.
Julia Roberts and her husband, Danny Moder have been married since 2002 and have three children. This is the second attempt at marriage for both Moder and Roberts. She was once married to actor and musician Lyle Lovett, but apparently, the stars weren't in line for them.
Her marriage to Moder, however, is a different story. The actress gave a guest appearance in Gwyneth Paltrow's podcast, "Goop", and opened up about their relationship.
In the Public Eye
Being in the spotlight has some benefits. It usually comes with great wealth, fans who adore you, and flashy events. But it has its negative sides too, like paparazzi and people sticking their noses in your relationships.
Roberts and Moder soldiered through it all. It may have something to do with how private they are about their love life — not an easy feat to achieve when you have such a high-profile career.
As advertised, Roberts and Moder are particularly private, but opening up to Paltrow about the couple's life wasn't that hard. The two (Roberts and Paltrow0) are dear and close friends.
The two first met when they starred in the movie "Hook" together in 1991 (Paltrow played young Wendy and Roberts was Tinkerbell) and have been nurturing their friendship ever since. So having a heart-to-heart with each other didn't feel as revealing to Roberts.
An Early Start
In the past three decades, Julia Roberts has been nurturing one of the most prolific acting careers in Hollywood. People around the world instantly recognize her thanks to her iconic roles and dazzling smile.
She had her first noticeable role in the 1989 film "Steel Magnolias" as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie. The Academy nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award for this role, and it was by no means the last they've seen of her.
A Steel Fist
While "Steel Magnolias" was very successful and put her on the map as an actress of worth, shooting it was a very difficult experience for Roberts. It was her first big role, which meant nothing to Director Herbert Ross, who had treated her harshly.
According to her co-star Sally Field, Ross went after her as if it was a quest of vengeance. Shirley MacLaine, another co-star said that Roberts was often in tears and doubting her own talent. Little did young Julia know, things were about to get a lot better.
The Pretty Woman Effect
Julia's most famous role is definitely that of Vivian Ward, the streetwalker with the ultimate happy ending in "Pretty Woman" (1990).
Sharing the screen with Richard Gere, Roberts was then nominated for another Academy Award, this time as Best Actress. From there, the road for numerous blockbusters and starring credits was paved.
Jackie of All Trades
While Roberts portrayed romantic characters beautifully, she soon branched out to other genres.
Sure, there are the romantic ones like "Notting Hill" (1999) and "Runaway Bride" (1999) alongside Hugh Grant and Richard Gere, respectively. But she has also played in fantastic dramas such as "Eat Pray Love" (2010) and "Closer" (2004). No character was too big for her to slip into.
Doing It All
Dramas and romantic comedies are just a drop in the bucket when it comes to Roberts' career.
She has appeared in thrillers (like "The Pelican Brief" and "Conspiracy Theory") and has even done some voice acting, lending her vocal cords to animated characters like in the film "Smurfs: The Lost Village". Some films did better than others, of course, but the bulk of her work has been incredibly successful.
Finally — an Oscar!
One of the most significant peaks in Roberts' career is her portrayal of the title character in "Erin Brockovich" (2002).
Based on a true story, her character was an unemployed single mother of three who fought to stop a mega-corporation from harming her town. This role finally turned her from an Oscar nominee to an Oscar winner as Best Actress.
Bringing the Titles Home
Roberts' success wasn't limited to critical acclaim. She has also reached unbelievable financial achievements, becoming the highest-paid actress in the world for most of the 1990s. She has kept raking in big bucks ever since.
The star's titles don't just stop there – she has also earned the title of the most beautiful in the world from People magazine for five consecutive years!
The Best of the Best
With an acting career that stretches over more than three decades, it's no surprise that Roberts has had the chance to work with the creme de la creme of Hollywood gentry.
Other than Richard Gere, Roberts' line of impressive co-stars includes George Clooney ("Ocean's Eleven"), Denzel Washington ("The Pelican Brief"), Brad Pitt ("The Mexican"), and Tom Hanks ("Charlie Wilson's War").
Roberts has had a slew of hunky co-stars to play her characters' love interests. But sometimes their names have been romantically linked to hers off-screen as well.
In 1988 and 1996, she acted alongside Liam Neeson in "Satisfaction" and "Michael Collins" (respectively) and the two became romantically involved. Her subsequent dating pool was mostly comprised of actors such as Dylan McDermott, Jason Patric, and Matthew Perry.
