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.
This 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: 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.)