Julia Roberts plays grieving mother in "Secret in Their Eyes"

LOS ANGELES: Hollywood star Julia Roberts takes on the role of a grieving mother in thriller "Secret in Their Eyes", a remake of an Oscar winning Argentinian film.

The "Pretty Woman" actress portrays an investigator whose life is turned upside down when her daughter is found murdered. The movie follows her years after the event, when Roberts' character, Jess, is still visibly a broken woman.

Speaking at the film's premiere in Los Angeles on Wednesday, the actress said she lived the role.

"You just sort of feel that way all the time which is the trick," Roberts told Reuters. "I just felt that once I got ready I was halfway there."

"Secret in Their Eyes" also stars Nicole Kidman and "12 Years a Slave" actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The movie, directed by Billy Ray, is a remake of the 2009 Argentinean film "El Secreto de Sus Ojos" by Juan Jose Campanella, which won an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language category.

Campanella is an executive producer in this film.

"He was telling this very lyrical love story and I think we were making much more of a thriller," Ray said when asked how the two movies differed.

"We were making this very intense movie about the cost of obsession and that it expresses itself in a very different way in what Juan Campanella expressed it."

"Secret in Their Eyes" is released in US cinemas on Nov. 20.