After a screening of August: Osage County this week at the TV Academy’s theater in North Hollywood, I sat down with three of the stars from the film’s cast —Meryl Streep, Margo Martindale and Abigail Breslin — to talk about making the film based on Tracy Letts‘ Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play of a deeply dysfunctional Midwestern family coming together, physically if not emotionally, after a tragedy. The three actresses talked about living and cooking together for two months in a group of condos behind a Toyota dealership in the Oklahoma town where the film was shot; what screenwriter-playwright Letts and director John Wells took out and put into the two-hour movie compared with the original three-hour play; the “real” secret behind the makeup that transformed Streep and the emotional challenges of playing a cancer-stricken, pill-popping matriarch who’s mad at just about everybody, including herself. The original conversation was videotaped by The Weinstein Company, the film’s distributor, and by the KCET Cinema Series, which I host. The movie opens in select cities December 27 and goes wide nationally January 10.
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