Viola Davis is among TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017. She appears on the cover and inside the magazine, with written words by her friend and co-star Meryl Streep: When you spend your life embodying other lives, if you are successful, the one that belongs to you can silently slip behind. But Viola Davis’ hard-won, midlife rise to the very top of her profession has not led her to forget the rough trip she took getting there. And that is why she embodies for all women, but especially for women of color, the high-wire rewards of hard work and a dream, risk and faith. Viola has carved a place for herself on the Mount Rushmore of the 21st century – new faces emerging from a neglected mountain. And when she tells the story of how she got from where she was to where she is, it is as if she is on a pilgrimage, following her own footsteps and honoring that journey. Her gifts as an artist are unassailable, undeniable, deep and rich and true. But her importance in the culture – her ability to identify it, her willingness to speak about it and take on responsibility for it—is what marks her for greatness.
Awards season is knocking on the door, so it’s not surprising that both the stars are praising each other (and, in this case, their famous producers as well). Julia Roberts presented George Clooney, who has co-produced “August: Osage County” with the Britannia Awards by BAFTA Los Angeles, and recited a letter that Meryl Streep had given her to read at the ceremony.
George is like the dream boyfriend you have right out of college – sophisticated, older, knowledgeable about the ways of the world unlike all the callous, dopey undergraduates you so recently dated. And yet he is utterly, completely, thoroughly devoted, amazingly, to you. He calls, he writes, he charms, he disarms, you are in love, you are his socket. This is the guy. And then… you find out he has been hooking up in the past few months with women who look just like Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts and Valerie Jarett. You are shocked, shocked and yet somehow you can never ever be really mad at him. George is everywhere and all at once and somehow never shows a dent on his bumper.
The letter prompted Vanity Fair to the following thought: “Can the Oscars please just consist of recitations of Meryl Streep letters about every nominee? There don’t even need to be any awards; just Meryl letters.” Julia Roberts is further featured in the December issue of Marie Claire and is dishing more on working with Meryl:
I had many imaginary conversations with Meryl about working together…When a person goes from being on a pedestal in your mind, to even cooler, better, and more fabulous up close, you get to understand them a little more intimately.
A first in-depth report from the London press conference for “August: Osage County” has been published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer and features a lot of interesting quotes by Meryl on both “August” and “Into the Woods”, which was filmed at the time of the conference in London. Filming “Into the Woods” in London and promoting “August: Osage County” was putting Meryl Streep in two conflicting moods. “I feel like I should have two heads because I’m so into this music, place, magic that’s ‘Into the Woods,’” said the world’s preeminent actress with a lilt in her voice, exulting in her experience so far in playing The Witch in director Rob Marshall’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical. She is dressed all in black for this early evening interview at The May Fair Hotel in London. In “August,” coincidentally another adaptation of a play (by Tracy Letts who won a Pulitzer Prize for this), Meryl plays Violet Weston, the acid-tongued, pill-popping matriarch of a bickering family in Oklahoma.
The reason I did [August] was that a very dear friend said to me, ‘You had a great mother. She gave you your appetite for experience, curiosity, sense of humor. Your mother sang in the kitchen and mine hit me. Your mother made you feel you could do anything. Mine made me feel like I couldn’t do anything. You have to do this for me and for all the girls like me who had bad mothers, who made it in spite of that, who got out, and for all the ones who didn’t and to let them know it’s OK to leave that behind.’ She really made a case. I thought, OK, because when you’re a young actor, you think, oh yeah, it’ll be so cool to imagine having cancer and what’s it like to be close to death and then your family hates you…I really want to take that all on.
Meryl also talks about the character of The Witch in Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”.
The metamorphosis in ‘Into the Woods’ is [of] a witch who sets the whole machinery of impossible tasks in motion so she can have her wish, which is to not be ugly. Her mother put a curse on her. It’s very like Violet. Her mother put a curse of ugliness on her because somebody stole the beans, the baker’s father. So her metamorphosis is that Rapunzel, [whom] she loves more than anything in the world, will love her because she’ll be beautiful. Of course, women think that if they’re beautiful, they will be loved. The thing is, you can get your wish and Rapunzel will still hate you. It’s such an interesting problem that Sondheim sets up. Everybody has a wish, everybody gets their wish. That’s just the end of the first act. Afterward, what happens after it all shakes down…it’s an ambitious thing.
