Melissa Leo won a supporting actress Oscar for David O. Russell’s 2010 feature The Fighter and a whole slew of other top awards in her career including Emmys and Golden Globes. In the latest edition of my video series The Actor’s Side, the New York/Vermont-raised actress talks about getting bleeped during her Oscar acceptance speech, starting out in acting by working opposite giant puppets, what makes a good director, and why it’s not such a bad thing to be on a soap opera (she was in All My Children).

She also talks about her latest film Novitiate, which is drawing awards buzz. In it, she plays a tough-as-nails Mother Superior overseeing a new class of would-be nuns. This is in fact the first time Leo has “donned the cloth,” as she tells me, and it is a fascinating look into her acting process as she settled into the habit.

Click above to watch our conversation.