Yesterday in New York, Meryl Streep presented the 2017 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award to composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim at the PEN America Literary Gala, at the American Museum of Natural History. Sondheim has delighted audiences worldwide for more than six decades with witty lyrics, contagious melodies, and unforgettable characters that comprise some of America’s most beloved and timeless musicals such as West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sunday in the Park with George, which just completed its Broadway revival starring Jake Gyllenhaal. He is also the winner of at least 60 individual and collaborative Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Pictures can be found in the photo gallery and Meryl’s introduction can be watched below and in the video archive.
As previously announced, Meryl Streep was among the guests of the Academy of American Poets’ 15th Annual Poetry and the Creative Mind on Thursday, and the Literary Hub has a nice article on the evening and the poems that were read. The sweeping Alice Tully Hall was full, the lobby had been swarmed for almost an hour before, and tickets had sold out in about three minutes. The state of our world is precarious, and it’s hard not to feel uncertain or desperate; the poems chosen for the night seemed to speak precisely to that. As the final speaker of the evening, Meryl Streep said that she was thinking about what Uzo Aduba said about the first poem she ever loved; hers was the lullaby her mother used to sing to her. “It’s not on the program, but I think I have to sing it.” And she did. After the song, she read Gary Snyder’s “Mother Earth: Her Whales,” and then, to cheer us up, “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith. “Life is short and I’ve shortened mine in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,” a mother begins, before saying she will keep it from her children: I am trying to sell them the world. Any decent realtor, walking you through a real shithole, chirps on about good bones: This place could be beautiful, right? You could make this place beautiful. Would it be too sentimental to say that a large room of poets, singing their childhood memories and pleas for resistance, reading poems that enriched and inspired and devastated them, felt like it had filled in the bones of Lincoln Center and New York and the world for just one evening? When Meryl Streep reads poetry to you, it’s hard to resist romance. Pictures from the evening have been added to the photo gallery.
On April 19, the Academy of American Poets will hold its annual Poetry & the Creative Mind celebration at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, hosted by Meryl Streep. The event celebrates poetry’s important place in our culture and its impact on the lives of readers, and features leading and legendary actors, dancers, artists, musicians, and public figures on one stage sharing their favorite poems. The always inspiring evening is a benefit, which raises funds to support the educational programs of the Academy of American Poets. Meryl Streep is a longtime supporter of the Academy of American Poets, having attended the Poetry & the Creative Mind seven times between 2004 and 2014. You can learn more about the academy and her previous appearances here. For tickets and more information about the April 19 event, please visit their official website. Many thanks to Frank for the heads-up.
The 89th Annual Academy Awards will go down in history for its shocking false announcement in the Best Picture category, which made one forget about the pointless Lagerfeld tabloid story (although Jimmy Kimmel couldn’t resist to ask, “nice dress. Is that an Ivanka?). Kimmel pulled no punches during his opening monologue, joking that the 20-time-nominee was getting a bit too much credit for her acting chops. “We’re here to honor the actors who seem great, but actually really aren’t. And of all the ‘great’ actors here in Hollywood, one in particular has stood the test of time for her many uninspiring and overrated performances,” Kimmel dead-panned. “From her mediocre early work in ‘The Deer Hunter’ and ‘Out of Africa,’ to her underwhelming performances in ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ and ‘Sophie’s Choice,’ Meryl Streep has phoned it for more than 50 films over the course of her lackluster career.” Kimmel finished things off by asking everyone else in the auditorium to show their appreciation for the actress. “This is Meryl’s 20th Oscar nomination,” he pointed out. “Made even more amazing considering the fact that she wasn’t even in a movie this year, we just wrote her name down out of habit. Everybody, please join me in giving Meryl Streep a totally undeserved round of applause.” The evening went as expected – until its very unexpected end – with a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Meryl’s friend Viola Davis and Javier Bardem paying tribute to Meryl’s performance in “The Bridges of Madison County”, before joining her on stage to present the Best Cinematography category to Linus Sandgren for “La La Land”. Pictures from the (apparently very brief) arrivals and the show have been added to the photo gallery. Many thanks to Lindsey for her contributions. Enjoy, and goodbye to the 2017 awards season!
