"Yes, I'm a great romantic and I believe in true love. In fact, I'm pretty happy right now," says Julia Roberts. "I love my life, it's great. Work's good, and so's my personal life." She pauses and can't help flashing her famous smile as she adds, "Yeah, things are pretty good all around."
The star has every right to look happy these days. Her career's in overdrive right now, thanks to her recent Oscar nomination for the smash hit 'Erin Brockovich (2000)' and her new eagerly awaited romantic comedy, 'Mexican, The (2001),' which stars her opposite Brad Pitt.
And then there's the matter of her ongoing relationship with hunky star Benjamin Bratt . "He's just a great guy, a wonderful man," she offers, almost shyly. "He's very sweet and we have a lot of fun together."
Wearing an orange leather and suede jacket - "it's vintage," and flashing that infectious million dollar smile that lights up the whole room, she certainly looks better than ever. Her trademark hair, that luxuriant mass of tangled curls that veers from chestnut to red to gold depending on her moods, is darker today and pulled back in a ponytail. Underneath the jacket she's wearing a green T-shirt - "It says, 'Master Lee's Kung Fu Academy,'" she explains in a 'Don't mess with me,'" jokey voice. We wouldn't dream of it as Julia talks about love, life and her red hot career.
So how was it working with Brad?
"Great, fantastic, the best."
"He did? I love him. He's great."
So is it true you were flirting with him at The Golden Globes?
No, I didn't flirt with him. What happened was, I was sitting there, and from way across the room I saw him, and for a second I thought he was looking at me. So I kind of gave him a smile and wave across a crowded room, like a fan, and he kind of looked at me and then just looked down, and my face turned really red, and I whispered to Benjamin, 'I waved to James Gandolfini and he just ignored me.' Then as I went up to present I went right by him and I thought, what the hell, so I put my hand on his shoulder and said, 'Hey, I just wanted to say hi, because I waved to you before.' And he goes, 'I didn't know if you were waving at me. I figured it couldn't have been me, so I just looked away.' So I said, 'I just figured you were ignoring me.' So after that was cleared up, he introduced me to his wife Marcie, and who knew, that was the start of it all. And then he came onto this film, and it was great working together. We start off with the most hostile introduction you can imagine, being dragged by my hair out of a toilet. So where do you go from there? Coffee (laughs).
This is your third Oscar nomination. Does it feel any different?
"I don't think like that. I don't think, 'Is it more fun, is it better?' It's just time to be happy and thrilled and grateful. I remember the first one, and I was so excited. And I'm still so excited. As Brad would say, inside I'm doing cartwheels upside down, naked - all that kind of stuff.' But I'm not nervous about it."