Director John Wells, playwright Tracy Letts, and actors Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney, Julia Roberts, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, and Ewan McGregor sat down to talk the much-buzzed about August: Osage County. To the dismay of more than a few media members, reigning Hollywood queen Meryl Streep wasn’t present due to illness. However, the cast still had high praise for Streep. “To work with Meryl Streep is a dream come true for anyone,” gushed Roberts. “To be in these scenes with her and choking her was not how I pictured it going in my mind all these years. I thought we’d be together and having tea and speaking in fabulous accents and dressed up, looking very chic. And there we were, and I’m sweating and had on this big butt pad.”
Apparently filming was anything but easy. “We worked our asses off because there was no other way to do it. I’ve never worked so hard in my life and I have given birth to three children,” said Roberts. When asked how she thought the cast of August: Osage Country the play dealt with it, she had no idea. “I don’t know how they did it eight times a week, without some kind of rehab after. Or was there was a halfway house for them after to get back to real life?”
Seventeen-year-old Breslin admitted to being intimidated by the all-star cast. “When I read for it, I was like, ‘I’m not concerned because I’m not going to get it,’ and then I did and then I was…pretty much scared. But I felt better working with everybody because they were so helpful.”
At one point Roberts, who seemed in an especially good mood (she’s notorious for some not-so-great moments with press… a Fox News critic once went so far as to call her “rude and dismissive”), even answered a question she wasn’t asked. “Aren’t I fascinating?” she joked when she finished.
Sabrina Maddeaux is Toronto Standard’s managing editor. Follow her on Twitter at @sabrinamaddeaux.