About the Site

There are two answers to why I started this website so long ago and at such an early age. The first is my discovery of an outstanding acting talent. In 1996 or 1997, I watched “Death Becomes Her” on television and thought it was pretty damn funny, especially Meryl Streep’s performance. By that time I don’t think I fully realised that actors do this for a living, I just enjoyed movies. It was my parents to pointed me to another Meryl Streep film running on tv – “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”. While watching it I couldn’t believe that this was the same person. None of it matched any of the character traits I had seen before. A short time later, I watched “Silkwood”, and I witnessed the third completely different person I could not believe was one. By the time I watched “A Cry in the Dark”, I was hooked. This must be the greatest actress I have ever seen.

My second interest around that time was the internet, which was “brought home” around the same time and opened up a completely new world to me. I’m of a generation, probably the last, that grew up without internet or mobile phones and I wouldn’t want to miss it. But to have the opportunity to have the world at your hands, read articles and film news from around the globe and communicate with people from the other side of the world was the greatest invention I could think of. Those who were alive and online in the late ’90s might remember that it was vastly different of what we’re used to today. There was no Google or Youtube, instead there was Yahoo!, which didn’t even have a search function but categories filled with links to fansites and message boards. Back then there was a fansite on Meryl already – MSO – and my English from school was well enough to understand most of it and wanting to do something like this myself. There was also the Yahoo! Groups message board for Meryl Streep fans. Here, I met Anke, a fellow German and enthusiast with which I became online friends. She encouraged me early on to create a German fansite and shared her collection of magazine scans and pictures with me. My father helped me setting up a domain and bought a program for html programming (somehting I am thankful for to this day). In 1999, meryl-streep.de was launched. It was in German, and I have no idea what it looked like. I just remember that the webspace you would get back then was 2MB! So I assume there around ten pictures in a gallery and that was it.

The timing to launch the website wasn’t all too good. Meryl Streep had just released “Music of the Heart” and then decided to take a break from film for three years. By that time, there was a different perception of Meryl because her films in the 1990s were not received as well as the 1980s classics. It felt like she was on her way out. This changed big time in 2002, when both “Adaptation” and “The Hours” were released. “Adaptation” did a lot to her career, although I’ve never liked that film, because her performance of the free-spirit, multi-layered writer reminded people that she can still play everything and re-invent herself. This second spring of her career has never stopped since then. By this time, I had translated the website to English and bought the domain simplystreep.com to give the site a signature name. And there’s no looking back since then. I’ve had the great privilege to be recognized as a fan’s source and was contacted by pretty much everybody from the American Film Institute to Equality Now and various film studios. I was able to receive films and books before their releases and, of course, I met many fans from around the world who shared their collections with the site – many with whom I’m writing to this day. To all of you, thank you very much. You have no idea how much I appreciate all of it.

So, does this mean I am the biggest fan there is? Most certainly not. After all these years I see myself more as an archivist than a fan, or a Streeper, as the post-“Mamma Mia” fan generation have nicknamed themselves. I have never been the kind of admirer trying to reach out to their stars, or waiting at red carpets. I even overslept Meryl Streep’s Oscar win in 2012 because I was about to start a new job the next day (which I still have, so it was a wise decision). While many of Meryl Streep’s more recent work in the past 10 years, including “Mamma Mia” and basically everytahing in which she sings, has not been of much interest to me, it’s part of a legacy, a career of constant reimagination and different characters. To cover this is the essence of Simply Streep, and the reason why I have never lost interest in maintaining the site, not even after “Into the Woods” or “Ricki and the Flash”. It’s amazing how fast time goes by. 20 years seem to be nothing. I’m not the 15 year-old I was when I started the site. But what a tremendous gift it has been so far. I have been asked over the years why I don’t include myself more into the site, with my opinion or more information about myself. The key to a good website, in my opinion, is to keep yourself out of it. There have been many times in the past, where I felt the need to raise my opinion on certain aspects, misinterpretation of quotes or mean presidents, but in the end it’s not about me, it’s not about the gossip or clickbait or other people’s thoughts. Simply Streep is, and will always be, an archive of an actor’s outstanding career.

Thank you to everybody and on to the next 20 years…

Frederik