Julia Roberts: Vivian Ward vs. Erin Brockovich

One actor. Two film roles. You tell us which portrayal was the best. The most memorable. Or iconic. Or simply your favorite.

But before you pass judgment, a few words defending the “character” of each…

The case for Vivian Ward

Though Pretty Woman killed at the box office and made the 21-year old Julia Roberts an instant star, it remains a polarizing film to this day. People were either swept away by the Pygmalion/Cinderella story or revolted by its sexist themes and depiction of prostitution. In the end it really is a moot point. Because now when you gaze upon Ms. Roberts do you see Vivian Ward? Or…

The case for Erin Brockovich

…do you see Erin Brockovich when looking at Julia Roberts? It was definitely a role with more heft to it than that of a hooker with a heart of gold. Energy corporation Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) had contaminated groundwater with hexavalent chromium—which caused numerous illnesses in local residents—but chose to keep that fact a secret. Erin was the real life hero who uncovered PG&E’s conspiracy. For the role of unemployed single mom turned tenacious investigator Roberts won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Now that you’ve heard the arguments for both it’s time to render your verdict!

  • Rufnek

    I’ve never liked “romantic” movies about whores (spent too much time on the cop beat)  or fantasies about crusading attorneys (also too long on the court beat). Truth to tell, I’ve never seen a Julia Roberts film I’ve really liked. She’s box office poison to me.