Emma Roberts Says “Fame Has Never Been the Goal” After Watching Her Aunt Julia Roberts’ Superstardom Sometimes Turn “Really Scary”

“There’s nothing scarier to me than being so famous that you’re never left alone.”

Emma Roberts
(Image credit: Getty Images)

No doubt about it, actress Emma Roberts is famous—but few reach the level of superstardom that she watched her aunt, Julia Roberts, experience as Emma was growing up. 

Emma was born in 1991, the year after Julia’s star-making turn in 1990’s Pretty Woman, which catapulted her to new levels of fame. In an interview on Bruce Bozzi’s “Table for Two” podcast (and per Us Weekly), Emma said that her aunt’s global fame was “really scary” at times after Bozzi asked her whether becoming a “massive movie star” was ever her goal as an actress.  

Actresses Julia Roberts and Emma Roberts arrive to the Los Angeles Premiere "Valentine's Day" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on February 8, 2010 in Hollywood, California

Emma saw her aunt Julia Roberts' fame reach superstar levels when she was just a little girl, and saw that it wasn't always a good thing.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“I saw very up close what that really looks like with my Aunt Julia,” Emma said. “It’s fun and it’s great, but there is a part of it that’s really scary.”

Emma added that being a carbon copy of Julia was never her desire, as she “always wanted to kind of carve my own path,” she said, adding that, through Julia’s superstardom, she learned even as a little girl that fame isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. “Fame has never been the goal, because fame at a certain level is kind of scary,” Emma said.

Emma Roberts

Emma opened up on the "Table for Two" podcast, hosted by Bruce Bozzi, about fame and nepotism in Hollywood, among other topics.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of her fame, Julia told CBS Sunday Morning in October 2022 that “Acting is my dream come true, but it is not my only dream come true,” she said. “The life that I’ve built with my husband [Danny Moder and] the life that we’ve built with our children [Hazel, Phinnaeus, and Henry]—that’s the best stuff, to come home at the end of the day, triumphantly, to them.”

Emma is looking to carve a similar path, and has been since beginning her career in the early 2000s. “Even in my later teens, I was like, ‘I never want my fame to outweigh my work,’” she told Bozzi. “Because there’s nothing scarier to me than being so famous that you’re never left alone, but also, you’re not getting good jobs.”

Emma Roberts

She said she wasn't interested in the level of fame that would make it so she was never left alone, and constantly hounded and followed.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Emma also spoke out on “Table for Two” about nepotism, specifically calling out that men experience criticism for it less than women. “I think there’s two sides of the coin,” she said. “People like to say, you know, you have a leg up because you have family in the industry. But then, the other side to that is you have to prove yourself more. Also, if people don’t have good experiences with other people in your family, then you’ll never get a chance.” (Well, thankfully, Julia is well-regarded in Hollywood, and has long been considered one of America’s foremost sweethearts.)

Whether male or female, Emma told Bozzi she doesn’t think “anyone should be called out for wanting to follow their dream,” she said.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.