Meryl Streep ‘livid’ at Julia Roberts for hijacking the end of ‘August: Osage County’

I think the official story for why Meryl Streep didn’t come to Toronto to promote August: Osage County was some kind of illness. I missed seeing her at TIFF because A) I love her, B) I enjoy when Meryl promotes any movie, and C) if Meryl had come to TIFF, she definitely would have made Julia Roberts take a seat. When everything was said and done, though, Julia made sure that TIFF was ALL ABOUT JULIA and just as soon as critics saw Osage, Harvey Weinstein made the executive decision to ensure that only Meryl was put up for Best Actress. So, Julia might have gotten the attention, but Meryl wins in the long run because she is, as Samuel L. Jackson would say, Meryl Motherf—king Streep.

So is that the end of it? Nope. The Enquirer has some interesting backstory/conspiracy theory as to why Meryl now hates Julia Roberts and why Meryl refused to go to TIFF:

A disgusted MERYL STREEP never wants to work with JULIA ROBERTS ever again! WHY? Because Julia isn’t about to let anything get in the way of her close-up – even fellow Oscar winner Meryl!

A source says the “Pretty Woman” actress hijacked the ending of the stars’ blockbuster new movie, leaving Meryl – and the film’s original closing scene – on the cutting room floor.

“Julia can’t get enough of herself on the big screen,” a Hollywood insider told The ENQUIRER. “When she got the chance, she threw Meryl under the bus for more screen time, a glowing close-up of her alone and a brand-new ending to their film. “Meryl’s so disgusted she boycotted the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.”

Meryl plays Julia’s mother in the upcoming film version of the Broadway smash “August: Osage County,” which also stars Juliette Lewis, Ewan McGregor and Dermot Mulroney. The film, about three generations of a dysfunctional Oklahoma family, is already generating Academy Award buzz, including possible Best Actress Oscar nominations for both Meryl and Julia.

While the two women reportedly got along on the set, the original ending was a shot of Meryl alone after she’d been abandoned by her daughter. But the scene didn’t test well with audiences.

“That’s when Julia made her move,” the insider said. “She told (director) John Wells, ‘I love her to death, but she looks so sad on screen it’s a downer. Maybe the camera could just hold on me for the final image.’ ”

Although the ending of the movie could still change, it appears Julia ultimately got her way. For now, the final scene is a shot of the 45-year-old actress driving away alone.

“Meryl was livid,” the source added. “And she never wants to work with Julia again.”

[From National Enquirer]

I haven’t seen the film yet, but now I’m dying to just to see which ending they went with. If the last image is Julia, then I’ll totally believe this conspiracy. If the last image is Meryl, then I’ll believe that Harvey Weinstein knows in his heart of hearts that audiences will ALWAYS prefer Meryl to Julia no matter what. Meryl could be playing an ax murderer and people would still be like, “Yeah, still more likeable than Julia Roberts. Meryl turns in another Oscar-worthy performance!” That being said, I don’t believe Meryl is quite this petty. If Julia really did convince the director to change the ending, I could see Meryl being peeved, but not “I never want to speak to Julia again!” pissed-off.

But what do I know? If they were making this film just for me, it would be two hours of Benedict Cumberbatch sitting at a piano, naked, and singing a special song just for me.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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110 Responses to “Meryl Streep ‘livid’ at Julia Roberts for hijacking the end of ‘August: Osage County’”

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  1. booboocita says:

    Ummm … can we have that Benedict Cumberbatch movie? Someone needs to make this, NOW.

  2. LadyMTL says:

    I don’t see – or want to see – Meryl as being this petty but in Hollywood, you never know.

    Still, I’d watch Meryl Streep reciting the alphabet over Julia Roberts’ histrionics any day of the week.

  3. Belle Epoch says:

    Just the contrast in those two pictures says it all! Class or crass?

  4. DanaG says:

    Guess we have to wait and see who get’s the big ending. Merly has more Oscars I would think she had more pull then Julia does.

  5. Mia 4S says:

    Ummm no. Julia is a bitch no doubt, but the ending was a studio call. Something about test audiences and generally speaking audiences are pretty much stupid (this award winning play’s ending is too sad!!!). Seriously look at the top 20 grossing movies of all time, maybe 7 of them are actually good. The studio was trying to cater to mass audience, this one is not on Julia, crazy bitch that she is!

