Eat Pray Love, Julia Roberts

Think noshing on delectable Neapolitan pizza sounds like the perfect day’s work? According to Julia Roberts, it gets old after a while. In this week’s cover story, the star of Eat Pray Love talks about carrying a film for the first time in a decade, her own personal “lost years,” and — in this excerpt from the interview — why she never used a spit bucket during the EPL shoot.

EW: Did you have a spit bucket by your side for all of the food scenes?

Roberts: Well, first of all, that grosses me out. But the truth of the matter is, there probably would have come a point when I would have used it. If you look at any of the scenes of eating, by the end of the scene, I’m done eating. Like in the scene with the pizza, by the time the scene is over, I’ve eaten the entire piece. When we were in Naples, we started shooting at 8 in the morning, and I think by 8:45 I’d eaten 8 or 10 pieces of pizza. Pizza was what I ate all day that day.

EW: Did you want it to look like you had gained weight after the Italy portion of the film?

Roberts: You know, we talked about that. Because I didn’t want people to say, “Well, she’s supposed to go to Italy and eat all this food, but she looks the same in the whole thing.” So I talked to [director] Ryan [Murphy] about it. And one of the things I love the most about Ryan is that he has a real legitimate answer for everything. There’s nothing that he hasn’t considered weeks before I’ve thought of the question. When it came to that, I said, “What do we do?” And he said, “By the time Liz got to Italy, she was so underweight that the weight she put on really got her back to normal and then a little bit more.” It wasn’t like she [became] a tub. So because I started at normal weight for me, by the time we left Rome and I was 7 to 10 pounds heavier, that was probably the truth of what she was dealing with. I could’ve used a bigger pair of jeans when I went off to India!

For more on Eat Pray Love, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands July 30th.