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Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay have a special relationship in director Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder. The latter plays a child with a rare medical facial deformity, and the former plays his adoring mother — forcing a tremendous closeness between the two. Adding an extra layer to the performances, of course, is the heavy makeup that Tremblay wears, but it turns out that it wasn’t really a barrier on set, as Roberts never saw her young co-star’s face between the table read and the press junket. They recently told me,
Jacob Tremblay: We met each other at the table read.
Julia Roberts: And that was the last time I ever saw Jacob until today.
Jacob Tremblay: Without the makeup on.
Julia Roberts: I spent the summer with Auggie. But we had this kind of instant rapport, which is something that Owen [Wilson] and I had. But to have it with a child is much more of a kind of magical alchemy. Because I’m some strange woman going, ‘Oh, I love you son!’ Pulling on you. And he was just so open to my process, and he was so prepared as an actor, and so up for making it all work. You were never like, ‘Lady, what are you…’ It was such a great comfort to find.
I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay earlier this month when they reunited in London, England for Wonder‘s international press day. My first question to the duo was about their prep time and how much time they had to work together before production — but I quickly learned that the answer was “no time at all.” But that’s just modern Hollywood.
On the same subject of scheduling, it was the real reason why Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay never interacted with him outside of his Auggie makeup. Labor laws already prohibit children from working a certain number of hours on film sets, and part of Wonder‘s production required Tremblay to dedicate some of that chunk time to the makeup chair. Roberts evidently worked around this period, thus she never really saw the face of her co-star:
Julia Roberts: His makeup was just so intrinsic and detailed, and could take within two hours to prepare. He was always at work and ready and prepared and set to go when I showed up.
Jacob Tremblay: Before you showed up!
Julia Roberts: Yeah! So I never saw Jacob again!
Julia Roberts had many compliments to share about Jacob Tremblay during our conversation about Wonder, but that extended to our talk about his time in the makeup chair as well. While she obviously wasn’t there in person, she heard nothing but amazing things about his temperament — and he put the cherry on top with an adorable explanation as to why it wasn’t so bad:
Julia Roberts: And I did hear from the makeup guys, that did the makeup, that he sat and was still and patient and never complained. I would have been like, ‘Okay, come on, people! Can we just…’ He never complained on the set, and he never complained in the chair, and that, I think, speaks to who he is as a human.
Jacob Tremblay: Because playing Auggie is worth every sacrifice. He’s such a great character! What better character could you play.
Wonder, which co-stars Owen Wilson, Daveed Diggs, Mandy Patinkin, and Izabela Vidovic, is in theaters this Friday, November 17th, and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from our press day interviews!
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