    • Lemondrop says:

      Amen. I’m no fan of Roberts, but the cock-up here is that a test audience determined the ending (assuming that’s true). Why must everything be a People’s Choice Award. Most audiences are made of The General Public, and most of The General Public are raging morons.

  6. Andrea says:

    I don’t buy that Meryl would care that much about something so small. That said, I do buy that Meryl may find Julia to be arrogant, suffocating and not worth her time.

  7. curlsunited says:

    Meryl will always win in the long run.

    As for Cumberbatch: Sitting at a piano, naked, will do nicely. Singing would be the icing on the cake.

  8. Sabrine says:

    This story reeks of BS. Although Julia Roberts is completely full of herself, I can’t see Meryl doing anything like this. She’s just too gracious. She’d think it but wouldn’t say anything.

  9. Kate says:

    I can see this. It’s not petty if it’s not about screen-time. Maybe Meryl just thought the original ending was a far better ending, and now feels the quality’s been compromised.

  10. neelyo says:

    This sounds like a PR catfight.

  11. Rose says:

    I could believe both sides, people don’t get to their level without being totally self obsessed and ruthless. Much as I love to love them both I bet they’re both terrible b*tches!

  12. Kiddo says:

    The director would have the ultimate veto power on what remains, so this is a bunch of nonsense.

  13. Nan says:

    Always for Meryl, even in a phony Enquirer throw-down.
    (and Julia, stop with the fake pouty mouth expression, you’re going to look like Janice Dickinson if you keep that up!!)

  14. lucy2 says:

    I doubt Meryl cares who is in the last shot – she’s Meryl Streep! Why should she care, she has done it and won it all.

    I also doubt Julia has that kind of influence on the director/editor/studio. If a change was made, I think it was up to them, not her.
    That said, I still would believe that she’s awful to work with, but I bet was sweet as pie to Meryl so she could hang all over her come award season.

  15. Rhiley says:

    I thought this would be a movie my mom and I would like to see together until I read the play this summer. It is a real downer and ends as a downer. There is no resolution. And the play doesn’t deal with only dysfunction but rather a very particular type of dysfunction- incest. If this was to be a successful film, and not an artsy film, it was going to need a different ending.

  16. Frida_K says:

    The dogs bark but the caravan continues on.

    I doubt that Meryl Streep gives two pellets in a rat’s arse about this issue. She’s so above Julia Roberts that, no matter how loud the barking, Streep just sails on by, secure in her awesomeness.

  17. Talie says:

    Jeff Wells, a film blogger, wrote about how ceappy the Julia ending is. Apparently the film makers prefer Meryl’s.

  18. manta says:

    I’ve no trouble believing Julia Roberts made a move to get another final scene shot, but I still find very hard to believe that she was the one deciding what would stay in the film, what would be cut off. She’s neither the director nor the producer.
    Executives in suits rely on tests with audiences.Their decisions may coincide with Roberts’ wishes, but no way she called the shots on this.

  19. Cazzee says:

    Maybe this was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.

    This might be just the latest in a long string of ‘incidents’ where Meryl Streep, because she is a professional and not a diva, ended up taking the back seat to Julia Roberts. I could see Meryl Streep taking one for the team because she is such a professional, while Julia Roberts does not strike me as that type.

    I don’t blame Meryl at all for this…sometimes people can just drive you to the edge, and then one little tiny thing pushes you over.

  20. Christin says:

    Meryl has likely forgotten more about acting than Mrs. Moder has ever known.

  21. dorothy says:

    It’s always about Julia. I realized that when she gave an award to Denzel Washington years ago. The constant me,me,me was an embarrassment to the award ceremony.

  22. CL says:

    Meryl could play Julia in a movie about Julia and still be more likeable than Julia.

  23. marina says:

    Just caught Kramer v. Kramer last weekend and even back then she was killing it. My seven year old calls Meryl Mamma Mia because that is what she knows her from. We watch that movie all the time! It’s cheesey but we love it!! Who knew she could sing too.

  24. Maureen says:

    When praising the cast and director of Osage, Benedict Cumberbatch never mentioned Julia Roberts once. I think that’s very telling.

