A week in Indian summer, but unstarry Julia stays cool

By Radhika Bhirani and Ruchika Kher

Pataudi (Haryana), Sep 25 (IANS) No air-conditioner and no aides hovering nearby for her commands. Hollywood star Julia Roberts seems to have immersed herself in the spiritual atmosphere of the ashram where she is shooting for "Eat Pray Love" with not one starry tantrum in the week she has been here.

The Oscar winner's grounded behaviour was visible to all when she preferred to walk up to her car - a black, bullet proof Toyota Fortuner - waiting for her outside the Ashram Hari Mandir premises, instead of having it called inside. She is shooting at Pataudi, an hour's drive from the Indian capital.

"Julia always likes to walk till her car, rather than making the driver bring it inside for her convenience. When she is ready to leave the sets for the Pataudi Palace, she asks the production people to inform the driver to be ready," a unit source told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Another instance of her composed behaviour could be seen when she preferred to lounge in a room specially allotted to her inside the ashram during shot breaks instead of going back to her air-conditioned vanity van.

For her Thursday scenes, the actress wore classic blue jeans teamed with a casual pink-peach top and had her hair tied up neatly. She wore no accessories for the shoot, unlike the previous days when she sported rudraksh beads for the spiritual look. She is playing author Elizabeth Gilbert, on whose book the film is based.

After wrapping up her noon schedule, as witnessed by IANS correspondents, Roberts changed into a casual blue and red knee length floral dress and flat slippers to beat the sweltering heat. Despite the scorching sun, she chose to move out without shades, unlike most Bollywood stars.

However, her security is very tight. After Thursday's shooting, the star was escorted to her waiting car by a group of people that included security personnel, members of the production team and her personal bodyguards.

There are three bullet proof cars at her disposal. According to the source, the Toyota Fortuner with black tinted windows is only for Roberts' use and no one else is allowed to travel in it. She also has a specially-appointed chauffeur who wears a crisp white safari suit.

Tight security has also been arranged at the Pataudi Palace hotel, where the actress has been staying with her three kids - four-and-a-half-year-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and two-year-old son Henry -- and their nannies since Sep 17.

She has been shooting the India scenes of her new film with her Hollywood colleagues Billy Crudup, Javier Bardem and Richard Jenkins, under director Ryan Murphy's supervision. The 41-year-old will be in Pataudi till Oct 9 and is expected to leave for Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, thereafter.

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