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All public appearances at the 77th Cannes Film Festival have been updated with additional pictures, including a new Q&A, which took place earlier today: Taking a broader look at the state of the industry, as France currently goes through its own #MeToo reckoning, Streep considered how significantly the film industry changed once women gained greenlight authority at the studios.

Before there were women in greenlight positions at studios, it was very hard for men to see themselves in a female protagonist. It was not difficult for the women executives to see themselves in a male protagonist, but the hardest thing — I’ve said this 150,000 times — the hardest thing is for a male to live through the female in a movie who’s the lead,” Streep said during the Q&A. “They just didn’t get it. The first movie I ever made where a man came up to me afterwards and said ‘I know how you felt’ was “Devil Wears Prada.’ It was more than one man who came and said ‘I know how you felt, I know what it’s like to be the one to take the decisions and nobody understands you.’ That was fascinating to me.

After an extended standing ovation at the top of the Q&A, Streep talked through her first experience at the Cannes Film Festival back in 1989, where she would go on to win the best actress award for “A Cry in the Dark.” She remembered not feeling “safe” there. “I needed maybe a dozen [bodyguards] the first time I came here because, in the olden days, I don’t know, there wasn’t the same security. All the barriers weren’t there… it was insane. I almost didn’t recover from that. I couldn’t believe how wild it was. So that was 35 years ago. It’s changed a lot, the world has changed a lot,” Streep said. When asked further about this, she said it’s tied back to how she doesn’t consider herself a “rock star” and instead has a “life that is filled with things that are not hyperbolic like that.”

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