  25. bets says:

    I’ll only be seeing this film for the few minutes of Cumberbatch. Apparently his scenes with Cooper and Nicholson are the ones ones where there isnt any over acting. Cumberbatch always knows where to pitch a performance even if the others don’t.

  26. Sal says:

    I’m not a big fan of Julia Roberts but I personally think Streep is way over-rated and has had more than enough of her share of glory. Time for someone else to have their turn.

    • Debbie says:

      Funny, how you feel about Meryl is exactly how I feel about Julia. If girlfriend didn’t “act” in roles that were basically her own personality, how many movies would she have been in? Versus … “Sophie’s Choice”. Or “Bridges of Madison County”. Or “Death Becomes Her”, even.

    • Deedee says:

      In other words, let’s stop rewarding quality character acting (what Meryl does) and reward some shallow semblance of that (the posing that Julia does). Makes sense.

      • Sal says:

        No, you’ve read me wrong. Totally wrong. This isn’t about Streep vs Roberts. I’m just saying that I think Streep, whilst a good actress, no doubt about that, is too hyped up and not as good as the hype. I think hype carries her, rather than talent. I think she is far too over-rated, over-hyped, and over-exposed. I think there are better actors and actresses out there (no, I do not include Roberts) that don’t get a look in because of the hype and fawning over Meryl. I think Meryl has had her fair share, shes won accolades, awards etc, I just think someone else should be given a chance to shine.

  27. paola says:

    I don’t believe Meryl would throw a tantrum over something so small, I don’t believe she would make a big deal over 30 seconds at the end of a movie. She is not at the beginning of her career and she doesn’t need that. On the other hand though i believe Julia Roberts is a nasty bitch so yeah, Long live Queen Meryl.

  28. eliza says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Roberts is a terrible actress?

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I think she’s very VERY mediocre. I wouldn’t go so far as “terrible”, but so…meh. Never really brings anything unique or interesting to the roles she plays.

      FTR, I feel the same way about Sandra Bullock, who is universally revered around here.

      • paola says:

        Sandra Bullock seems quite funny to me.. i loved her in ’2 weeks notice’ and ‘the proposal’ and i thought she was quite genuine and believable in ‘the blind side’ but i see your point. Probably people on this site base their reverence on her because of her life off set where she is said to be very humble and polite, plus after the ex husband case i think she deserved a bit of support from the woman’s world. she’s been very classy through the whole story while stories about Julia Roberts’ life out of set are not as good. I’d take Sandra over Julia Roberts any time. In a drop of a hat.

      • marina says:

        I never understood how either of them became superstars or how Sandra Bullock could have married that disgusting POS.

      • Debbie says:

        Sandra Bullock might indeed be on a level with Julia Roberts as far as acting ability goes, but everything you hear about her gives one the impression that she’s a good-hearted person, which is why I think there’s so much love for her in these here parts. Versus Julia, about whom one hears … not such good things.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        So do I. I think Sandra is a good actress, but she always plays the same characters–uptight, bossy, controlling, etc. I don’t mind it, per se, because I think she’s talented, but it wouldn’t kill her to mix it up a little.

        Julia Roberts–ugh. I think she’s lucky she had a good head of hair, because like Jennifer Aniston she plays as herself in every single movie she’s ever been in.

        And I think neither of them deserved their Oscars–I don’t understand how personal lives come into who wins.

    • paola says:

      No me too. She always has the same facial espression and that idiotic big smile that reminds me so much of a horse. Plus all the nasty stories about her don’t really help her reputation. she seems to be a proper b!tch.

    • Izzy says:

      Nope, you’re not even close to the only one! A lot of us think that. You’ve got good judgment, IMO.

    • Brooke says:

      Aw honey, you are not alone! She is loaded with no talent.

    • Gwenhamara says:

      I don’t think she’s terrible but I certainly don’t think she is even close to the same league as Merle. Regardless of what character she portrays it’s always the same performance…. you just know at one point she’s going to lose her temper and throw a tantrum so you realize what a bad ass she is. Then at the end of the movie you’re going to see that humongous smile with her 123 teeth shining bright.

    • Kate says:

      To me, whoever she’s meant to be playing, it’s always just Julia Roberts up there on-screen. I can never, ever buy into her as the character, even when the rest of the film is very good. She has absolutely no range. I can overlook that with some actors (for instance, in the right film I’m quite happy to watch Hugh Grant being Hugh Grant), but since I greatly dislike Roberts she ruins every film she’s in for me.

