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Julia Roberts & Director Sam Esmail Reveal Details & BTS Insight into Making Amazon's Series, 'Homecoming'

By Paul Zahn | January 9, 2019 | People

Julia Roberts is garnering rave reviews for her role in the hit Amazon streaming series, Homecoming. We caught up with the Oscar winner and Homecoming’s director to get the scoop on the acclaimed psychological thriller web show.


On Why She Wanted to Star in Homecoming

JULIA ROBERTS: Well, I just Eli and Micah thought wrote this super cool, complicated script. I was scared all the time when I was listening to it (the podcast) and scared all the time when I read it. I just thought—yea let’s just go to work in this scary world. I loved everything about the two or maybe for Heidi’s I play in the show (laughs).

On Why Director Esmail Wanted to Take Homecoming from a Podcast to a Streaming Series

SAM ESMAIL: The podcast resonated with me in such a strong way. I binged it in one sitting and then I binged it again and then a third time. I think I was in the middle of the third time that I realized what I love about it was it was a throwback to classic horror pieces—like Hitchcock and DePalma. I thought it was a kind of refreshing. Nowadays, thrillers are more action films that are not about people or relationships. There was something really classic yet new about this story. I didn’t want to be redundant with the podcast—I knew I wanted to make something different with the show.

On Filming Her First Foray into A Streaming Series

JR: We filmed like a film—for me, the novice (laughs). We did location shooting and there was only one day in the months we were shooting that I was both Heidi’s. The mapping of it was complex by design and the scheduling of it. Peter Cohn, our first AD—who was my first assistant director on The Pelican Brief—is exceptional.

On Collaborating with Director Sam Esmail

JR: Sam wanted to create a situation where we weren’t completely flummoxed all the time. It was strangely easy. Not easy—I don’t want it to sound like it was easy!

Sam gave me so much to do—so many miles to walk to get to my car when I was on the phone, so many things to hold. “Here are some keys, can you carry this box?”

All that distracted from the fact that Bobby (Cannavale) was absolutely screaming at me all the time—a lot going on. We were very efficient. It was all due to Sam—who knows what he wants.

Photography by: Photography courtesy Amazon