Meryl Streep has revealed that she first passed on playing Violet Weston in August: Osage County, the role which has led to Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.
The Oscar-winning actress admitted that she initially declined the part of the cancer sufferer and sharp-tongued matriarch in John Wells' big-screen adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, because she had doubts about immersing herself into the character.
"I said no, I really did. But they dragged me in, kicking and screaming," she said.
Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Ewan McGregor and Benedict Cumberbatch also star in the dysfunctional family drama, which focuses on the relationships between the family members after they are reunited, following a crisis.
"I said no because who really wants to sign up to know what it feels like to have mouth cancer and children that hate you and a husband who'd rather kill himself than be in your presence, and chemotherapy, pills and misery and a horrible past?" Meryl continued.
"To crawl into that head, that heart, I thought, 'Ah'. Because part of that pain is, you realise as you get older, these things cost you more in a weird way. You carry them home, you feel you bleed more easily with it."
The 64-year-old added: "Having said that, it's a great part and as an actor, I thought, 'Hell'. Such a cast. How could I not?"
:: August: Osage County opens in cinemas on January 24.