News / Arts & Entertainment

Woman Searches Worldwide for Meaning of Life, Fulfillment in 'Eat, Pray, Love'

Julia Roberts as "Liz Gilbert" in Italy in Columbia Pictures' EAT PRAY LOVE
Julia Roberts as "Liz Gilbert" in Italy in Columbia Pictures' EAT PRAY LOVE

Multimedia

Audio

Oscar-winner Julia Roberts stars in the film version of a best-selling memoir about one woman's worldwide search for fulfillment and meaning in her life. Here's a look at Hollywood's version of Eat, Pray, Love.



"Since I was 15 I've either been with a guy or breaking up with a guy. I haven't had so much as two weeks just to deal with myself."


It's not that Elizabeth Gilbert has such terrible life. A travel writer, she gets to visit all sorts of exotic locations and then return to her comfortable New York City home. But she feels like something is missing:

"I used this appetite for food, for life… and it's just gone. I want to go someplace where I can marvel at something."

Julia Roberts as "Elizabeth Gilbert" in Columbia Pictures' EAT, PRAY, LOVE
Julia Roberts as "Elizabeth Gilbert" in Columbia Pictures' EAT, PRAY, LOVE

Rebounding from a contentious divorce, she decides to take a year off and find her appetites again. Echoing the "new age" philosophy in the book, star Julia Roberts, who plays Liz in the film, says following in the character's footsteps helped her understand the journey.

"I think you have to find a way to relate to all of it," Roberts says. "This particular journey that she goes on is a lot for me to try to think about and intellectualize and then let all that go and just connect to all the people that she encounters as a very open vessel, which is what I think she did."



"The meditation room is within."


"Do you always talk in 'bumper sticker?'"

"I do… and here's another one. You have to learn to select your thoughts the same way that you select your clothes every day. That's a power that you can cultivate. You want to come here and control your life so badly… work on the mind and that's the only thing you should be trying to control, because if you can't master your thoughts you are in trouble forever."

"I relate to her search and her pursuit," explains Roberts. "It was definitely great to have a fulfilled sense of my own life: [after] playing some of these scenes I'd go home and say 'okay, everybody is here. We're good."

Julia Roberts as "Elizabeth Gilbert" in Columbia Pictures' EAT, PRAY, LOVE
Julia Roberts as "Elizabeth Gilbert" in Columbia Pictures' EAT, PRAY, LOVE

The author's journey takes her first to Italy where she discovers an earthy connection with food.

"I'm in love. I'm having a relationship with my pizza."

From there she travels to India in search of enlightenment at an "ashram" spiritual retreat.

Then, it's on to the resort island of Bali in Indonesia where she studies with a native healer and learns to heal her own wounds of the heart, discovering new love with a dashing Brazilian.

"The next attraction of the tour: food from Bali."
"Oh, good, I'm starving. Where should we go?"
"We should go to the best restaurant in town… my place."
"Subtle."

Julia Roberts as "Elizabeth Gilbert" and Hadi Subiyanto as "Ketut Liyer" in Columbia Pictures' EAT, PRAY, LOVE
Julia Roberts as "Elizabeth Gilbert" and Hadi Subiyanto as "Ketut Liyer" in Columbia Pictures' EAT, PRAY, LOVE

Typically (and for economic reasons) Hollywood movies are shot "out of sequence," so an actor might wind up doing the emotional climax on the first day of filming. However, Roberts says she is grateful that most of Eat, Pray, Love was made "in sequence" and at the locations where the story is taking place.

"For me, it was a great luxury to shoot it in chronological order," Roberts admits. "I think it was almost a necessity of emotional evolution; but I think it was important for us to create the steps that she took and understand very clearly how she got from one point to the next and one place to the next and how the relationships evolved and what she gleaned from each one to the next."

Director and co-writer Ryan Murphy says the worldwide success of the Elizabeth Gilbert memoir, first published in 2006, put pressure on the film to "get it right."

"It's meant so much to so many people - particularly women - and I worked really closely with Liz Gilbert," Murphy says. "That was very important to me. She read every draft, she had notes and I really wanted to pay it justice. It's changed me. Making the movie changed my life as I had hoped that it would. I came out the other end of it a different person. I had never traveled like that and never experienced many of those things, so I consider it to be one of the great gifts of my life."

Julia Roberts as "Elizabeth Gilbert" in Columbia Pictures' EAT, PRAY, LOVE
Julia Roberts as "Elizabeth Gilbert" in Columbia Pictures' EAT, PRAY, LOVE

True, women readers made the book a best-seller; but star Julia Roberts believes it transcends gender.

"I think are universal themes of heartache, guilt, confusion, feeling lost or just wanting to renew your life in some way and just change things in some way. I think we've all gone through that," Roberts says.

"You will live a long time, have many friends and many experiences. You will have two marriages: one long, one short."
"Am I in the long one or the short one?"
"Can't tell. Also, you will lose all your money. Don't worry. You will get it all back again."

While Julia Roberts is in every scene of Eat, Pray, Love, she is supported by an ensemble that includes Javier Bardem as the sensitive Brazilian lover; Billy Crudup is the first husband; James Franco plays the stage actor with whom she has a love affair; Richard Jenkins is the insightful Texan who gives her guidance at the Indian Ashram; and Viola Davis is her supportive best friend back home in New York.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Joe Taylor sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his distinction as New York’s “Subway Idol,” and how he beat out thousands for that title. Joe performs several songs from his new CD, “Anything’s Possible.”