Julia Roberts Said She’s Bound for Hell for Attacking Oscar Winning Actress in $74M Movie

“Choking” Meryl Streep and physically abusing her in their 2013 tragicomedy flick, Julia Roberts believed she would burn in “hell”. 

Julia Roberts Said She’s Bound for Hell for Attacking Oscar Winning Actress in $74M Movie


  • Julia Roberts faced a challenge when she had to convey the raw emotions of Barbara Weston in August: Osage County’s crucial scene.
  • In 2013, she co-starred with Ewan McGregor and Meryl Streep in the John Wells film, but felt uncomfortable and guilty during some scenes.
  • In a crucial scene, she had to strike a balance between her natural aggression and her commitment to the character by “choking” her Streep.
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When Julia Roberts initially signed on for the Oscar-nominated role of Barbara Weston in August: Osage County, she knew that she would need to convey the raw emotions that the character necessitated. Yet, little did she know that she would have to tread a fine line, going against her inherent nature by “choking” her co-star, Meryl Streep, in a crucial scene. 


In the cutthroat world of the entertainment industry, presenting complicated relationships on screen often calls for a huge amount of commitment from the actors. Roberts has appeared on screen alongside numerous A-list actors over the years. In 2013, she co-starred with Ewan McGregor and Streep in the $74.2 million John Wells film. Although the Pretty Woman star cherished and looked up to the three-time Oscar-winning actress, she felt uncomfortable and guilty during a few scenes where she had to physically attack her co-star. 

Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts in August: Osage County

Also read: Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali Movie is One of Barack Obama’s Favorite 2023 Films


Julia Roberts’ Hellish Experience While ‘Choking’ Meryl Streep in August: Osage County

August: Osage County featured two of the most renowned actors, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, and told the story of sisters who reunite with their mother after her husband’s death. Off-screen, the two Oscar winners who portrayed mother and daughter in the movie got along well, with Roberts admitting that she was a big fan of Streep’s career and persona.

Because of the volatile and complex relationship between her character and her on-screen mother in the 2013 flick, this camaraderie presented a problem for Roberts. As a result, the latter was required by the script to physically attack the Adaptation actress in certain scenes.

August: Osage County
August: Osage County

In an interview with The Telegraph, Roberts expressed her reluctance and guilt about playing such a “terrible” role:


Choking her, and things like that, were not how I pictured it going in my mind all these years. I thought we’d be together, having tea and speaking in fabulous accents all dressed up. Attacking her physically was… just… awful. I felt like a terrible person who would truly go to hell. I might actually go to hell now, I’ve attacked her so many times.”

Nevertheless, she was praised for her performance and so was Streep, so it was probably all worth it, even though the experience of having to attack one of her acting heroes left an impression on her.

Also read: Julia Roberts Reveals the Secret Behind Her Age Defying Beauty and It’s Her Husband Danny Moder

August: Osage County’s Script Was ‘Dream Come True’ For Julia Roberts

Even with the uncomfortable emotional upheaval, Julia Roberts eventually came out stronger, learning important lessons about herself and her work. Her character’s dark endeavors presented a difficult process to empathize with, but it also gave her the opportunity to go deeper into her own emotional reservoir and explore new acting territory. 


Based on a play of the same name, August: Osage County, starring Roberts and Meryl Streep, was an intense drama. On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie received an average rating of 6.4/10 from 203 reviewers, 67% of whom gave it a positive review. The two celebrities who played a mother and daughter with a strained relationship were nominated for Oscars for their moving performances.

August: Osage County
August: Osage County

Roberts spoke with The Telegraph about her reasons for taking the $74.2 million film:

“It’s increasingly rare for me to find things that challenge me as an actor because the challenge of my personal life, and how fulfilling I find it, is tough to compete with. So a piece like this was a dream come true.”

Also read: “The things I choose not to do are…”: Julia Roberts Finally Breaks Silence on Why She’s Never Done N*de Scenes on Camera in Her Stellar Career


The journey taken by Roberts in August: Osage County illuminated the intricate nature of actors’ efforts they make in order to fully inhabit their roles. Her fierce portrayal of Barbara Weston, which included physically attacking her adored co-star Meryl Streep, not only mirrored her immense talent but also revealed a haunting internal conflict. 

We last saw Roberts as Isabel Pullman in Stephen Chbosk’s coming-of-age family drama film Wonder, released in 2017.

August: Osage County, streaming on Max.


Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Articles Published: 1646

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1600 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.