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Melissa Rivers Portrays Late Mom Joan Rivers in Joy

Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers
Joan Rivers and Melissa Rivers

Like mother, like daughter. Melissa Rivers portrays her late mother, Joan Rivers, in the upcoming flick Joy. In an exclusive Entertainment Tonight sneak peek, the Fashion Police co-host and producer looks almost identical to her mom. 

Related: Joan Rivers Remembered: Celebrities, Former Costars' Photos, Tributes to Late Star

In the clip, Melissa, who plays her mother during Joan’s QVC hosting days, gives lead actress Jennifer Lawrence fashion advice.

"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," Melissa told ET during a sit-down. "I can't watch myself  especially like that," she added, admitting she gets emotional watching the scene. "I think I was so focused on the details and trying to do a good job that it never hit me that I took this crazy emotional risk until I got home and went, 'What did I just do?'"

Her cameo in the film was a secretive operation, she explained.

"My agent received a phone call saying, 'David O. Russell [the director] wants to meet Melissa,'" she said of how she got involved. "It was all very hush-hush and top-secret, and I went, 'Okay.’ In our family,” she added, laughing, “when they offer a job, we always joke the answer is, 'Yes, [and] how much?’”

The role marks Melissa’s first big-screen moment.

"Everyone was lovely and supportive," Melissa said, adding that Lawrence made her feel especially comfortable. "Jen and I talked for a few minutes and she actually quoted back a couple of her favorite jokes of my mom's to me."

Joan died in September 2014 at the age of 81 from complications during a routine surgical procedure on her vocal cords. Melissa, her only daughter, has since filed malpractice lawsuits.

Related: Stars Gone Too Soon

Joy hits theaters Dec. 25. 

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