Movie Star: What Makes Her The Best

No one applies for the job of "movie star." There are no graduate courses in the subject. The title is a gift from a public that has decided, as if ignited by mass lust, that you are the hottie du jour. That's the easy part. The hard part is maintaining an effortless allure through the rumbles of inane projects and the hiccups of popular taste.

Julia Roberts is America's Best movie star not because she is good in good movies--heck, Tom Hanks can do that--but because she is so popular in mediocre ones. Her every-award-winning role in Erin Brockovich was an...

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