Ju­lia Roberts, other A-lis­ters on why they’ve joined In­sta­gram

Times Colonist - - Arts - VIC­TO­RIA AHEARN

TORONTO — Ju­lia Roberts stepped out of the el­e­va­tor of her ho­tel dur­ing the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val last week­end and fi­nally spot­ted it — a gi­ant photo of her­self flash­ing her megawatt smile on a lobby wall.

The four-time Os­carnom­i­nated star had heard about the art­work from oth­ers, and she knew ex­actly how to im­mor­tal­ize the ex­pe­ri­ence: With a post on her In­sta­gram ac­count.

“I just started laugh­ing and I said: ‘Please, some­body take a pic­ture of me in front of this pic­ture, be­cause it’s mas­sive and hi­lar­i­ous and I might give it to my hus­band for Christ­mas,’ ” Roberts said with a laugh in an in­ter­view at the fes­ti­val, where she is star­ring in the film Ben is Back and the Ama­zon se­ries Home­com­ing.

Roberts is a part of a grow­ing group of stars who are join­ing the ranks of in­flu­encers and open­ing up their pri­vate lives on In­sta­gram.

Other A-lis­ters who have launched ac­counts on the so­cial­me­dia plat­form in re­cent months in­clude Natalie Port­man, Tom Cruise, Ni­cole Kid­man, Jennifer Garner and Michael J. Fox.

“I was told to join in­stead of be­ing asked if I wanted to join, to be hon­est. It wasn’t some­thing I was look­ing to do,” Garner, who joined In­sta­gram in Septem­ber 2017, said in a re­cent in­ter­view for her new ac­tion film Pep­per­mint.

Garner ini­tially wor­ried about the move, think­ing: “No­body needs to see how bor­ing my life is,” she said.

But once she fig­ured out her In­sta­gram voice, she found the fun in it.

“I re­ally en­joy find­ing a way to con­nect and let them in and be a part of their lives as well and hear what they have to say and start con­ver­sa­tions,” Garner said.

Roberts said she, too, ini­tially found it “very stress­ful” to post.

“I just thought: ‘What am I sup­posed to do? I don’t even know what to do. I’m ter­ri­ble at tak­ing pic­tures of my­self, I feel like a jack­ass, as frankly, any de­cent per­son should.’ I just felt so silly,” Roberts said.

Some peo­ple had sug­gested the for­mer Pretty Woman and Erin Brock­ovich star use the app as a way to pro­mote her work, but she wanted her ac­count to be more than that.

As with Garner, she’s now find­ing the hu­mour in it. And she likes the idea of be­ing able to see what friends are up to.

“And I find that it makes me look for­ward to work­ing, be­cause then I go: ‘Oh, then I have some­thing le­git­i­mate to post and not just here I am mak­ing cook­ies,’ ” Roberts said.

“But you have to find a sense of hu­mour and I think that the ben­e­fit I’ve got­ten from it, truly, is the tini­est lit­tle in­sight into what it must be like to be a teenager in this day and age.

“As the par­ent of teenagers, I’m find­ing it very in­for­ma­tive and in­ter­est­ing and em­pow­er­ing in that re­gard, where I have a lit­tle glimpse into what the youth of our so­ci­ety par­tic­i­pate in and the pos­i­tives of it and the frus­tra­tions of it.”

Cana­dian ac­tor Evan­ge­line Lilly, said she joined In­sta­gram sev­eral years ago as part of her job and “went into it very re­luc­tantly.”

“As a staunch Gen­er­a­tion X-er, I thought so­cial me­dia was de­stroy­ing the world and I was very ret­i­cent to be a part of it,” said the star of Ant-Man and The Wasp.

But her man­ager pointed out that be­ing on so­cial me­dia would help her pro­mote her book se­ries, reach her fans directly and bring at­ten­tion to so­cial is­sues she’s pas­sion­ate about.

She also liked that she could have more con­trol over how her voice got out into the world af­ter some frus­trat­ing ex­pe­ri­ences.

“I was telling my man­ager I never want to do press again,” Lilly said.

“And he was like: ‘Well that’s not the an­swer, but maybe … you could live with that a lit­tle more know­ing that you could cor­rect it.’ ”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.