The phrase highly anticipated has become synonymous for fans of Elizabeth Gilbert's runaway international best seller-soon-to-be-movie Eat, Pray Love (Sony Pictures). Opening in theaters August l3th, EPL follows the real-life journey of journalist Gilbert who flees New York after a grueling divorce and embarks on a year long journey of self discovery and love. First stop is Italy where she learns the language, expands her waistline and finds the ultimate pizza in Naples. Next, she learns to quiet her mind in a sacred ashram in India, spending numerous hours in meditation. Her last stop in Bali finds the celebrated author her true love. And the cast alone will be worth the price of admission -- Gilbert will be played by Julia Roberts, while Javier Bardem (Felipe) and James Franco (David) play the love interests.
I caught up with Gilbert this past spring who was still trying to catch her breath from the heady ride of the EPL phenomena. She felt the filmmakers completely "got it right" in portraying her story as the film has a lovely sweet energy around the book." She explains that "Life is very surreal right now -- I am on a 'surreality' overdose! Maybe when I am in my eighties I will put it all in perspective." Life today finds her happily married, living in New Jersey and spending most of her time gardening, "which is now a metaphor for my life." While the year long journey was certainly life-changing, she is more interested in staying home as there is "something exotic about it."
Gilbert also confided that Javier completely nailed the performance as Felipe. The Oscar winning actor and her real-life husband spent an evening together in New York and "hit it off from the start," she says. "Javier has a warmth and affection" that was needed for the role. "After watching the movie, it made me fall in love with him all over again!"
And speaking of the Spanish heart throb, I will post my interview and cover story with Javier (and more on the film) in two weeks. Stay tuned!
Shot on location in Manhattan, Rome, Naples, Delhi, and Bali, the film will be a travelogue of eye-candy, sights, food (styled by Julie & Julia foodie Susan Spungen) and adventure. Directed by Ryan Murphy (from Glee and Nip/Tuck), the film was designed by production designer Bill Groom and set decorators Andrew Baseman (of Nanny Diaries fame).
For more on the film, see the official website.
Photo Credits: Sony Pictures