Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts met on the set of the 1990 sci-fi medical thriller Flatliners, fell in love and soon became the hottest couple in Hollywood. But before their summer 1991 wedding, Roberts called it off. And it’s something Sutherland has grown to appreciate in hindsight.
“I think she was being realistic for herself. I think that’s much better,” he tells Jess Cagle during The Jess Cagle Interview on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network.
The star of ABC’s Designated Survivor details that the outside pressure around their relationship was inexplicable and wearing.
“We were young and we were both very much in love, we had decided that we wanted to get married, but then this other thing kind of took over,” explains Sutherland, now 49. “She was arguably the most famous woman in the world, and this wedding that was supposed to be something between the two of us became something so big.”
“Then, in the middle of that, I think she had the courage – it wasn’t what she wanted to do, in the end,” he continues. “I think it took a lot of courage, even amongst all of that other stuff, to be able to say, ‘I can’t do this.’ ”
Sutherland went on to marry Elizabeth Kelly Winn in 1996, but the couple later divorced in 2004. Roberts and country singer Lyle Lovett were hitched from 1993 to 1995; in 2002, the Erin Brockovich Oscar-winner went on to marry cinematographer Danny Moder.