The complete article can be read over at the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Jane Fonda, who is currently tipped for an Emmy Nomination for her performance in “The Newsroom” recently sat down for a live Chat with GoldDerby to discuss her recent success, her career and, among other Topics, Meryl’s Screen debut in the 1977 Fonda film “Julia”. Although Meryl’s performance in “Julia” lasts for only a minute, it’s very interesting to see Fonda revisit this performance and the impact it had on her her. The full conversation can be here, starting around 24:40 minutes Many thans to Glenn for the heads-up. Miss Fonda’s quote is below:
It was a scene where Lillian Hellman had just opened on Broadway with her play, Little Foxes, and it was a magnificent triumph… Lillian is walking through Sardi’s and the camera panned with me… and then the camera stopped and I walk off camera, and Anne Marie walks on camera and stops – and that was Meryl. What she did in just a few seconds with her face and her hand… my hair stood on end. “I was in the process of casting Coming Home and I called my producing partner, Bruce Gilbert, and I said, ‘Listen, it’s a weird name, Meryl Streep, but I’m telling you not since Geraldine Page have I seen anything like this; try to get her in the part.’ “She wasn’t free, she was doing a Tennessee Williams play but I feel privileged to have been present at her screen debut… It was breathtaking.
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch is currently making the rounds to talk about “Star Trek Into Darkness,” and has mentioned working with Meryl Streep on the upcoming “August: Osage County” in an interview with New York Magazine. The complete interview can be read here with his quote being snipped out below.
Cumberbatch prefers the hows to the whys of acting, and he found a kindred spirit in Meryl Streep, his co-star in this fall’s August: Osage County. “I asked her how she approached the multiple layers of her part,” says Cumberbatch. “And she said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t have a process. It changes with every job, doesn’t it?’ And I thought, Oh, thank God, to hear her say it. This whole thing about technique or method? It’s bullshit. People say, ‘Oh, you’re so precise.’ But within that I work very hard to give every part a heartbeat. I learned a lot from just watching Meryl in repose. It was a bit like a Sherlock deduction actually.”
In a recent interview with ComingSoon to promote his latest film, “The Company Men”, director John Wells dished on his next project, the adaptation of Tracy Lett’s stage play “August: Osage County”.
We’re gonna do the Tracy Letts play “August Osage County.” It’s a film for Weinstein. It’s been in the press already, so it’s not a secret. Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep look like they’re gonna do it, so and I’ll direct that next fall I think, so I’m working with Tracy on the screenplay now. It’s a great play, and we’re trying to turn it into something less than a four-hour movie. It was a long play.
Director Mike Nichols will be receiving the 2010 AFI Lifetime Achievement Award tomorrow (which Meryl will be attending), and in today’s Los Angeles Times, he has talked about a few of the actors he has worked with, Meryl included. Nichols directed her to best actress Oscar nominations for 1983’s “Silkwood” and 1990’s “Postcards From the Edge,” to an Emmy in 2003’s “Angels in America,” and in 1985’s “Heartburn”):
Meryl can be anyone. Nobody understands what she does and how she does it. It’s great to be near her and to be part of it; it’s great to see her happen. The thing I always say is that she’s never lost an iota of the joy of doing it.
I am proud and grateful to stand with these women who have given such a range of beautiful, indelible performances this year!! – Meryl Streep
Source: Entertainment Tonight
Actress Hilary Swank has won two Oscars for her performances in “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Million Dollar Baby” and is most certainly entering this year’s awards season with her performance as Amelia Earhart. In an interview with Moviefone, she was asked about her acting rolemodels.
You’ve had a pretty amazing career, but is there anyone’s career that you look to as an inspiration?
It’s probably cliché at this point, but Meryl Streep is someone who not only continues to raise her own bar, and she’s time and time again extraordinary … she carries herself with such grace and she’s a girl’s girl, she’s very supportive of other women, and her work ethic is inspiring. She runs the gamut of doing dramatic and mainstream movies. You know, she fluctuates back and forth so easily and fluently. We’re entertainers, and that’s what a full career is supposed to be filled with, so I think she’s just extraordinary in every way.
French photographer Brigitte Lacombe is known for taking the most stunning pictures of Meryl, having accompanied her on movie sets and off ever since “Kramer vs. Kramer”. In the latest issue of W Magazine, Lacombe talks about her latest book, “Anima Persona”, and on working with Meryl Streep:
You’ve photographed Meryl Streep many times through the years. Is it true she hates being photographed?
In the case of Meryl I first [photographed her] on Kramer vs. Kramer. And it’s unfortunate, because even though we’ve developed the most incredible closeness and friendship—truly, I never have enough of photographing her—she is constantly trying to avoid it! I think she kind of tolerates it, you know? And sometimes it’s good, because she has to have a photograph taken and it may as well be me [rather] than somebody else. You know, most women and actresses, at a certain point, will start to feel beautiful in the eye of that moment for the photographer and they start to relax and enjoy it. But Meryl will never get to that point, because she’s not interested in being looked at if she’s not performing.