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Julia Roberts Might Rough You Up in 'August: Osage County'

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Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in 'August: Osage County' (The Weinstein Company)

Watch out for that Julia Roberts! She's a feisty one … even if she doesn't want to be.

After watching her attack Meryl Streep by leaping across a dinner table in a pivotal scene in "August: Osage County" and later slap Abigail Breslin across the face, we confess our guard was up before interviewing the Oscar winner.

Thankfully, she went easy on us as we sat down to discuss her Oscar-nominated performance and how she felt about attacking fellow nominee Streep over and over as they filmed. Of course, we hadn't just insulted her entire family during a funeral dinner like Streep's character does in the movie either.

At first, Streep and Roberts focused on their own performances, insisting on performing the beatings themselves rather than using the stuntwomen in the wings, rehearsing around all the furniture fellow castmates and, well, praying.

"You just have to hope for the best and hope that as I jump across the table I don't kick Margo [Martindale] in the face," Roberts told Yahoo Movies.

But after that was the fun part – Julia and Meryl schemed to keep their colleagues on their toes.

[Related: See Pics From the Los Angeles Premiere of 'August: Osage County']

"We kind of plotted, Meryl and I together, once it was on the rest of the cast who had endured just watching us do this all day while they were shooting us," Julia said. "You know, there's only so many times it's surprising that somebody jumps across the table and attacks somebody else, so each take we would kind of whisper to each other when this time we would do it because she needed to be prepared so I didn't really knock her block off and that way it would be more exciting for our castmates."

"They were very smart," Chris Cooper said. "It got great reactions from us."

"I think Meryl likes those kinds of surprises," Juliette Lewis noted with a wink in her eye.

But Streep wasn't the only person to endure Julia's character's wrath. Amidst a heated scene with Breslin, who plays her teenage daughter, she gives one big, loud, SLAP! to the face.

Not surprisingly, Roberts dreaded that scene. "She's so sweet. Can you imagine? It's the middle of the night and I'm just slapping her sweet little face. I felt terrible."

"She felt so bad about it," Breslin laughed. "After every take, she was like, 'I'm so sorry that I have to do that.'"

[Related: 2014 Golden Globe Nominations by the Numbers]

"It was horrible," Julia surmised. "Did she say it was horrible? She hates me."

"August: Osage County" opens in theaters on Dec. 25. Watch the trailer:

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