Julia Roberts has declared making new movie August: Osage County was the hardest thing she has ever done.
The Oscar-winning actress stars in an ensemble cast which also includes Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin and Juliette Lewis, in the big screen adaptation of Tracy Letts' award-winning Broadway play about a dysfunctional family and their problems.
Julia insisted: "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. It was like a mountain to climb, every single day, and the only way to climb it was holding hands whether we liked it or not. It was the best acting experience of my life.
"I don't know how they did it eight times a week [on Broadway] without some kind of rehab after, because our experience was like a treasure box of discovery for me."
The Pretty Woman star confessed she had always dreamed of working with Meryl, but playing the bitter daughter of a pill-popping mother hadn't quite been what she imagined.
She said: "It was intimidating, certainly to be in these scenes with her, choking her. It was not how I pictured it going in my mind all these years.
"I thought we'd be together and drinking tea, and speaking in fabulous accents and dressed up, looking very chic.
"And then there we were and I'm sweating and have on a big butt pad. That's not how it was in my dream, however it was amazing.
"At the end of every day, coming out of the truths of the Weston family and into the truths of who we are, there was always a hug and a kiss and an 'I love you', and that was the elixir that I needed to come in the next day."