Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts became neighbours while they were preparing to shoot new movie August: Osage County - because director John Wells insisted that his cast lived together so they could all pass as members of a dysfunctional family.

Roberts, Streep, Dermot Mulroney and Margot Martindale all lived in a condominium village leading up to and throughout the shoot last year (12) - and the actors admit they all became pretty close as a result.

Martindale says, "We lived in townhouses all hooked together. We did a lot of socialising together and we actually became a family. We watched television, cooked together, ate together, laughed, worried about Hurricane Sandy together.

"I made a chicken spaghetti casserole. It was an incredible experience that made for the perfect environment for this ensemble of actors to do this beautiful screenplay."

And Roberts adds, "We spent a lot of time getting to know each other. We didn't know each other at all before we started. By the time we began filming I felt very familiar and entangled with these girls that seemed correct for sisters. I made just enough happy experiences with them and had a couple of appropriate sisterly, 'Really, that's what you're wearing?' kind of moments, where I felt like it was all going to fall into place."