Leave The World Behind director explains 'glaring' Julia Roberts plot hole in movie

21 December 2023, 10:47

Watch the Leave The World Behind trailer

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Julia Roberts' character's daughter Rose is obsessed with Friends, which features an appearance from... Julia Roberts.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Leave The World Behind's director Sam Esmail has responded after fans noticed a glaring plot hole, and it's all to do with Julia Roberts.

The Netflix apocalyptic thriller movie is full of hidden messages, easter eggs, secret QR codes that lead to creepy locations and there's also one massive plot hole that some viewers have noticed. Not everyone would have clocked it though...

If you've watched the film, you'll know that the TV show Friends plays a prominent role in Rose's life. Throughout the film, the youngster is desperate to stream the final episode of the show but can't because all the tech has mysteriously stopped working.

There's one tiny little detail about Rose's obsession with Friends that the film brushes over though... And that's the fact that Julia Roberts, who plays Rose's mum in the film, was literally in Friends.

Leave The World Behind director Sam Esmail explains Julia Roberts 'Friends' plot hole
Leave The World Behind director Sam Esmail explains Julia Roberts 'Friends' plot hole. Picture: Netflix

If you have never watched Friends, then you'll have no idea what any of this is all about. But if you have watched Friends, you'll know that Julia guest starred in one episode of the beloved sitcom.

Julia played Susie, a former classmate of Chandler's who ends up dating him, and later humiliating him as payback for the way he humiliated her in the fourth grade.

Of course, that small detail sent viewers into a spiral, calling the whole thing a plot hole because how is Rose not going crazy over the fact that her mum is basically identical to the random woman in her favourite TV show.

The paradox has also been likened to another iconic Julia Roberts cinematic moment where her Ocean's Twelve character Tess pretends to be Julia Roberts, before the real Julia Roberts foils the whole plan.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about the whole thing, Esmail explains how it's not really a plot hole at all: "The universe I create for these movies is slightly off from our reality. They have to be, obviously. They’re being performed by actors that are in our world."

"So my meta, convoluted explanation is that when Rose [Farrah Mackenzie] is watching Friends and she sees Julia on it, she sees a passing resemblance to her mother, but obviously shrugs it off because it’s not her mom. Kids also don’t like to imagine their moms being these famous celebrities that they see on TV, so that’s how I justify it to myself."

In another interview with The Messenger, he made it even clearer, adding: "On a purely intellectual level, in this universe, Julia Roberts is not playing Amanda. There's just Rose's mom, Amanda Sanford."

There you have it! And who's to say that Rose didn't freak out when she watched that season 2 episode at the start of her binge-watch? The real question is: What happens when she discovers all the Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke films in that DVD collection in the bunker??!

READ MORE: Leave The World Behind QR Code: Here's what it links to and what it means

WATCH: Asa Butterfield and Cora Kirk rank Christmas dinner food

Asa Butterfield and Cora Kirk Interview Each Other | The Group Chat