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Bali: No Island for Old Men

Age Discrimination in Reverse as Hollywood Casting Directors Search Bali for Really Old Guy to Become Julia Robert's Holy Man in 'Eat, Pray, Love.'

(10/27/2009) World on the street is that casting directors are combing Indonesia in desperate search for a senior Indonesian actor or film newcomer to play the part of Ketut Liyer in the major Hollywood production "Eat, Pray, Love" starring Julia Roberts and now being shot in Bali.

Ketut Liyer, a famous medicine man who lives in downtown Ubud, plays a central role advising Ms. Robert's character in the story that travels from the U.S.A. to Italy to India to Bali.

In order to approximate the real-life character, the filmmakers are looking for a male Indonesian actor, more than 70 years of age and able to say his lines an take direction in English.

Beritabali.com reports that those casting the role have traveled to Jakarta, Bandung, Yogya and Bali in search of a man to fill the role. Those tested have included former Ambassadors, former oil-patch executives and leading Indonesian screen actors. Among the Indonesian actors said to have read for the role are Slamet Rahardjo, Hengky Sulaeman, Him Damsyik and Piet Burnama. And, while some of these actors are still under active consideration for the role, Director Ryan Murphy has ordered the casting search to continue.

While the film industry typically dotes on the "young and beautiful" the continuing Bali search for the "old and haggard" is seeing actors being turned away for being too young.