Homage at the Court of Ms Roberts
UBUD ~ Monkeys, ministers and photographers all paid homage to Hollywood actress Julia Roberts this week as filming continued on the movie Eat, Pray, Love, the adaptation of the bestselling Elizabeth Gilbert memoir of her journey of self-discovery through Italy, India and finally Bali.
The simians of Ubud’s famed tourist attraction Monkey Forest played host to Roberts – playing Gilbert – on a bike ride through their domain, filmed for the movie.
In location shooting elsewhere, an enterprising photographer disguised himself as a lifeguard at Padang-Padang Beach on Bukit and snapped an exclusive picture of the actress shooting another scene for the movie.
But Tourism Minister Jero Wacik, who travelled to Ubud to meet the star of the movie, missed out. Roberts was not on the set and he had to make do with a chat with Indonesian actress Christine Hakim, who has a small role in the movie.
On the set at Banjar Bentuyung, about two kilometres from Ubud in Gianyar on Monday, Wacik urged the people of Bali to support the movie-making process that would boost tourism to Indonesia by promoting Bali’s scenery.
Recent demonstrations by locals had been blown out of proportion, he said, referring to a protest that an earlier-than-scheduled arrival of the film crew had caught people unprepared and unable to participate because of the Hindu Galungan festival.
Gianyar locals also have disputed the amount of money the film crew is paying them for use of locations and parking space.
On Monday, dozens of trucks and other vehicles lined the ricefields of Banjar Bentuyung. A small number of police and soldiers guarded the heavily lit set beside a farmhouse, while a stretch of road in Ubud was blocked to vehicles but not motorbikes.
The public should understand that high security measures were needed during the shooting of the movie in Bali, said Wacik.
“Whenever an international-level event occurs here, the security will be same as it is now,” he said.
Monkey Forest manager Slamet Wayan said on Monday, before the Roberts bike ride, that many preparations had been made to secure the film route, including arranging for numbers of monkey trainers to be present.
“These monkey handlers will be there to ward off any naughty monkey disturbances,” he said.Filed under: Headlines