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Julia Roberts is most known for starring in movies, however, she has a spiritual side as well. Interestingly, she was drawn to a religion by a simple photo. Here’s a look at her spiritual beliefs and how they are reflected in one of her most famous films.

Julia Roberts with eyeliner
Julia Roberts | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

How Julia Roberts’ life is somewhat similar to one of her characters’ lives

Though she’d been in roles prior, Roberts became a star through her role in Pretty Woman. Her chemistry with Richard Gere was strong and she got nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role. Today, the film remains one of the most well-remembered romantic films of the 1990s. Afterward, she became more associated with romantic comedies than any other contemporary actress with the possible exception of Meg Ryan. Later in her career, she starred in a romance movie based on a true story called Eat Pray Love.

Eat Pray Love is based on a memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert. It describes her taking a trip to Italy to appreciate the food, taking a subsequent trip to India and appreciating Eastern spirituality, and later falling in love while spending time in Indonesia. Although the film is not based on Roberts’ experience, it shares some similarities with her life. Roberts is from the West, but she practices an Eastern religion: Hinduism.

A trailer for Eat Pray Love

Julia Roberts discussed a little moment that had a huge impact on her life

According to OneIndia, her interest in Hinduism “came from seeing a picture of a guru called Neem Karoli Baba and I was so drawn to this picture of this person and I did not know who he was or what he was about but felt a very strong interest.” Neem Karoli Baba was a teacher known for introducing outsiders to Hinduism.

Although he had a profound influence on her life, Roberts never met Neem Karoli Baba. “He passed long before I saw his picture but you know just very intriguing, and that is the way things come in to our lives,” Roberts said. “They are not these big gate crashing moments, it is just the little like…hoon…what is this about.”

Julia Roberts with a sign
Julia Roberts | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

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The life she’d like to live when she reicarnates

One of the things that separates Hinduism from some of the Abrahamic religions like Christianity and Islam is Hinduism teaches that reincarnation is real. According to The Times of India, Roberts revealed how she would like to be reincarnated. “I’ve been so spoiled with my friends and family in this life,” she said. “Next time (since Hinduism believes in rebirth) I want to be just something quiet and supporting after the stresses of my celebrity lifestyle.” Many people see celebrity lifestyles as aspirational so it’s interesting Roberts feels there are downsides to her life.

Roberts had an unorthodox path to Hinduism. However, she doesn’t think life is necessarily about huge dramatic moments. In addition, she’s got some interesting — albeit very modest — plans for her reincarnation.