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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."