TCA 2018: Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney are together again in Amazon’s ‘Homecoming’

Julia Roberts, from left, Stephan James, Bobby Cannavale and Dermot Mulroney participate in the "Homecoming" panel during the TCA summer press tour.
Julia Roberts, from left, Stephan James, Bobby Cannavale and Dermot Mulroney participate in the “Homecoming” panel during the TCA summer press tour.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision/Associated Press)

Third time’s a charm for the on-screen romance between Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney.

The two actors, who costarred in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “August: Osage County,” are reuniting in the upcoming psychological thriller, “Homecoming,” on Amazon.

And though they’ve shared lots of screen time and have had complicated ties throughout, this will be their first boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.


“That only took 30 years!” Roberts said at the Television Critics Assn. summer tour Saturday.

Mulroney called it a “more modest-sized role” than his previous jobs with Roberts, but no less impactful to him.

“It would be a privilege for any actor to work on material like this,” he said. “But I get to do these incredible scenes with this incredible actor, who happens to be one of my best friends.”

“Homecoming,” which marks Roberts’ first TV series lead role, is “a great old-fashioned yarn,” she said, adding that it provided her with “a great mental challenge every day.”

Though she’s been a movie star for many years, Roberts said she made no platform distinction about “Homecoming.” “I didn’t think of it as small screen-big screen,” she said. “My TV is very big.”

The half-hour show premieres Nov. 2 on Amazon Prime Video (there will be a Season 2, but creators wouldn’t give any details on its future direction). “Homecoming” is part of Amazon’s attempt to take big swings in its programming, with Chief Executive Jeff Bezos having said the streaming service needs to find breakout global hits on the scale of “Game of Thrones” to compete in the Peak TV era.

Though it’s not a period piece and there are no dragons or White Walkers, “Homecoming” “truly defines addictive,” Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said at the press gathering.

Showrunner Sam Esmail (“Mr. Robot”), who directed all 10 episodes, said it “harkens back to Hitchcock and De Palma” and has “an old-school thriller vibe.”

Roberts plays Heidi Bergman, a caseworker at a facility that helps military veterans ease back into civilian life. Stephan James (as Walter Cruz) is one of those soldiers, and Bobby Cannavale (as Colin Belfast) is her boss at the Homecoming Initiative.

The story follows Roberts’ character four years after she’s left Homecoming (she’s a waitress in a small town, living with her mother, played by Sissy Spacek), and the Department of Defense has launched an investigation into the support center.

The series is based on a popular podcast of the same name from Gimlet Media that’s been described as “experimental fiction.” Its creators, Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg, are writers on the TV adaptation and co-showrunners with Esmail. And if the striking visual style looks familiar to cable fans (the trailer dropped recently at Comic-Con International: San Diego), that’s because Esmail gathered his “Mr. Robot” crew to shoot “Homecoming.”