Meryl Streep’s voice will be heard on a special project this summer: the first audiobook edition of the late Nora Ephron’s “Heartburn”. Random House Audio announced Friday that Streep will narrate Ephron’s autobiographical novel based on her marriage to journalist Carl Bernstein, first published in 1983. The Oscar-winning actress starred in the film version, which came out three years later. Streep was a close friend of Ephron, who died last year. They worked on several movies together. The audiobook is scheduled for July. Audio editions are planned for other Ephron books, including the essay collections “Wallflower at the Orgy” and “Crazy Salad.” The narrators haven’t been chosen. Many thanks to Glenn and Frank for the heads-up.
According to Deadline, Steinfeld joins Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, James Spader, John Lithgow, and Tim Blake Nelson in the pic, about a man (Jones) who teams up with a pioneer woman (Swank) to escort three insane women across the prairie back to civilization. The 16-year-old will play a poor, simple, and barefooted teenager named Tabitha Hutchinson. Jones co-scripted with Kieran Fitzgerald and Wesley Oliver. Producing alongside Jones and his Javelina Film Company are Michael Fitzgerald for Ithaca Pictures, Peter Brant, and Luc Besson for EuropaCorp. Steinfeld is experienced in the genre, having received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in the Coen Brothers’ masterful “True Grit”.
Margaret Thatcher, the first woman ever to serve as prime minister of Great Britain and the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century, has died at age 87. Thatcher had significant health problems in her later years, suffering several small strokes and, according to her daughter, struggling with dementia. But during her long career on the political stage, Thatcher was known as the Iron Lady. She led Great Britain as prime minister from 1979 to 1990, a champion of free-market policies and adversary of the Soviet Union. Many scenes of her political career, shown today in news reports all over the world, not only highlight her impact in politics for decades, but also recall Meryl’s powerful performance as Thatcher in her Oscar-winning performance in 2011′s “The Iron Lady”.
Today, Meryl Streep’s management has released a statement by Meryl on Margaret Thatcher’s death:
Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics. It is hard to imagine a part of our current history that has not been affected by measures she put forward in the UK at the end of the 20th century.
Her hard-nosed fiscal measures took a toll on the poor and her hands-off approach to financial regulation led to great wealth for others. There is an argument that her steadfast, almost emotional loyalty to the pound sterling has helped the UK weather the storms of European monetary uncertainty.
But to me she was a figure of awe for her personal strength and grit. To have come up, legitimately, through the ranks of the British political system, class bound and gender phobic as it was, in the time that she did and the way that she did, was a formidable achievement. To have won it, not because she inherited position as the daughter of a great man, or the widow of an important man, but by dint of her own striving.
To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, leveled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer; and to have managed to keep her convictions attached to fervent ideals and ideas — wrongheaded or misguided as we might see them now — without corruption — I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle.
To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.
I was honored to try to imagine her late life journey, after power; but I have only a glancing understanding of what her many struggles were, and how she managed to sail through to the other side. I wish to convey my respectful condolences to her family and many friends.
As previously reported, Meryl has attended yesterday’s Women in the World Summit to pay tribute to activist Inez McCormack. Pictures from the event have been added to the image library. Scroll down for more information and video.
Meryl Streep wore mourning black as she spoke of Inez McCormack, the great Irish human-rights and peace activist who died of cancer just 10 weeks ago at the age of 69. “A tall woman and a towering figure,” Streep said. The magnitude of the loss mounted as Streep spoke of all McCormack had done. McCormack had ensured that human rights—and in particular the rights of the people she called “the invisibles”—became part of the 1998 Good Friday accord in Northern Ireland. McCormack had also become the first woman to head a trade union there. “Well, there’s no fun in being the first woman in anything,” Streep quoted McCormack saying. You can read more on Meryl’s speech over at The Daily Beast. A video of her speech has been added to the video archive.
According to the New York Times, Meryl Streep will present and award at the Obie Awards ceremony on May 20 at Webster Hall in the East Village. She will be presenting the lifetime achievement Obie to Lois Smith and Frances Sternhagen. Ms. Smith is a veteran of Broadway, television and Hollywood who played the mother, Mable Murphy, in Sam Shepard’s “Heartless,” which opened at Pershing Square Signature Center last August. Ms. Sternhagen has also had a long career in film, television and theater. She can currently be seen as Rose, the car-crashing mother in Liz Flahive’s “The Madrid,” a Manhattan Theater Club production at City Center Stage I. The co-hosts at the Obie Awards will be Jessica Hecht and Jeremy Shamos. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.
While updating the career pages, I was once again surprised by the amount of narration work that Meryl has done so far and continues to do. For 2013 and 2014 there are six documentaries narrated by Meryl, some have been aired already earlier this year, some are coming up, leading to the recently announced PBS “The Roosevelts” documentary. Meryl is also participating in a new documentary on Clint Easwtood by Richard Schickel, which will premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. To learn more about her new off-camera projects, have a look at the list of newly added projects below.
2014 The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
2013 Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story (documentary)
2013 Out of Print
2013 Girl Rising
2013 Wings of Life
2013 Makers: Women Who Make America
2013 Pioneers of THIRTEEN: The ’70’s – Bold and Fearless
The cast for “The Homesman” is getting more crowded. According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Spader and John Lithgow have joined the Tommy Lee Jones film. Jones co-wrote the script and is directing the movie, assembling a cast that includes Hilary Swank, Tim Blake Nelson and Meryl Streep. Set in 1855 Nebraska, the story tells of a frontier woman and a claim jumper who ferry a wagonload of women, driven insane by the harsh world of the frontier, eastward to Iowa and back to the civilized world. While details of Spader’s role are being played close to the vest, it is known he will play a swindler. The movie, being financed and co-produced by EuropaCorp, is due to shoot this spring in New Mexico. Lithgow and Streep has been frequent collaborators on the stage in the 1970s, starring in “Trelawny of the Wells”, “Secret Service” and “A Memory of Two Mondays”, but “The Homesman” will mark their first film project together.
Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Diane von Furstenberg and Tom Hanks will be featured speakers at Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s Women in the World Summit in New York on April 4 and 5, The Daily Beast announced Thursday. The summit highlights global women’s issues and features activists, CEOs and artists. “We tell the stories of the courageous and intelligent women who are battling the status quo in their countries, picking up the pieces in the aftermath of war and shattering glass ceilings in every sector,” The Daily Beast announced. Update: According to this source, Meryl Streep will pay tribute to Inez McCormack at the Women in the World Summit on April 4. Streep has portrayed Inez in the documentary play “Seven”, which tells the personal stories of Inez and six other women who triumphed over enormous obstacles to create major positive change in their home countries, at the same event three years ago.