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Julia Roberts first learned she was famous during an awkward bathroom encounter

The star flashed back 30 years to recall the moment she realized nothing would be the same again.
Julia Roberts' first time she realized she was famous
/ Source: TODAY

Julia Roberts has been a fan-favorite leading lady for so long that it's hard to remember a time when she wasn't a household name — at least it's hard for the rest of us to remember.

As for the 51-year-old Oscar winner herself, she recalls her pre-fame days with clarity and can even pinpoint the exact moment she first found out she was famous.

Adam Storke and Julia Roberts in "Mystic Pizza" (1988). Courtesy Everett Collection

The year was 1988, and Roberts' third film, "Mystic Pizza," had proved to be an unexpected big-screen success.

"I went home to Georgia to visit my mom and my younger sister and we went to the movies," the actress revealed during the latest episode of The Hollywood Reporters Awards Chatter podcast.

At just 21 years old, Roberts still had no idea she was reaching breakout star status, that is until that fateful trip to the cinema.

"It was after the movie was over and I was in the bathroom and there was a woman in the bathroom who said, ‘Hey girl in stall No. 1, were you in Mystic Pizza?'"

That’s right. Her first random fan encounter took place while she was in a public restroom.

After Roberts told the stranger that she was indeed that girl, the through-the-stall-door conversation continued.

"Will you sign this?" the fan asked as she slipped something under the door.

That's when things got a little awkward, and the newly famous Roberts simply replied, "Uh, not right now."

Turns out the bathroom isn't the best place to nab an autograph. But for the "Ben Is Back" star, it was just the right spot to get a glimpse of what was in store for her.