    • littlestar says:

      I don’t think she’s terrible exactly, but I do think she’s extremely overrated. She did NOT deserve an Oscar for Erin Brokovich. She’s sort of like Jennifer Aniston – she acts the same in all of her movies.

    • MistyNinja says:

      No Honey! Julia Roberts is fing horrible. I enjoyed Erin Brokovich but that was not an oscar worthy performance. Imagine Eat Pray Love without her, that movie would have been decent. She made it annoying. Those teeth and laugh ewwww.

      Strep half asleep acting would invoke more of an emotional response in me than Roberts’ best performances.

    • Christin says:

      Anyone who thinks she has range and ability should watch Mary Reilly.

  29. Deedee says:

    It’s hard to imagine Meryl Streep ever being jealous over or petty toward Julia Roberts. the ending could be Meryl taking a sh1t on the toilet and it would still be a better finale.

  30. Megan says:

    I buy every word.

    I don’t think it makes Meryl look that petty, I think she comes across annoyed. Also Meryl seems like the type that likes to tell the story even if its hard and might not “test” so she could be livid that they didn’t tell the story for some diva and a focus group. Not having seen the play or movie we don’t actually know what this change might do to the tone or over all story.

    So yes I believe this, I also think there was a lot building up to it and the ending switch was the latest straw that sent her over the edge.

  31. Maggie says:

    Meryl looks great in these pics. Cant say the same for Julia.

  32. Kelly says:

    I’ve always liked Julia and I don’t see this “cat fight” as reality. Was a bit of a spoiler on the ending for me but I still totally want to watch it. They’re both awesome.

  33. jlw says:

    Meryl’s decolletage looks amazing, especially for her age. She is awesome.

  34. lucy says:

    Julia’s hairdo looks like an octopus! :-) Great color, though.

  35. ark138 says:

    What is with Julia’s dress? Is she guarding the Vatican?

    I can’t wait to see this movie, but I’m seeing it in spite of Julia.

  36. Claudia says:

    Hm. Not sure what to think about this, except that I don’t really see the director/producers/Harvey caving in to how an actress wants a movie to end– they’ll go with what works ($$$) . I’m also kind of bummed that I basically know the ending now…


  37. Jenn says:

    What’s going on with the hem on Julia’s dress? It looks like my freshman home-ec project. I got an F.

  38. GByeGirl says:

    I can’t stand JR and totally believe that she is the type to do this, but I don’t think that she has enough power to make decisions like this in a Weinstein film. Maybe whoever directs those Nicholaus Sparks movies might listen to her.

  39. John says:

    Ridiculous. The actors don’t get any say in how the films are edited, maybe test groups didn’t like the original ending and that’s why it was changed, but this story is just silly. Tracy Letts and John Wells are the only ones who might dictate how they cut the film, and Streep is far too professional to think that a final shot somehow diminishes her performance in the film. A:OC is all about Violet, the rest are supporting characters, regardless of who’s in the fadeout.

  40. Dee says:

    I am really glad that Julia Roberts took up a hobby, sewing, while living on the ranch in New Mexico. I guess taking the Christmas Tablecloth, getting out the 1970′s simplicity patterns and sewing it into a dress, makes her seem like she recycles.

  41. VilodeMenus says:

    Julia’s well known for pulling stunts like this, no doubt knowing Weinstein’s reputation Julia won her ending with her mouth in a closed office.

    Think of that lovely image as you watch her close up ending the picture. Hahahaha, she’s still a booty pig.

  42. Dirty Martini says:

    JRs red dress looks like a majorette uniform I wore. In 1976. In South Georgia.

  43. Sabrina says:

    I don’t understand the Julia hate because I have never really heard anything bad about her. I like her and don’t believe this story

  44. aemish says:

    If Meryl is this petty she’s lost some respect points. Maybe Julia wasn’t being malicious — the article says the Meryl close-up ending didn’t test well with audiences. Maybe Julia’s close-up ending improved the product.

  45. dumbnhung says:

    More importantly – what the hell goddamn outfit is Julia wearing in those TIFF photos? She strap on some pillow cases?