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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings: Nnekai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
August 26, 2015 2:42 PM
Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.