After recognition from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and, most importantly, the Screen Actors Guild, “August: Osage County” star Julia Roberts seems primed for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination next month. As Barbara Weston, daughter of matriarch Violet (and a role originated by Tony-nominated actress Amy Morton), Roberts holds her own on screen opposite the steaming locomotive that is Meryl Streep.
There must have been plenty of intimidation, all things considered, but the actress is used to it. And indeed, seems to thrive on it. “Everything has its level of intimidation,” Roberts told HitFix. “I think that’s what’s appealing. This certainly had more places of being terrifying.”
Indeed, being the cinema stewards of Tracey Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning work had to weigh heavy on the entire cast. “I had nightmares about it,” Roberts confides. But interesting here is that Letts adapted his own work for the screen, and according to Roberts, no one could have been better suited.
“What’s interesting is the play is so long – it’s such a complex house of cards that I think only Tracy could have dismantled it and put it back together in this film version,” Roberts said. “We were so lucky that he did.”
The playwright was busy with his other gig, acting for the stage (in a revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”), but he did find time to make himself available to the cast and crew one day during shooting. Roberts said it was the perfect opportunity to ask any and all questions and pick his brain before he had to go back to New York and the play and, Roberts adds, “win a Tony.“
Check out our full chat with Roberts in the video embedded at the top of this post.
“August: Osage County” opens in limited release on Dec. 27.