No Country For Old Men Gave Julia Roberts Pause About Having Javier Bardem In Eat Pray Love

Back in 2010, Julia Roberts starred in the Sony Pictures film version of Elizabeth Gilbert's 2006 bestselling memoir "Eat Pray Love." It's the story of Gilbert's divorce, disastrous rebound relationship, and subsequent travels through Italy, India, and Bali to find herself again and reignite her passion for life. The film, directed by Ryan Murphy, also stars James Franco, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup, and Javier Bardem as Felipe, the man she ultimately falls in love with. 

Bardem's Filipe — a Brazilian who is living in Bali — is funny and soft-spoken. He's a man who has no qualms about crying as his visiting kids leave to return home. Bardem, however, had recently played the terrifying hitman Anton Chigurh in the Coen brothers' "No Country for Old Men." At an interview event attended by Pop Sugar, Roberts talked about meeting Bardem to discuss the "Eat Pray Love" role and revealed that she was a little worried after seeing his Oscar-winning performance as Anton. To be fair, Bardem was terrifying in the film, and that character is the very opposite of Filipe.  

From hitman to love interest

Roberts spoke about Bardem and compared his excitement during their meeting to getting a puppy. "He came in with all this gusto and enthusiasm," she said of their chat. She waited until the end to tell him that she had been worried. 

"It's been well-reported that I was a little terrified to be around him after 'No Country For Old Men' ... I said to him near the end, 'You know, I thought you'd be so intense and weird, and I'd have to be like, handling you, but you're just so sweet and funny, and it's just so easy!' And he said, 'I'm not like that normally. I just wanted to try it once to see how it worked!'"

Roberts has indeed discussed this before. In a 2010 interview with EW, Roberts explained, "I couldn't get the image of him in 'No Country for Old Men' out of my mind. And that's not really what you want to be thinking about going into some situation where you want to create chemistry."

Bardem did present quite the image in his Oscar-winning turn; the bowl haircut, the menacing speech, and the coin-flipping to determine whether or not he kills someone would make anyone fear him. It's a testament to Bardem's work that he has the ability to play a cold-blooded killer and a warm-hearted love interest with equal gusto. What makes it even more impressive is that he was able to freak out a fellow actor enough that she had reservations about working with him after his scary turn in his famous role.