The Real Runaway Bride
In 1990, Roberts starred in the movie "Flatliners", where she met her co-star actor Keifer Sutherland. Sparks immediately started flying and it was less than a year until the two got engaged. However, their relationship didn't last and the pair broke things off just three days before their wedding date.
On top of that, a day before the scheduled wedding, Roberts traveled to Ireland. She did that with actor Jason Patric (Sutherland's friend) and the two had a short relationship later.
In 1992, after seeing some significant ups and downs in her love life, Roberts was cast in "The Player".
Her co-star in the film was country musician Lyle Lovett, in his very first film role and we have a feeling you already know where this is going. Lovett and Roberts fell deeply in love so intense they were married in literally three weeks.
But They Didn't Last
Robert and Lovett's romance ended just about as quickly as it started. In fact, the two got divorced after only two years of marriage.
During their two years together they co-starred in a second film together — "Ready to Wear" (1994). The assumption today is that the thing that broke the two apart was career pressures.
Another Romantic Chapter
Next in line to capture Roberts' heart was actor Matthew Perry, who you probably know as Chandler from "Friends". She even gave a guest appearance on the show. Unfortunately, this relationship, too, didn't last.
In 1998, Roberts met her next romantic partner, actor Benjamin Bratt from "Law & Order", and gave a little cameo in his show too. The two dated for quite some time and even went to the 2000 Oscars together.
While Bratt and Roberts had a pretty steady relationship, it apparently wasn't true love. The two split up in 2001, but Roberts met her one true love a little before that happened.
In 2000, Roberts acted in the film "The Mexican" alongside Brad Pitt. This is where she met an interesting cinematographer — Danny Moder. Back then, they both had significant others — Roberts had Bratt and Moder was still married to film makeup artist Vera Steinberg. By 2001, they broke up with their spouses, and in 2002, they made things official and got married.
Chatting on Set
You're probably wondering how a non-celebrity might even consider approaching a Hollywood A-lister in the first place. And we were wondering the same thing. But apparently, chatting with Roberts on set wasn't all that complicated for Moder.
Roberts states that she is quite relaxed on set and that the crew gets to see her most professional side as well as her most frazzled one. Seeing the entirety of someone's personality makes them pretty approachable, and she was no different.
Moder — the Backstory
Danny Moder was born in Los Angeles and started working in film in 1992. The first movie he worked on as a production assistant is "Crimson Tide".
From there, he climbed through the ranks of backstage jobs. As a camera and electric team member, he worked on films like "Enemy of the State" (1998) and eventually started creating his own movies. Some of the films he created include "Fireflies in the Garden" (2008) and "Secret in Their Eyes" (2015) starring Roberts.
Despite her flashy career, Roberts is a pretty low-key person. When she married Moder in 2002 it was in a low-key ceremony held in New Mexico at a ranch owned by the actress. The guest list totaled sixty people.
The couple kept things simple, exchanging handwritten vows and wearing some non-traditional clothes. Instead of the usual gown and tux, the two opted for a pink floral gown for the bride and a red/tan ensemble for the groom.
Let the Babies Come
Despite both of them being previously married, neither Roberts nor Moder had children when they met.
Now, however, the two have three children of their own. First came the twins — Phinnaeus and Hazel-Patricia, who were born in 2004. In 2007, the twins were joined by a younger brother named Henry Daniel.
The Kids Have Some Interesting Names
In the summer of 2009, Roberts was busy filming the movie "Eat Pray Love". In this popular romantic drama, Roberts stars as Elizabeth Gilbert, a woman who goes on a life-changing journey around the world.
The journey helps her re-discover herself and what's really important in life. One location in her journey is an Indian ashram where she discovers the power of prayer. Apparently, shooting in this location has greatly impacted Roberts herself, and she even gave her children Hindu names that same year: Laxmi, Ganesh, and Krishna Balram.
All families have their own dynamics, and the Roberts-Moder's one is pretty busy. When giving an interview to Vanity Fair, Roberts shared a little about what it's like for them to balance their family life with their careers.
According to her, there are days when things run pretty smoothly and days that are incredibly hectic. Just like everyone else, they too are constantly learning and developing their parenting skills.
