Sara Vilkomerson
December 09, 2015 AT 06:01 PM EST

In David O. Russell’s new movie, Joy — starring Jennifer Lawrence as a young mother struggling to become a successful businesswoman — real life and movie life took a surreal turn when the director cast Melissa Rivers to portray her late mother, Joan Rivers.

Rivers worked hard to do her mother — the formidable comedienne (and a master QVC figure, as shown in the film) who died last year — justice. “I worked hard on her speech pattern, but not so much the accent because I didn’t want it to be an imitation or a caricature,” she told Entertainment Tonight (admitting there were some tears while watching the clip). “I achieved what i wanted to achieve which is that her warmth came through,” she says. “It’s the best honor to her.” 

Watch this clip of Melissa Rivers portraying Joan Rivers below.


Joy opens in theaters Dec. 25.

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