She played Tinkerbell in Steven Spielberg's Hook in 1991, and also played a nurse in the 1991 film, Dying Young.This work was followed by a two-year hiatus, during which she made no films other than a cameo appearance in Robert Altman's The Player (1992).Roberts' first film following Erin Brockovich was the road gangster comedy, The Mexican, giving her a chance to work with long-time friend Brad Pitt. Later in 2001, she starred in the romantic comedy America's Sweethearts along with Billy Crystal, John Cusack, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.The film's script was originally intended to be filmed as an independent production without major motion picture stars, but Roberts and Pitt, who had for some time been looking for a project they could do together, learned about it and decided to sign on. Directed by Joe Roth, the Hollywood farce centers on a supercouple, Gwen and Eddie, who separate when she dumps him for another man.
In 2001, Roberts received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Erin Brockovich.
In 1998, she appeared on Sesame Street opposite the character Elmo, demonstrating her ability to change emotions.
She was offered the role of Viola de Lesseps in Shakespeare in Love (1998) but turned it down.
She earned a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
In 2000, she played the lead role of real-life environmental activist Erin Brockovich in the film Erin Brockovich.