News / Arts & Entertainment

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

Julia Roberts as
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
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
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
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
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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”