Stars of "Eat Pray Love" say it changed lives

Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:07pm EDT
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By Courtney Hoffman

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Who hasn't wanted to do it? Pack bags and catch a plane to a faraway land. Escape the world, reflect on life and reclaim your soul from modern fast foods, hectic careers and speed dating.

New movie "Eat Pray Love" debuts in U.S. theaters on Friday as among the most highly-anticipated films of the summer. It is based on best-selling memoir of Elizabeth Gilbert and her globe-trotting quest for self-discovery after divorce.

While big-budget Hollywood movies often are dreamed up around a fantasy, the stars of "Eat Pray Love," Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, say their film is different because it is real. And, in some ways, it helped change their own lives.

"We've all thought about leaving everything and taking a journey to someplace else," says Bardem, who plays Felipe, Gilbert's love interest and who recently married actress Penelope Cruz following the film's production.

"The movie speaks about people trying to face doubts, fears, insecurities and that speaks to everybody," he said.

Roberts, who portrays Gilbert, told Reuters in a separate interview that she could relate to Gilbert's soul-searching.

The actress, 42, was once Hollywood's highest paid stars. She won an Oscar in 2000 for her role in legal drama "Erin Brockovich," but since then has starred in mostly small roles in movies and taken time to get married and have three kids.

"I haven't done a main part in a movie in a long time and I wondered if that kind of work load would still be interesting to me, and I was very happy at the end of this that I felt incredibly fulfilled as a creative person," she said.   Continued...