Before we delve into the covers, I’m just pleased that this cover manages to avoid using the headline “JULIA” or “JULIA!” which has been the recent preference. Of course, instead, it uses, “Julia Roberts by Oprah,” which is… the celebrity interview equivalent of “JULIA!”

I know Julia is a BEC for some people, and there have definitely been times — usually when she takes the mic at an awards show and makes it all about her — where I am on that boat. But she’s also got this charisma, and a wry sense of humor, and that means that much of the time I find her charming and I still get very sucked in by the Major Movie Star quality. Not many people could disappear to Taos for the long stretches that she does, and still carry that much A-list heft. I don’t know. Whenever people talk about the unquantifiable thing that separates a celebrity from a Celebrity, I think of Julia Roberts, because she has it. Or maybe It. Both. Even though I am aware in the back of my mind that there is a PR machine at work, and she may well be feeding me a character, I can’t help but chuckle agreeably at stuff like this because Julia (JULIA!!!!):

Sometimes we are in the grocery store and I won’t even know something is out, but we’ll see a tabloid and we’ll all be standing there like, “Oh, that’s uncomfortable. This is really uncomfortable.” It can still hurt my feelings, because I’m so proud of my marriage. We just celebrated being married for 16 years this Fourth of July, and there’s so much happiness wrapped up in what we’ve found together. What I like is when they write, “the $150 million divorce,” and then a week later a different tabloid says, “the $275 million divorce.” I’m like, “Well, somebody got a paycheck in the last week. This is getting good.”

Oprah, though. She knows how to talk to a person, and indeed built her career on it, but it’s not a world-beater of an interview. There are some good moments, and she had some facts at her fingertips, and didn’t shy away from asking about The State of The World. But she is also still Oprah, and so there is always an element of injecting herself, like when Julia JULIA!!!!!! answers one of her questions about fear of heights. Oprah’s response is not to proceed with the interview, but rather to offer:

Yes. I was with a friend once in Telluride hot-air ballooning

Which, by the way, of course she was…

and Mary Kay for some crazy reason said to me, “I’m afraid of heights,” and I go, “It’s a hot air balloon. It’s not like you’re hanging from a string,” and we got up in the air and she starts trembling and says, “I’m afraid I’m going to jump over. I’m afraid I’m going to jump over,” and I said, “You’re not going to jump over because I’m going to knock you out before you jump over. If you jump over, it’s going to upset this whole balloon basket.”

What even is that? “For some crazy reason”?!? Perhaps it’s because she’s scared of heights, which she TELLS YOU. Hot air balloons are rad, but you are up high and you ARE in a basket and it WOULD be very easy for that to end badly, Oprah my dear, so maybe stop telling everyone that Mary Kay is a lunatic wussypants. (I guess Mary Kay could’ve foregone the balloon if she is that afraid, but I also think that’s one of those experiences you might not REALIZE will bother you in the same way until you’re up in it. Mary Kay, you are seen. But don’t throw yourself out of a balloon. That is COMPLETELY counterproductive. Plummeting is not the answer to being afraid of heights.)

She also casually notes of one topic, “Travolta said the same thing.” That is so Oprah. You could call this, at times, “Julia Roberts and Oprah by Oprah.”

The pics are pretty great, though. Let’s flit through the mountains with JULIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!, shall we?

[Photos: Harper’s Bazaar]