Inside Julia's vanity van: Simple and ethnic Indian

By Radhika Bhirani and Ruchika Kher

Pataudi (Haryana), Oct 10 (IANS) Hollywood actress Julia Roberts' love for simplicity and appreciation of Indian craft were more than evident inside her personal vanity van as she shot here for the movie "Eat, Pray, Love".

Even as the Pretty Woman spent her last day in India Friday, her white air-conditioned vanity van told a story of its own.

With two rooms and a washroom, it had sparkling black flooring and her character Elizabeth Gilbert's name pasted on the door, as witnessed by these IANS correspondents.

Colourful pillows with traditional Gujarati embroidery and mirror work adorned her van, a sneak peek revealed. The white, blue and yellow pillows added an ethnic touch and were placed on a sofa-like couch.

One could also spot a baby chair for her children - four-and-a-half-year-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus, and two-year-old son Henry - and a TV set for her entertainment inside the first room.

"Julia's van had a bed inside the second room for her to lie down during breaks," a source from the production team told IANS.

"But most of the time, she either rested in the room allotted to her inside the (Hari Mandir) Ashram or went back to Pataudi Palace if she had longer breaks to catch up with her children."

In total, there were nine vanity vans for the "important members" of the cast and crew parked inside the Hari Mandir Ashram premises, said the source. There was also one separate makeup van and two mobile toilets parked for the convenience of the film unit.

A shed was especially made near the vanity vans where two huge ironing boards were placed to take care of the costumes.

The Oscar winner had been staying at Pataudi Palace, 40 km away from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, with her three kids and their nannies since Sep 17.

Pataudi Palace, which belongs to the erstwhile prince of Pataudi and former India cricket captain Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, was converted into a heritage hotel after being acquired by the Neemrana Group of Hotels, which is reputed for restoring and managing heritage hotels.

The 41-year-old was here to shoot the India scenes of "Eat, Pray, Love" with her Hollywood colleagues Billy Crudup, Javier Bardem and Richard Jenkins under director Ryan Murphy's direction.

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 was shot at the Ashram, the local market here and Mirzapur village, which is about eight kilometres from here.

Thursday is believed to have been her last day of shooting in India and sources said she left the country Friday.

Now she will shoot in Indonesia for the last leg of the movie. The shooting will be wrapped up in November. The film is expected to be released in 2011, she said.

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