Seven years is way too long to wait to bask in the glow of Julia Roberts' million-watt smile. But the last time TODAY's Matt Lauer sat down with the Oscar-winning actress was back in 2007 — when she was balancing an active work life, new baby Henry and two-year-old twins Hazel and Finn. So when Lauer reunited with Roberts on Friday to catch up, the time lag between chats was definitely foremost in their minds.
"I went back and I looked at the tape ... of the last time we talked," said Lauer. "I joked with you, I said, 'Well, I guess I'll see you in seven years.' Do you take everything so literally?"
Laughed Roberts, "I do. I had put it on the books. So I knew."
Who knew Roberts planned that far ahead? Not us! And here are six other things we learned during their heart-to-heart:
(2) Her children are almost old enough to understand what she does for a living
"They understand that ... people that I don't know might know who I am," she said. But when "Mirror, Mirror" was released in 2012, her kids — now ages 9 and 7 — weren't allowed to see it. "I said, 'Well, I'm not very pleasant in the movie," said Roberts. "And I pull (Lily Collins') hair, and I might slap her a couple of times. And I don't want to scare you." That said, she "can't wait until Hazel is old enough to sit down and watch ("My Best Friend's Wedding") with her. "I think it's a riot."
(3) Her dream cast and movie crush are ...
Being part of an ensemble for "Normal Heart" (for which she received an Emmy nomination) has become Roberts' preferred acting choice. So when asked who she'd assemble for her own dream cast, she immediately came up with a star-studded lineup: "Annette Bening, Cate Blanchett, Emma Thompson," she said, then added some men. "Anthony Hopkins, because he's my movie crush — who else? Chiwetel Ejiofor ... George Clooney. Brad Pitt. I think I've made more movies with ... Brad Pitt than I've made with anybody. So I'll just keep going with Brad."
(4) Social media leaves a bad taste in her mouth
If she'd had to get a start in the industry today, Roberts said, "I don't think I'd survive," thanks to the scrutiny social media puts famous people under. "It's just too nasty. It's the sport of ugliness. I'd pull out of it. I wouldn't have the stomach for it."
(5) She's got a serious guilt trip from leaving kids behind to work ... and Hazel didn't help!
Both her husband Daniel Moder and frequent co-star George Clooney encouraged her to make "August: Osage County" in 2013, but it was the only time she'd left her kids behind to take a job. "Hazel refers to it as 'the dark time,'" she laughed. "As my husband says, I had to at some point have that experience and know what it was like. And I was just lucky that on the other side of that experience was this dream job."
(6) She still knows her lines
It's been 24 years since "Pretty Woman" and 15 since "Notting Hill," but Roberts hasn't forgotten a bit — and even spouted off a few classics with Lauer. "You just grind it in there so hard so that it feels like your own thoughts," she said.
(7) She doesn't keep her Oscar for 2000's "Erin Brockovich" in her home
Turns out the prize is actually in her sister's apartment (where it's been for some time) in a small hutch. But that may soon change. "I'm going to get it," she promised Lauer. "And take it home. 'Cause it could go with the Barbies. It could be Ken's competition for Barbie's affection."
See you in, hopefully, less than seven years, Julia!
"The Normal Heart" will be released on DVD on Aug. 26.