The Oscar winner was offered the role of an FBI investigator grieving the murder of a loved one after the script had gone through a handful of changes - the character was originally male and then gay.

"I've heard a number of scripts with parts where they said, 'Well, the part is a man now and if you want to do it, we'll change it into a woman', Julia explains. "I don't know how many men have had that experience. It happens. That it was originally a guy was sort of the secondary thing about it that appealed to me.

"In the original script the man loses his wife, and there had been a note that I had been sent with the script that it would be a woman who loses her wife. I thought, 'That's really cool and 21st century; I'm down with that'."

But Julia finally came up with the perfect plotline, and persuaded director Billy Ray to rethink the script.

"I said, 'If it's a woman, can she lose her child, because we all have one or we've been one, so everybody is therefore connected to her grief in some way'," the actress adds.