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Golden Globes nominee Stephan James on acting with Julia Roberts in 'Homecoming': 'I don't think you ever get over that'

Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Stephan James is having a bit of a year. At just 24, he starred in a pair of Golden Globes nominees in Barry Jenkins' follow-up to "Moonlight," "If Beale Street Could Talk," and Sam Esmail's adaptation of the hit podcast "Homecoming." James also earned a nomination for his work on that series. The Canadian-born actor talks about working with Julia Roberts and whether he needs to readjust his goals now that he's surely met a few of them so early in his career.

Q: How did you get the news?

A: My manager and publicist woke me up a little after 5 a.m., and they were screaming at me, and I was trying to make out what they were saying. I finally was able to put two and two together. It's incredibly exciting. I have not been able to go back to sleep; that's been tough.

Q: What was the collaboration like with Sam Esmail and Julia Roberts?

A: I loved it. We really formed a great team. I knew that Julia and I had to really spend a lot of time together. I was just grateful to how she handled the whole situation. She's obviously an incredible actress, but she's also an incredible person. I couldn't have imagined sharing those moments with anybody else.

Q: Was it hard to focus on bringing it when you're across from Julia Roberts? What's your favorite movie of hers?

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A: I don't think you ever really get over that. You kind of just go with it. She's been such a joy to be able to work with and to have as a friend.

My favorite movie is "Erin Brockovich," for sure.

Q: You and Julia actually improvised a lot together, right?

A: Yeah, we would improvise quite a bit. We already had so much dialogue in the show. Sam often would just encourage us to play around and feed off each other's energy. It was a lot of fun. She was the perfect actress for that.

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