He's Hollywood's in-demand man of the moment, and this week, director Ryan Murphy (yes, he of Glee success) releases his latest undertaking: Eat Pray Love. I've already shared press conference highlights from stars Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, but what was the experience like for the guy pulling the strings? Read on to see how Murphy explains:
On his biggest obstacles making the film:
Ryan Murphy: "I think it was the first time a film had ever been [to Bali], shot there, which I thought was crazy. So when that happens, you have to sort of create your own infrastructure. The other thing that I thought was difficult but amazing is wherever Ms. Roberts goes are these screaming throngs of paparazzi. I was not used to that…Not that that would be an obstacle, but I just love seeing that outpouring of love of people, showing up and excited…I gained seven pounds that was an obstacle, I was drunk every night in Rome, that was an obstacle."
On filming Roberts eating in the film:
RM: "One of the things that made me love Julia so much when I first met her, one of our first meetings, one of the first things we talked about, she said that she thought one of the reasons the book was so successful is it gave young women permission to eat. And that's why I think the pasta-eating scene is one of the most controversial scenes ever caught on film. Even when I'm watching it, in our culture right now there's so much guilt around food and appetite, so having a scene where a woman eats with unabashed joy is amazing and lovely."
For more of Murphy's thoughts, including details on his next project with Ms. Roberts,
On filming the breakup between Liz Gilbert and her first husband, Stephen:
RM: "The reason that I find this movie interesting particularly is, movies in Hollywood that have women, the core part is they come home and find the husband in bed with somebody, or he's cheating on them or he hits them, and then they leave. And I found it fascinating to do a movie where people fall out of love, and how difficult that is, and how grave that is, and how nobody's right and nobody's wrong. And we worked really hard on those scenes to convey that breaking someone's heart is as painful as having your own broken."
On the first time he read the book:
RM: "I read it because I went through a really terrible, terrible Liz Gilbert-like breakup. It was odd to me; I literally went into a bookstore the day it was being unpacked, so in a weird way I almost felt like it came to me to teach me something. I read it as a fan, and I was very moved by it and gave it out to a lot of girlfriends. So this wasn’t something I auditioned for or asked to do, it sort of came to me, which has never happened in my career, ever. And because of that, I had a connection to it, I really wanted to pay it justice. It has meant so much to so many people, particularly women."
On making the movie after reading the book:
RM: "I worked closely with Liz Gilbert, that was very important to me. She read every draft, she had notes. A lot of the great things that are in the movie aren’t in the book. She told me a lot about one of the reasons she loved [Felipe] so much is he would cry whenever his son would go back from college, and that’s not in the book. And I was like, well, that's a scene, let's do that."
On how the movie changed him:
RM: "Making this movie changed my life, and I came out of the end a different person. I never traveled like that, or experienced many of those things, so I consider it to be one of the big gifts of my life."
On his next project with Julia:
RM: "I'm writing it. Julia's such a great wife and a great mom, so I want to do a big funny romantic comedy with her, that's not serious, that's just fun, because I think she's so funny. I think it's really about a woman, she's a working woman and her husband is a stay at home dad, and he gets fired, and they have to switch roles. I know a lot of women that's happened to, and I wanted to show that." [Buzz: "Any leading men you're picturing as her other half?"] "Not yet, I'm still writing it!"