Simply Streep is your premiere source on Meryl Streep's work on film, television and in the theatre - a career that has won her three Academy Awards and the praise to be one of the world's greatest working actresses. Created in 1999, we have built an extensive collection to discover Miss Streep's work through an archive of press articles, photos and video clips. Enjoy your stay.
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Meryl Streep does suffer in her work. But she makes suffering somehow both exquisite and sensual. She has specialised in playing women who are usually passive, often inadequate, unable to make the most or anything of their lives – and yet we care about her. How we care? She suffered in “Kramer vs. Kramer” which won her a best supporting actress Oscar; she suffered in “The Deer Hunter” and again in “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”. Now in “Sophie’s Choice” – which begins screening in Australia this month – she gives her greatest performance as the tragic heroine and is a strong contender for an Academy Award this year.
Meryl, 33, a slender patrician blonde with hazel eyes and cheek bones which will stand the test of time, is married to New York sculptor Donald Gummer. She has a son, Henry, named after her father and her brother – who introduced her to Gummer – and is expecting again. Although she seems to do nothing but work, she says: “I worry more about Henry, who is two years old, than I do about my career. I took time off work after he was born. I wasn’t about to jump off the delivery table to start working again.” Meryl started acting late – at 26. “So I had to do it fast,” she says. In her first season in the theatre she did four plays, ranging from Shakespeare to Arthur Miller. She made her first film impact in “The Deer Hunter” with Robert De Niro and John Cazale (who had been her love for two years). Cazale had cancer of the bone and died three years ago, aged 42. She gave up nine months of her career to be with him. “I moved into his hospital and read him the sports pages and did imitations of newsreaders. I was so close to him I couldn’t see that he was so close to death. When it came, it was a shock”. But she and Donald Gummer married within six months. “What John’s death did was make me confront my own mortality,” Meryl says. Now she and Gummer have an apartment in New York City’s Little Italy and a 37-hectare rural retreat.
She put off becoming a mother until she was 31, because she wanted to get a firm grip upon her career. “I wanted first to know I could make it as an actress. Being a mother alone without a career would not have been satisfaction enough – neither would being a star but single and childless. Basically I want it all – but in manageable portions.” In “Sophie’s Choice” she plays Sophie Zawistowska, the tragic woman who survived Auschwitz by making the fatal choice of giving up the life of one of her children to save her own. It was a part she desperately wanted to play. She did, and the result staggers the scenes. But she will not be thrown by her success. “If ever you feel you are loosing your balance, you just stop working,” she says. “It’s that simple”.