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JULIA'S JOURNEY; Star's quest to find a happy life balance.

Byline: MARION McMULLEN

ONE of the world's biggest movie stars, Julia Roberts, is back on the big screen in the much anticipated Eat Pray Love.

It's 20 years since she found fame in Pretty Woman and the Erin Brockovich Oscar Winner can lay claim to being the first woman to command $20 million a movie.

She's starred with everyone from George Clooney and Brad Pitt in Ocean's Eleven and The Mexican to Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding and has grossed in the region of pounds 1.5 billion at the box office along the way.

But she tired of the movie star merrygo-round a few years ago and decided to take some much-needed time out to focus on her family.

She'd met her husband, cameraman Daniel Moder on the set of The Mexican in 2001 and her twins Finn and Hazel, now five, and three-year-old Henry soon followed.

"Everybody has a journey - moments in their lives when they need to redefine who they are and what they're looking for," says 42-year-old Julia, as she turns on her famous megawatt smile.

She's now back in the cinemas in Eat Pray Love, a much anticipated big budget movie based on Elizabeth 'Liz' Gilbert's best-selling memoir of the same name.

The memoir recounts Liz's journey to Italy, India and Indonesia in a soul-searching quest for happiness and fulfilment.

"As an actor, I've never worked so hard," says Julia, adding she was "concerned about uprooting the family for such a long period."

She needn't have worried though. The entire family embraced nomadic life for the four months of the shoot. The children loved revisiting India in particular, where her husband had been working a few months previously.

Julia herself believes she has found a happy, healthy balance between home and work life but acknowledges this is something she needs to "nurture."

"I don't think it's a finite fixed point on a map," she says.

"Trying to clarify your life and understand your own compass for where you want to go and who you want to be - we all go through these things and I think you fine tune it every decade of your life."

StarFILE n Born on october 28, 1967 in Georgia, USA. Received her first oscar nomination for Steel Magnolias and the second for Pretty Woman.

n Was the first actress to appear on the cover of Vogue.

n Was engaged to Kiefer Sutherland after starring with him in Flatliners and married the singer lyle lovett in 1993, divorcing two years later.

n IS rumoured to have turned down both Basic Instinct and Shakespeare In Love, with the roles going to Sharon Stone and Gwyneth Paltrow respectively.

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HUNGRY: Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert Eat, Pray, Love
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 24, 2010
Words:458
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