Belfast Telegraph

Streep's nerves over August reading

Meryl Streep has revealed she got nervous when she attended a read-through for August: Osage County.

Cast members such as Meryl, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor and Benedict Cumberbatch were joined at the read-through by playwright Tracy Letts, who wrote the original Pulitzer Prize-winning play, and producer George Clooney.

Despite having over 30 years' experience on the big and small screens, as well as on stage, Mery admitted: "The table reading was, yeah, a kick. I had never met Tracy Letts. I adore actors but I am always in awe of writers and most scared of them, and disappointing them, certainly in the first read.

The 64-year-old continued: "Here was a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and I was about to mangle his creation. We all felt that. Plus the first table read was with Sam Shepard, who's playing my husband, and it was another writer that I admire. So there was a lot to be nervous about."

Meryl - who has received her 18th Oscar nomination for her portrayal of cancer sufferer and drug-addled matriarch Violet Weston in John Wells' film - revealed she didn't have to look too far for her research into the role.

"Sadly, I have friends who've had cancer and I have friends who were having chemo, and I checked in with them about what that felt like," she said.

"I have friends who are drug addicts and I witnessed people trying not to do drugs and not being able to, and people being their worst selves because of drugs."

The three-time Oscar winner added: "So it was a horrible little hot-ball of burning lead that I carried around in my stomach for a while, but there is also great pleasure in knowing it's fiction. You can close the door on it at the end of the day. "

:: August: Osage County is in cinemas now.

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