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In India, Julia Roberts does as Indians do

india Updated: Sep 20, 2009 19:10 IST

IANS
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It was Pretty Woman Julia Roberts all right, but eating aloo-gobi, and matar-paneer - that too with her hands. Wearing a purple kurta, black salwar and rudraksha beads, she completed her first day's shoot for a Hollywood film in Pataudi on Sunday, living up her role every bit!

The top rated Hollywood actress was so determined to give the right shot for the movie "Eat, Pray, Love" at Ashram Hari Mandir that she not only gave multiple retakes but didn't move from her seat till director Ryan Murphy was satisfied.

The humidity and buzzing flies made many in the crew restless, but not Roberts who remained calm and composed as she sat in a chair with a hand fan.

One scene, as witnessed by this correspondent, had her eating rice, chapati, aloo-gobi and mater-paneer the Indian way - with her bare hands.

In another scene, she shot with an Indian girl and later co-star Richard Jenkin joined them.

Roberts had landed in New Delhi on Thursday afternoon and drove straight to this Haryana town, about 40 km away. She spent much of Friday and Saturday resting at the gracious Pataudi Palace hotel.

The Oscar winning actress is here with her three children -- four-and-a-half-year-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and two-year-old son Henry -- and their nannies. She will be shooting the India scenes of her new film with her Hollywood colleagues Billy Crudup, Javier Bardem and Richard Jenkins.

The main schedule began on Sunday morning at the ashram, about 900 meters from Pataudi Palace that belongs to the erstwhile prince of Pataudi and former India cricket captain Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. The palace has now been converted into a heritage hotel.

The actress is moving around in a bullet proof Tata Fortuner. There are two more cars for the crew and a chopper was also seen.

Based on author Elizabeth Gilbert's memoirs, "Eat, Love, Pray", features Roberts as Gilbert who travels to Italy, India and Indonesia in search of peace. The India part of the film will be shot at the Ashram Hari Mandir in Pataudi.

"In the next few days, Roberts will also shoot at Pataudi market and Mirzapur near here," said a source here.

The crew and cast of the film are expected to be in Pataudi till the first week of October.