Julia Roberts was honored to be an integral part of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize–winning play about family dysfunction, which she had seen on Broadway and which he has adapted for the big screen. She was giddy to be playing the daughter of one of her icons, Meryl Streep, with whom she would eat dinner many nights in the apartment complex the cast shared away from their Oklahoma set. And she was notably leery about leaving her family back in California to fly to tiny Bartlesville to finish her acclaimed performance as a woman who’s given up on herself, her family and just about everything else that should mean something to her.

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