Julia Roberts Praises Husband Danny Moder for Being Their Family's 'Anchor': 'Captain of Our Ship’

Julia Roberts opened up about family life with Danny Moder: “Marrying the right person is important”

<p>Karwai Tang/WireImage</p> Julia Roberts in 2023

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Julia Roberts in 2023

Julia Roberts is opening up about her family life.

On the Today show Monday, the star of the new film Leave the World Behind called husband Danny Moder “our anchor” when asked about life as a parent.

“It all starts with Danny Moder,” Roberts, 56, told Hoda Kotb. The father of twins Hazel Patricia and Phinnaeus Walter, 19, and Henry Daniel, 16, is “our person and in the most beautiful way, the captain of our ship,” said the actress.

“For me, understanding how deeply felt life could be,” she added, “really started with him.”

Related: Julia Roberts Shares Rare Photo of Her Twins as They Turn 19: 'No Words for the Joy'

<p>Rob Latour/Variety/Penske Media </p> Julia Roberts and Danny Moder in 2023

Rob Latour/Variety/Penske Media

Julia Roberts and Danny Moder in 2023

The Erin Brockovich Oscar winner and Moder have been married since 2002, after meeting and working together on the set of The Mexican. Their two older children are away at college, Roberts told Kotb when she and her Leave the World Behind costar Mahershala Ali were asked about parenting. 

“I have an immense amount of appreciation for both of my older kids because they still allow me to be the same mom to them and it's not eye-rolling. There's a huge amount of understanding,” she said.

“I parent them the same way out of the house that I parent them in the house. Which is, ‘Are you getting enough sleep? You sound like you're sick, are you drinking tea?’ And, ‘Text me when you get home so I can see that you're safe and sound.’”

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<p>JoJo Whilden</p> (Left to right:) Mahershela Ali, Myha'la Herrold, Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke in "Leave the World Behind"

JoJo Whilden

(Left to right:) Mahershela Ali, Myha'la Herrold, Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke in "Leave the World Behind"

Related: Leave the World Behind PEOPLE Review: A Nerve-Rattling Weekend with Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali

Moder also came up in conversation with the hosts of The View on Monday. Roberts revealed there are “a few secrets” to maintaining her happy marriage, citing her sister Lisa Roberts Gillan

“My sister, who has been married for 25 years or 26 years, I think, she says the secret to a happy marriage is two bathroom sinks and two phone lines,” the actress said.

“I think marrying the right person is important,” she added. “Lots of kissing hello and goodbye is really, I think, a critical detail to daily life... Everybody try it. Give it a week. Every time you say good morning, a hug and a kiss.”

The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg chimed in: “Maybe that’s been my problem! I just do a kiss out the side of her mouth. ‘See ya, bye. Come back in a week.’”

Goldberg, who has joked about her three marriages and preference for single life, added, “Hit and run, that’s what I like!”

Related: Julia Roberts Reveals Sweet Reason Why She Plans on Showing Daughter Old Letters from Husband

<p>Karwai Tang/WireImage</p> Julia Roberts at the "Leave The World Behind" Special Screening in 2023

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Julia Roberts at the "Leave The World Behind" Special Screening in 2023

Roberts also praised Goldberg on an upcoming film of hers that Moder worked on. “My husband, who’s a cinematographer, he filmed this beautiful movie called Ezra,” she said, pointing to Goldberg. “And you are so doggone great in that movie.”

Although she’s largely kept her family life out of the spotlight, Roberts has attended starry events with Moder and shared family birthday tributes on social media. The Ticket to Paradise star told PEOPLE in 2021 about what brings her joy: "Pure happiness is the feeling one has when the people they love are happy.”

Director Sam Esmail’s Leave the World Behind, costarring Ethan Hawke, Myha'la Herrold and Kevin Bacon, is adapted from the hit novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam. In theaters now, it begins streaming on Netflix Dec. 8.

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