Tight security for star on Indian set

SECURITY has been tight with nearly 350 Indian policemen and security officers guarding Academy Award winner Julia Roberts in the small town of Pataudi, where Roberts is staying at a former palace converted into a heritage hotel.

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

Young boys climbed trees and villagers crowded rooftops in a tiny, dusty village nearby in northern India yesterday to catch a glimpse of the star 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, 65km south of the Indian capital, New Delhi.

Huge black screens protected the sets from television crews and photographers.

Roberts was dressed in a turquoise blue tunic and loose pyjamas, which are the traditional clothes worn by millions of Indian women.

In the movie, which is based on the best-selling book by American author and memoirist Elizabeth Gilbert, she plays the part of an American woman who leaves behind a troubled marriage and sets out on a journey of self-discovery abroad.

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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