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Home » Books & writing, Movies, Q & A

Richard Jenkins to EAT, PRAY, LOVE with Julia Roberts

Submitted by on April 16, 2009 – 1:56 pm 13 Comments

I’m one of the gazillion people who loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love so I’ve been keeping tabs on the movie adaptation to see if it’s getting the proper care as it makes its trek through development hell. So far, despite the little turnaround problem with Paramount, it looks good to me.

You’ve probably heard about Julia Roberts playing Gilbert. Though Roberts is a little older than Gilbert was during the events in the book (41 to the author’s early 30s), she still looks great and her smart-girl charm seems in line with the witty intelligence Gilbert exudes in her TV talk show appearances.

richard-jenkins-0109-450pwThis week, the trades report that Richard Jenkins has been cast as Richard from Texas, someone Gilbert befriended in India who ended up enlightening her with his insight and simple truths. I was able to reach the real Richard to get a quick reaction to Jenkins’s casting.

PCN: How do you feel about Richard Jenkins playing you?

Richard from Texas: I’m not familiar with this Jenkins fellow. Thought Dennis Quaid would be a good fit for the part but who knows what their vision for the movie is.

PCN: Jenkins is a fine actor who was Oscar-nominated this year for The Visitor, which I recommend since it’s a charming little film. He doesn’t look much like you but you’ll be in good hands talent-wise. What do you think about your movie self hanging out with Julia Roberts?

Richard from Texas: Julia Roberts seems like a nice person; I could hang with her and hubby and kids. Twins are so much fun, got a pair of 11-year-old identical twins in my life, wonderful to spend time with them, they are so sweet. As far as my movie self goes—it should be interesting.

PCN: Are there any obvious similarities between Roberts and the Elizabeth Gilbert you know?

Richard from Texas with Gilbert (from his website)

Richard from Texas with Gilbert (from his website)

Richard from Texas: I don’t know Julia Roberts and Liz Gilbert is my dear friend as well as a private person. You’ll have to ask her that question.

Since Gilbert is working to finish her next book, Matrimonium, for a 2010 release, it’s not likely I’ll be able to reach her. But I’ll keep tabs on the movie and keep you updated on any news. (UPDATE: Read my review of her follow-up, now titled Commited, here.)

13 Comments »

  • ShelleyP says:

    It must be quite an odd experience, seeing your life acted out by someone else ~ and seeing who is chosen by other people to do so. Thanks for this nice perspective on the behind-the-scenes, PCN.

  • READER#9 says:

    Read the book after hearing so much positive feedback. Not how I envisioned the casting, but I’ve been way off base before. And you can’t really go wrong with Julia.

  • Julien says:

    Just a little “Hi!” from France!
    I’ve not been writing a lot here over these last weeks, sorry (I’m busy as hell!) but I’m still reading your great interesting posts, dear PCN!
    I’m not familiar at all with this Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, but I’m curious about it now that I’ve read your review, and I’m very happy about Richard Jenkins being chosen for the part, since I found him brilliant in “The visitor”!
    And Julia can’t be a bad choice, as Reader#9 said!
    Hey ShelleyP, I see you’re here there! Hope you’re ok, Aussie girl!

    Well, that’s all for now!
    I’ll try to write more often in the weeks to come!
    Just so you know, the last movies I saw in theaters are “Milk” (great film with an amazing Sean Penn!), “Gran Torino” (ok but not fantastic, and yet here in France it is Eastwood’s biggest success throughout his whole career as a director) and “Boy A” (an English independent movie that I found absolutely wonderful, touching and really smart! Has any of you guys seen that one?).

    See ya, dear movie fans!

    • ShelleyP says:

      Hey, Julien ~ ça va? Je vais bien, merci! I was wondering where you were but it’s nice to see you’ve still been there, albeit quietly, and you’ve been keeping up with your cinema-going. À bientôt!

    • popculturenerd says:

      Hi Julien!

      I can’t offer any French words like ShelleyP so I’ll just say in English that it’s nice to hear from you!

      When I wrote this post, I actually thought, “Oh, Julien’s going to like this” because I remember how much you enjoyed Richard Jenkins in The Visitor (I did, too). And do check out Eat, Pray, Love if you’ve got the time. It’s the true account of Elizabeth Gilbert’s trek to Italy, India and Bali to find her spiritual center after going through a nasty divorce. She’s a smart, engaging writer and her voice is very funny, not whiny or full of self-pity.

      I didn’t like Gran Torino much, either! The acting was not good, especially from the Hmong actors but they have the excuse of being first-timers. Eastwood’s constant growling was over-the-top and I got tired of it real fast.

      You have a nice weekend, too, and don’t be a stranger!

      • Julien says:

        PCN, thanks for your nice words!
        I checked about Elizabeth Gilbert’s book cause you really made me want to know more about it.
        It was translated into French and published here one year ago. I may wait for a paperback edition (these big books are always quite expensive…). But I may as weel buy it if I come across it next time I go to a bookshop!
        Just one other book to add to my amazingly high pending book pile (Picture the Eiffel Tower!)!

        Anyway, it’s nice to talk with both you and ShelleyP again!
        French good vibes flying to you both!

  • Julien says:

    Hi ShelleyP!
    Yes, I’ve been a mute reader over the last few weeks, visiting the blog like a spy and leaving it on tiptoe!
    Thanks for your French words, it’s great and totally perfect! Onya! 😉

    Have a nice week-end, all of you guys!

  • Carl D says:

    where can i find to buy the french version of Eat Pray Love

    • Julien says:

      Hi Carl D,
      The French version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, pray, love” is called “Mange, prie, aime”.
      If you live in France, you will find it easily in most bookshops.
      If you don’t, you can probably order it on the Internet (through French websites like amazon.fr, fnac.com, alapage.com, etc.).

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