Part of the Family
Two people who got an up-close peek into the Roberts-Moder household are actors Lucas Hedges and Kathryn Newton.
The two played the parts of Roberts' children in the drama "Ben Is Back", and Julia had them come over and meet her actual kids. The two stayed over for a while, merging the on-screen family with the real-life one quite successfully.
The Kids Are Unimpressed
You would think that the children of one of the most famous actresses in Hollywood would appreciate their mother's standing in the industry. But apparently, Roberts' kids are not very impressed by it.
When coming on as a guest for Oprah Winfrey's show, she said her kids don't really grasp how incredibly famous she is. It looks like her films appeal to an audience of a different age group, so her children don't perceive her as a celebrity.
Famous Like Taylor Swift
Roberts elaborated on her children's perception of her fame. She said that when her fame started dawning on them, they asked about it. Her diplomatic reply was that a lot of people know who she is or have seen a movie featuring her.
The children's following question was if she's more famous than Taylor Swift. That's some younger audience for you.
Starting a rumor is incredibly easy and Roberts knows all about it. Every once in a while, tabloids or online pseudo-journalists pop up with a rumor that she and Moder are about to break up.
According to her, it can sometimes hurt her feelings because she takes such pride in her marriage. But her number one priority is to make sure her children know the truth — mommy and daddy are very much in love.
Despite being regularly targeted by the paparazzi, Roberts is known to lead a pretty private life. So joining Instagram was a big step for her. However, it was a necessary step that helps her take better control over false rumors about her marriage.
Her opening an Instagram account was actually an idea offered by her children. Now featuring over 9 million followers, she's still learning how to balance Instagram with her private lifestyle.
No Such Thing as Mastering Motherhood
Much like other mothers in showbusiness, Roberts was asked about her mothering skills. She even spoke about it when getting interviewed by Oprah.
According to her, she has her ups and her downs, just like with everything else in life. Some days she feels like she's got it, and other days — not so much. As she puts it, there is no such thing as mastering motherhood, and people need to know that before they decide to embark on a parenting journey.
There's Nothing Wrong With Reaching Out
Parenting, as we all know, is easier when done by two parents. And Roberts made it a point that she believes women shouldn't be responsible for every single thing all the time if they have a loving and supporting partner.
During her interview with Oprah, she said there is nothing wrong with reaching out to a partner, friend, or even your own children if you need a hand for whatever reason.
Shout It From the Rooftops
There is no doubt that Roberts' best relationship is the one she has with Moder, and she speaks about it very proudly and openly.
She was interviewed about it not only by Oprah but also by actress and friend Gwyneth Paltrow on her podcast, "Goop". The podcast interview was open and candid and she wasn't afraid to gush over her husband and let the world hear all about it.
A Seismic Shift
When featured in Paltrow's podcast, Roberts described the impact her husband had on her life as a "seismic shift".
According to her, meeting him was the first time she felt like her life has changed forever in the best way possible. With more than 20 years of relationship, they just keep getting cuter.
What's Their Secret?
So, after failed relationships in the past, what makes Moder so special and their relationship work so well? Roberts told Paltrow all about it.
She calls him her "favorite human" and stated that she is more interested in his opinion or point of view more than anybody else's. They have a great friendship and they just enjoy being together, no matter where they are.
Even After All These Years
We are all familiar with the different stages of relationships, and we all know that time is a huge factor to consider.
Paltrow asked her friend about the issue and their decades spent together, Roberts said that the years have been kind to them and brought them closer together. After spending all this time together, their relationship is deeper and more complex in the best way possible.
The Power of Differences
When asked to elaborate on the things that make her and Moder work so well together, Roberts had her answers all locked and loaded.
She explains that they do things differently and that their differences create a certain harmony between them. To put it simply — they complete each other.
The Big Four-Oh
Other than meeting and marrying Moder, Roberts has had different turning points in her life. One of those turning points was turning forty. Now in her 50s, she has a full perspective on that event in her life.
She spoke to Paltrow about the great benefits that came with the age. Roberts admitted that this was when she started to find self-acceptance and inner strength — something that she believes many women go through when they enter their 40s.
Knowing Her Priorities
After starring in iconic films and being famously known as the most beautiful woman in the world, you'd think everyday events wouldn't be very exciting for Roberts.
