06/14/2004 at 02:35 PM EDT
Last winter, while filming Closer
– a drama costarring Natalie Portman and Jude Law – in London, Julia Roberts seemed closer than ever to husband Danny Moder. When he wasn't there, "Julia was adorable missing him," recalls producer Cary Brokaw. But Brokaw adds that Moder often visited the set, much to the star's delight: "They're great together," he says. "She's incredibly demonstrative in her love and affection for him." Roberts never let on that she and her husband were planning a pregnancy in the immediate future, but something, clearly, was up. "There was a sense of it," says Brokaw, "but she always has a glow."
Now more than ever. According to her spokeswoman, Marcy Engelman, Roberts, 36, is pregnant with twins and will deliver early next year. "I am so happy for her," her pal and Ocean's Twelve
producer Jerry Weintraub told PEOPLE from Italy, where Roberts will spend part of the summer filming the sequel to Ocean's Eleven.
"I know she's wanted a child for some time. I can't wait for her to get here so I can give her a big hug." Emphasis on big. One of the first signs that Roberts was about to get her wish to, as she told Oprah in December, "hold a baby in my arms," was a tightening of her wardrobe – and of course the occasional bout of queasiness, which she's still experiencing as she approaches her second trimester.
By the time she was spotted strolling with Moder, 35, on a beach in late May, she was baring a telltale belly that heralded the approaching pitter-patter of little feet. Or rather, pitter-patter, pitter-patter. Though Roberts has a history of twins in the family – her great-grandmother has a twin and a pair of cousins are a set – she and Moder were surprised, to say the least, to discover they'd be shopping for two cribs. (They have not yet determined the sex of the twins.) Asked how they responded to the news, a friend says, "Probably, like any parents, they were thrilled – followed quickly by a little panic."