12/19/2003 AT 01:25 PM EST
Roberts recently spoke to reporters about the power of teachers (and making do without them), balancing career and marriage, and her early days listening to .38 Special.
So, first off: Is Mona Lisa Smile a 'chick flick'?
We just made a movie.
The film is set in the 1950s. What did you do to prepare for the time warp?
I watched some really nice documentaries on the '50s which I thought were very informative. It was a really interesting period of time where our culture became ruled by television and advertising and you worried about the appliances that you had.
Your character has a huge influence on her students. Did you have any acting teachers that inspired you when you were younger?
No, but we didn't have a theater department or drama or anything where I went to school. I look at it as a positive – that no one did take that much interest in me. To be ignored can shape just as well as to be lauded, I suppose.