The actress took on double duty by starring in and directing the new film, based on author William Saroyan's 1942 book The Human Comedy, in which she portrays a widowed wartime family matriarch.

She cast her real-life boy Jack, 24, as her eldest son onscreen, and Meg admits she was impressed with how The Hunger Games star handled himself at work.

"He was so born to it in so many ways," she gushed during an interview on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America about her only child with ex-husband Dennis Quaid. "He did his 10,000 hours of directing and writing and acting by the time he was, like, 10, so the kids were always around the house making home movies and things. By the time he got to my set, he'd already been on Martin Scorsese's set; he's now on Steven Soderbergh's set, so he's kind of a pro."

There was another familiar face on set - Meg's Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail co-star Tom Hanks, who makes a brief appearance as her late husband, and the new filmmaker admits she is thankful to have had his support for her directorial debut.

Meg explained, "He did me the craziest favour ever. He came for, like, a day... but he's so adorable that he gathered the crew around after the 10 hours that he worked and said, 'I'm so happy we got to know each other so well in these last 10 hours, but thank you for being here for my friend Meg!' He's was just so adorable, really sweet."

And stepping behind the camera proved to be a real learning experience for the 54-year-old actress in more ways than one.

"It's so fun," she said of directing. "The best part of everything is that there's so many different kinds of artists on a movie set, all kinds, and to be in, and whispering around, people like Sam Shepard, who's in the movie, or Tom, you know, their process as actors... just to understand what everyone actually, finally, is doing, after 30-something movies, it's probably about time."