Meryl Streep and Margo Martindale were the panelists for the lucky audience members last night at the DGA in West Hollywood for Harvey Weinstein’s August: Osage County. The film, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tracy Letts about a dysfunctional family, has been garnering kudos from the awards circuit. These way, way talented actresses play the loving sisters Violet and Fannie Mae.

The crowd, mostly members of various guilds who will be voting for the Oscars, gave the actresses a five-minute standing ovation. The evening, moderated by the LA TimesJohn Horn, started with an over eager fan yelling, ‘Ah!’ to which Streep replied with an even louder version which cracked the audience up.

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Streep told that the crowd that the film was shot in Oklahoma, “Which was a revelation to me–it’s ridiculously beautiful. The isolation is overwhelming and the wind never stops. So we all had a little red wine after shooting each day; it was tough.”

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Martindale added, “Saying the truth is so important. If you suppress it for so long it can become poisonous.  It’s also wonderful to know your family is not as bad as this one.” Streep jumped back in, “Everybody has some of this cruelty in their own family.  The question is can you break the cycle?  A lot of it is knee-jerk behavior.”  She ended with, “The whole experience was one of my most favorite things to do. It was hard and unpleasant at the time, but rewarding. Violet and Fannie Mae forgave each other, ‘We both know what happened but we don’t give a shit, we got each other’s back.’”

What’s certain is that the Academy will have these ladies back come Oscar time.

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