Julia Louis-Dreyfus Says It Was 'Crushingly Difficult' to Go to 'Very Painful Place' for “Tuesday ”Scenes (Exclusive)

The actress delivers a poignant performance in a film about grief and unconditional love, 'Tuesday,' in select theaters now

<p>Kevin Baker/Courtesy of A24</p> Julia Louis-Dreyfus in <em>Tuesday</em> (2024)

Kevin Baker/Courtesy of A24

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Tuesday (2024)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus tapped into an intense emotional well while filming Tuesday.

In a conversation with PEOPLE ahead of the release of her A24 drama, the actress recalls having to go to a "very painful place" for some scenes, which was "crushingly difficult."

Written and directed by Daina O. Pusić, Tuesday follows Zora (Louis-Dreyfus), a mother grappling with the impending death of her teenage daughter Tuesday (Lola Petticrew) from terminal cancer.

Death presents itself as a talking macaw, whose wise words aim to prepare Zora for what’s next. As a synopsis describes, Tuesday is a "heart-rending fairy tale about the echoes of loss and finding resilience in the unexpected."

Louis-Dreyfus, 63, tells PEOPLE of filming the more emotional scenes, "I'm not going to lie, it was very challenging, and I was happy to do it, to tell the story, but it wasn't easy."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.

<p>Kevin Baker/Courtesy of A24</p> Lola Petticrew and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in <em>Tuesday</em> (2024)

Kevin Baker/Courtesy of A24

Lola Petticrew and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Tuesday (2024)

Related: Julia Louis-Dreyfus Recalls Having to Remind Herself Being a Working Mom Was 'Good' for Her Sons to 'Witness'

The former Veep star and 11-time Emmy winner also says motherhood influenced her approach to her role in Tuesday. (She is mom to two sons — actors Henry, 30, and Charlie, 27 — with her husband of 36 years, Brad Hall.)

"Everything about being a mother prepared me for this role. Everything — that's one reason I was so drawn to it," she says. "I understand the ferociousness of the bond between parent and child. I live and breathe that."

As for how she and Petticrew, 28, fostered their relationship, Louis-Dreyfus says there was "a lot of discussion between" the pair and director Pusić in rehearsals leading up to filming, "about the complicated nature of this parent-child relationship."

"Then, of course, Lola is a very gifted actor, obviously, but also they have an emotional intelligence that is well beyond their years," she adds of Petticrew, who uses they/them pronouns. "So they brought that to bear in the work. And I think it's evident."

"There's also a a literal physical closeness between Tuesday and her mom, Zora, in the movie," Louis-Dreyfus says. "Zora bathes her daughter, carries her daughter, sleeps close to her daughter, and that physical intimacy certainly helps inform the bond, as well."

Asked about her own journey with breast cancer and whether that played into how she approached the film, Louis-Dreyfus says, "I didn't think about it in that sense except to say that it may be my age, [and/or] it may be because of my cancer adventure that I am very aware of my mortality."

"Also, frankly, I've had people that I'm very close to in my own life pass away. And that informed a lot for me in terms of playing the character of Zora, and it's also why I was so drawn to the material," she continues.

Louis-Dreyfus hopes audiences can both be "entertained" and "moved" by Tuesday, "and that maybe this can foster conversations about the issues that are discussed in the film: denial, grief, hope and acceptance. Big themes, but worth talking about."

"I'm also very hopeful that people will see this in the theaters themselves," she adds. "I think there's a lot to be said for seeing this film with other people in a community, given what the subject matter is in particular."

Tuesday, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in 2023, is in select theaters now, then nationwide on June 14.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.