- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2009

MIRZAPUR, India | Young boys climbed trees and villagers crowded rooftops in a tiny dusty village in northern India on Sunday to catch a glimpse of Academy Award winner Julia Roberts shooting her new film, “Eat, Pray, Love.”

Scores of policemen, armed with bamboo sticks, private guards and plainclothes security guards kept curious visitors at bay as the “Pretty Woman” star walked about the sets created at Mirzapur village, 40 miles south of the Indian capital, New Delhi. Huge black screens protected the sets from television crews and photographers.

Miss Roberts was dressed in a turquoise blue tunic and loose pajamas, the traditional clothes worn by millions of Indian women. In the film, she plays the part of an American woman who leaves behind a troubled marriage and sets out on a journey of self-discovery.

Newspapers and television stations in India have been covering Miss Roberts’ every move since she arrived in India accompanied by her three children nearly 10 days ago.

Security has been tight, with about 50 local policemen and security officers guarding the star in the village and in the nearby small town of Pataudi, where Miss Roberts is staying at a former palace converted into a heritage hotel.

The shooting of the film began a few days ago and started with prayers offered by a Hindu priest.

The Times of India newspaper quoted the priest, Swami Dharam Dev, as saying he had given the names of Hindu gods for her three children.

“I have named her twins Hazel and Phinnaeus as Laxmi and Ganesh, while Henry will be called Krishna Balram,” he was quoted as saying.

The movie, a Brad Pitt production, is directed by Ryan Murphy. It also stars Oscar-winner Javier Bardem, Viola Davis, Richard Jenkins and Billy Crudup.

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