Julia Roberts piled on the pounds while filming her new drama EAT PRAY LOVE in Italy - because she refused to spit out bites of food when the director called cut.
The Pretty Woman star plays a woman who goes on a year-long cultural and spiritual trip to India, Italy and Bali in the film and admits she couldn't resist tucking in to hearty plates of pizza and pasta during scenes shot in Rome.
She says, "I've always been a friend of food. I probably put on about seven pounds in Rome when we were shooting. I ate a lot of pizzas in Naples. It was just great. But it was hard on take 10 on a giant plate of pasta.
"It is a challenge and I love a good meal. Someone suggested I had a spit bucket but I can't do that because it makes me gag. It just grosses me out."
But the actress insists she has never felt pressure to lose weight since becoming a Hollywood star.
She adds, "That is a strange thing that happens. People get wildly famous and they get incredibly slim. I don't know. It never happened to me. I look the same. I guess that is my staying power - my fighting weight."