Julia Roberts and George Clooney are proof that the best friendships can turn into family. Roberts, 54, and Clooney, 61, met on the set of Ocean’s Eleven in 2001, and have been close pals ever since. They recently reunited to film Ticket to Paradise, a project on which Clooney helped Roberts feel less homesick while being away from her husband and kids.
The actors’ relationship has flourished both professionally and personally through the years; they’ve starred in six films together and love to spend time with each others’ families. In fact, they both have twins — Clooney and his wife Amal have Ella and Alexander, 5, and Roberts has Phinnaeus and Hazel, 17, plus Henry, 15, with her husband, cinematographer Danny Moder.
Roberts struggled with being separated from Moder due to strict COVID-19 regulations while on set in Australia making Ticket to Paradise. “It’s the longest I’ve ever been away from my family. I don’t think I’ve spent that much time by myself since I was 25,” she recently told The New York Times.
Ever the good guy and great friend, Clooney shared his family, who had joined him on set, with Roberts. “We started in Hamilton Island, with all these wild birds, and Julia had the house down just below Amal and me and the kids … I would come out in the early mornings and be like, ‘Caa-caa,’ and Julia would come out and be like, ‘Caa-caa.’ And then we’d bring her down a cup of coffee,” he told Us Weekly. Their kindness made all the difference for Roberts — who said that “the Clooneys saved [her] from complete loneliness and despair.”
In Ticket to Paradise, Roberts and Clooney’s characters share an on-screen kiss, which was difficult for the actors to capture due to the nature of their friendship. “I told my wife, ‘It took 80 takes,'” said Clooney. Roberts added, “It took 79 takes of us laughing and then the one take of us kissing.”
It’s clear that this friendship has by now turned into an entirely familial bond. Roberts, who is “Aunt Juju” to George and Amal’s children, said she was “quite enamored of [Amal]” to Extra back in 2015, and in 2016, Clooney told People, “[Julia] stayed at my house in Italy when she was first pregnant … Danny and I are great friends and love each other. What’s fun is it’s really like a family … it makes it easy.”
“We’ve just stitched our lives closer together,” Roberts explained to People in the same interview about their now-blended families. “All these people that come into our lives; my husband, my children, [George’s] wife. We just keep stitching our lives closer together.
“What a relief we’re not Hollywood friends,” she added. “I just said to him an hour ago, ‘Thank God we really do like each other, or we’d be in hell.’”