Emma Roberts wanted to forge her own successful acting career - not just follow in aunt Julia Roberts' footsteps

She developed a "thick skin" early on in her career

Emma Roberts wanted to forge her own successful acting career – not just follow in aunt Julia Roberts’ footsteps

Emma Roberts is often associated to as Julia Roberts’ niece, or the daughter of Stalked By My Doctor actor Eric Roberts.

However, the We’re The Millers star didn’t “aspire” to be like her famous relatives, and was determined to pave her own way in the film industry when she was a child.

Asked if she felt a pressure to follow in the footsteps of the Pretty Woman star, she told Tatler magazine: “I never aspired to be her. I love her so much, I love her work, but I’m just doing my own thing”.

Emma – who made her acting debut in Blow aged 9 years old - believes experiencing the highs and lows of the business at an early age helped to prepare her for her career, and grow her "thick skin".

Julia Roberts

Emma Roberts loves her famous aunt Julia Roberts, but wanted to be a successful actor in her own right

The 30-year-old shared: “I felt so much rejection at such a young age that it created a thick skin around me. If I’d started acting at 20, the rejection would have cut much deeper. When you’re 12, there’s still this magical wonderment to the whole process, whereas when things don’t go your way later on, you think it’s a deep reflection of you. I didn’t realise back then that I was in control of my life.”

Though Emma knew at a young age she wanted to pursue a career as an actor, she has her sights set on something even bigger - her production company Belletrist. The star hopes her latest venture can not only shift the stereotype around her and the movies she is cast in, but open doors for fellow actors too.

She explained: “I always wanted to be involved in [film and TV] projects in a more creative way and now I’m doing it. I can decide who I want to be around, for how long and in what capacity... This stuff didn’t even occur to me until my mid-twenties.

“[Belletrist] is a place I can create roles for myself that I don’t see out there. I’m also casting people in roles that they might otherwise not be seen in. My favourite parts have been ones that people don’t expect – when [the writer, director and producer] Ryan Murphy cast me in American Horror Story, for example. People saw me as this nice, teen girl and I couldn’t get older, edgier roles at the time. He gave me that opportunity and I’d love to do that for others.”

Maisie Bovingdon

Maisie is a writer and editor, covering Royal News, Showbiz, Lifestyle content, as well as Shopping Writing and E-Commerce, for print and digital publications, including Marie Claire, Hello!, Fabulous, Mail Online and Yahoo!.