Julia Roberts to ‘Scale New Heights’ During Bali Filming Spell


LOS ANGELES/LEGIAN ~ US actress Julia Roberts aims to hit new heights during a filming stint in Bali later this year, by scaling the island’s highest peak, her publicist divulged on Thursday.

Roberts is due in Bali in August to shoot the movie version of spiritual-quest novel Eat, Pray, Love, and has a penchant for towering peaks, Roberts’ Los Angeles publicist Nancy Seltzer told The Bali Times.

The star of Notting Hill, Charlie Wilson’s War and, currently screening, Duplicity would attempt to “shimmy up Mount Agung in Bali,” the island’s highest mountain at 3,150 meters above sea level and an active volcano that has the majority Hindu faithful’s most revered shrine, Besakih Temple, at its base, she said.

“Oh, Julia is looking forward to this one alright; she just loves getting way up there. It’s a real buzz for her,” said Seltzer.

“Ever since she saw the movie Bali Hai, she’s had a hankering to be high in Bali.”

The 41-year-old star and mother of three with her movie-cameraman husband Daniel Moder is known for her love of ambitious outdoor pursuits.

Location shooting for the Bali leg of the post-divorce, personal-search movie – also to be filmed in New York, Rome and India – is understood to have been shifted from previously destined New Age heartland Ubud to Mt. Agung itself, in Karangasem Regency, to facilitate Roberts’ climb.

The arduous ascent was expected to last several days, said Seltzer, adding that her client was taking an entourage up the imposing mountain with her, including a celebrated pastry chef from the landlocked West African nation of Burkina Faso who specialises in high-altitude pies and a “lines coach,” as well as a GPS-enabled device with printout facility to receive script-revision transmissions as they happened.

“She doesn’t want to be caught unawares when she gets down from the mountain,” Seltzer said.

Roberts, who won a best actress Oscar for her role in Erin Brockovich and is Hollywood’s most bankable actress, with her movies collectively earning over $2 billion, would likely be enjoying a more serene experience at the Besakih base of the mountain, due to a forthcoming government directive to round up hordes of persistent, unofficial guides and belligerent souvenir tradespeople, The Bali Times has learned.

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