Meryl Streep has attended Friday’s 10th Annual Women in Film cocktail party on the same day she has become tabloid fudder (let’s just not talk about it). Streep slipped past the press line, momentarily pausing to affectionately refer to BBC News as “another beauty” (a subtle dig at President Trump, who had pointed at a reporter from the outlet during his recent press conference and proclaimed, “There’s another beauty”). The actress made her way inside the party and blended into the crowd — and then, folks demanded a speech. So she obliged. “I feel like never saying anything again … forever,” she joked. “Because everybody is speaking up and that’s great. Because with the numbers, they can’t ignore us. And we are 51 or maybe 52 percent now of the population.” Streep went on to share a quick story about her high school years and how an exchange student from Afghanistan reminded her of how far women around the world had come. “Stuff can change, and you have to really feel the earth move under your feet,” she noted. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Meryl Streep will have another opportunity to confront president Donald Trump (I think she won’t) at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday. The actress, who has earned more nominations than any other actor in history from the Academy, famously called out Trump during her acceptance speech for the lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes in January, in which she chastised the president for mocking The New York Times’ Serge Kovaleski, a disabled reporter. Streep also defended her anti-Trump speech, as well as voiced support for transgender rights, at the Human Rights’ Campaign 2017 Greater New York Gala dinner earlier this month. Now, the Academy has officially announced that Streep will be one of the presenters at the Oscars on Sunday night. Also announced as presenters were former Oscar winners Matt Damon, Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty and Octavia Spencer as well as Oscar nominees Ryan Gosling, Salma Hayek, Dev Patel, and Taraji P. Henson. Jason Bateman, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston and Sofia Boutella will also present. Many thanks to Frank for the heads-up.
In the lead-up to Oscars weekend, Meryl Streep, Octavia Spencer, Jane Fonda and Lily Collins were among those who turned out at the Costume Designers Guild Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on Tuesday night. Streep was honored with the Distinguished Collaborator Award. She was presented with the trophy by her frequent costume designer Ann Roth following a good old-fashioned roast from comedian and former “Into the Woods” costar James Corden. “It’s time that someone said it,” he began. “She’s a complete bitch. She is the worst. Now listen, I disagree with almost everything that Donald Trump has ever said, but, when he tweeted that…” he deadpanned, referencing the President’s recent remarks that she’s “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood.” “I’m joking, of course,” Corden said. “It’s great to see someone like Meryl finally be recognized with an award. What is she even going to do with this? This is going to be a doorstop for her Golden Globe room.” Streep kept her speech short and politics-free as she dedicated the award to her mother “who really wanted to be a costume designer.” She said that Halloween was like “the run-up to fashion week in our house.” The actress said she enjoys the role wardrobe plays in helping to create and explore a character. Streep compared the process to “a happy surprise, like simultaneous orgasm or something.” She paused. “Well, maybe it’s not that much fun, but it is a little tiny miracle every time it happens.”
Happy New Year everybody! Today, Meryl Streep has joined colleague and friend Viola Davis to celebrate Davis’ star unveiling at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A first batch of pictures have been added to the photo gallery with more to come. Edit: Over 200 additional pictures have been added, as well as a video of the whole ceremony below. At the ceremony, Streep said, “Viola Davis is possessed. She’s possessed of a blazing, incandescent talent. She is, arguably, the most immediate, responsive artist I have ever worked with.” And an emotional Davis, who won a Tony for her Broadway performance in Fences and is now frontrunning a Best Supporting Actress win at the Academy Awards, said, “I cannot believe my life right now.” Meryl’s introduction starts around 7:50 minutes.
On Thursday, Meryl Streep has attended the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s A Magical Evening Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Meryl’s sighting comes a day after news that her turn on the upcoming television miniseries “The Nix” will bring her a whopping $825,000 per episode, according toThe Hollywood Reporter. Makes one wonder how many episodes there will be. Streep’s handsome salary places her among a growing list of top-notch performers who have been lured to the small screen thanks to the popularity of original content streamed by the likes of Netflix and Amazon.
Hundreds of additional pictures from the press conference and opening ceremony of the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival have been added to the photo gallery. Videos will follow soon, this weekend at least. Many thanks to everybody, especially Yuri, for helping out with pictures and links. Very appreciated!