Roundtable: Oprah Winfrey and 5 Top Actresses on Crying for Spielberg and 'Muff Shots'
Would you play a villain?
WINFREY: I would, but there is a limit to the amount of darkness I want to bring into my own personal space.
NYONG'O: What was so extraordinary about Patsey was that she was filled with so much light despite the darkness. [Writer] Khalil Gibran says, "The deeper sorrow carves itself into your being, the more joy you can contain." That was my experience of working on 12 Years a Slave.
Is there any one role you would love to play?
ROBERTS: No, I'm good. I don't want to be greedy, I'm happy with the lot that I've had so far. Everybody say no, so I don't seem weird! (Laughter.)
ADAMS: I'm such a nerd. I just love musicals; I would love to go and do a musical on Broadway.
WINFREY: Well, that invitation's coming as soon as this gets out.
THOMPSON: I did a musical for 15 months, during which I had to be incredibly cheerful, and after six months I was clinically depressed. Seriously. You have no life. Literally, you just, you have the energy for the show. It's singing, it's dancing, neither of which I was properly trained in, so I was terrified anyway, and then you can't go out, you can't drink, you can't …
ADAMS: Maybe I'll just do a benefit or something. Two-night-only kind of thing.
THOMPSON: Look, you'd be brilliant.
ADAMS: I have a young daughter, so …
WINFREY: But don't you have all day to be with your children?
ROBERTS: No, not really. That is the lie.
WINFREY: That is the lie because you're [consumed by] it from the time you wake up in the morning.
ROBERTS: The first time I worked after I had Finn and Hazel was a play [Three Days of Rain on Broadway] for four months. And they were a year-and-a-half old, and there was a little place in the theater for them to play, and Paul Rudd's son was just younger than they were. It seemed perfect: "I'll be at work while they're sleeping, and nothing about our life will be any different." And then cut to me standing at an elevator waiting to go to work, literally pulling my own hair out. I went a little bit cuckoo.
Julia, you just worked with Meryl Streep. What surprised you about her?
ROBERTS: She has the great balance. In her life, acting is a very sort of casual element of it. I like that balance.
THOMPSON: I've snogged her. (Laughter.) And what I learned was, you have to use tongues even if you're not a lesbian.
ROBERTS: Tongue-kissing Meryl Streep.
THOMPSON: We had to do a snog. The angel gives her an orgasm in Angels in America. Mike Nichols can get anyone to do anything.
WINFREY: That's right, that's true. I might let the dark side in, just for Mike.
THOMPSON: Have you ever played someone you wanted to carry on being? I played an Argentinean, and I just didn't want to be English ever again. (Laughter.)
WINFREY: You are the woman to have at a dinner party!
THOMPSON: You can hire me for a small fee.
NYONG'O: What do you guys do between gigs to keep your instrument sharp?