After all, the woman's successful career has taken her far and wide while banking her some serious cash. That's more than most of us even dream of. But the actress considers her 40th birthday epiphanies and relationship with her husband far more monumental.
Half a Century
If you thought turning forty was the last of Roberts' meaningful birthdays you are sadly mistaken. The celebration of her fiftieth birthday was just her kind of incredible. The initial plan was to get away with her hubby for five days and have no contact with the outside world.
However, halfway through these five days, she realized she missed her kids terribly. Moder then secretly arranged for all three of them to come and surprise their mom, which mover her to tears.
Owning Her Destiny
Those who listened to Paltrow's "Goop" podcast may have noticed she turned out to be a persistent interviewer.
She asked Roberts if Moder was the first real shift for her, to which she answered "I think that just I felt I really had a sense of ownership of my destiny. I’ve never said that before." This kind of love really does sound incredible.
A True Gush-Fest
You thought the gushing was over? Think again. Apparently, Roberts couldn't stop coming up with new ways to describe just how much she loves that hubby of hers.
She called her marriage to Moder the best decision she's ever made. In the background, listeners of the podcast could hear Paltrow was audibly touched by her friend's words.
Those of you who watched Roberts in the movie "Eat Pray Love" know that finding love is often what you need to find happiness. And Roberts obviously has that.
The actress opened up about the issue in an interview she gave on Oprah's O Magazine. She stated that she is the happiest she's ever been and that the joy comes from being content with what she has. To be fair, a solid bank account, a loving partner, a beautiful family, and a successful career do sound very satisfying.
Love and Marriage
Oprah obviously had some follow up questions. After all, it seemed that Roberts has found the formula for happiness, and it was Oprah's duty as a journalist to share it with the world.
When inquiring her for the reason that made her so content, Roberts confessed that it is largely thanks to her marriage. Not her career, not her money — just love.
Shining a Light
Roberts' interview for O Magazine quickly turned into a hymn praising her husband. "My husband Danny has really shined the light for me," she said.
"Because of being married, I’ve met people and experienced all these little things that have nurtured my life. Not so much changed it, just nurtured it in a way that’s astounding." How touching!
Her Most Comfortable Self
When she discovered the impact Roberts' marriage has had on her life, Oprah was just as relentless as Paltrow.
Just like her non-Hollywoodian fans, she wanted to know what Moder has added to the life of someone who seemingly had everything. Roberts' emphatically responded that with him she doesn't need to alter herself and can be as comfortable as she pleases.
Not only does he make her feel comfortable, but he also helps her overcome her own personal fears. One example of that is Roberts' fear of heights. In 2018, she posed in evening gowns for a Harper's Bazaar photoshoot.
Oh, and she did it while hanging by a rope from the side of a rock. When Oprah met her for a later interview, the actress confessed that Moder was the one who talked her into it and talked her through it. That's what we call being someone's rock.
Real Life Happy Ending
And now, for the question you've all been waiting for — how does a marriage work between a rich and famous Hollywood star and a not-so-famous person?
Well, just like in "Notting Hill" — the answer is yes. For those of you who don't know, in "Notting Hill" Roberts plays the part of a famous actress who falls in love with a simple bookseller. So, for once, a silver-screen happy ending has successfully made its way into real life.
Just a Simple Person
When Oprah asked about the fame-difference issue Roberts was ready with an answer. She said she is a pretty simple person but her job makes other people think that she is somehow more interesting than others.
Basically, she said that she is pretty much the same person she was before Hollywood and that they are just two people with different jobs who got married. This kind of down-to-earth demeanor is one of the things that make her so popular.
The 18 Year Mark
In the summer of 2020, Robers and Moder celebrated their 18th anniversary, proving to everyone that they are stronger than ever.
When Roberts is not being directly interviewed about her husband, she tends to keep her private life to herself. The 18th anniversary, however, was an exception. She took to Instagram and posted the most adorable picture of them both with the caption "18 years #heckyes".
It's All About Love
Roberts obviously keeps other people interested for a reason, even if that reason is her unbelievably long and happy marriage.
She shows us that no matter how successful you are, the one thing that matters most is having a person to share your life with. And in Hollywood, where relationships rarely last very long, it's incredibly refreshing to hear something that restores our faith in true love.