Nov 04
2019

Backstage has a very interesting interview with Meryl Streep’s stunt-coordinator from “The Laundromat”. Stunt coordinators have one of the most high-pressure jobs in the biz: keeping actors and everybody else on set safe. So imagine the pressure, then, when one of those actors happens to be Meryl Streep. Charlie Croughwell can attest, however, the stunt coordination veteran kept his cool working with Streep on “The Laundromat.” The Stephen Soderbergh feature, now streaming on Netflix, features one of Streep’s most involved stunts to date wherein a boat capsizes. Croughwell, along with his daughter who happens to be Streep’s stunt double, greeted the feat with aplomb—and he tells Backstage all about it, from pre-production meetings with Miss Meryl, to how he kept one of the greatest living actors out of harm’s way so she could deliver her best performance. The full interview can be read over at Backstage with many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up!

Anytime we have someone interacting with a body of water, we need to assess their comfort level. I let production know that I needed to get Meryl’s take on her comfort with water scenes and that we would need to get her in the tank at [a dive facility]. I needed to see how comfortable she is not only swimming but breathing from an air source. I had two dive masters as well as her stunt double and two water safety people on the day. We laid out all of the dive equipment we could have possibly needed: a wetsuit for Meryl, towels, showers. Her assistant arrived a bit before her, checked over the plan and we waited. Only a few minutes went by and up pulled Meryl. We went out to greet her. Once out of the car I began explaining to her the process we had planned and that she would be in different clothing on the day. The pro she is, she said, “These are the clothes I’ll be wearing and I’m very comfortable with what I need to do.” With that, we went into the tank area, she jumped in, we all jumped in and within 30 minutes we were done and she was on her way.