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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A Conversation with Meryl Streep

November 05, 2010 | The University of Texas

During a visit to the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin November 5, actress Meryl Streep talked with students about performance, the art of acting and her prolific career in film. Graduate acting students from the Department of Theatre and Dance had a once-in-a-lifetime conversation with the actress over lunch at the University of Texas Club. Theatre and Dance Professor Fran Dorn called her friend and former college roommate to ask her if she would make a stop in Austin after leaving London, where she was working on “The Iron Lady”. Streep agreed and spent an afternoon talking with students about theatre, graduate school and how she became interested in theatre while attending Vassar College.

I remember when I was shooting “The Deer Hunter”, I was so mad because I was told from the beginning that I would be able to go home to attend my brother’s wedding. That day I found myself in bed with Robert De Niro, by no choice of my own mind you. Oh, I was so angry. When I see myself during that part, to me, I just look mad.

Streep also shared some practical words of wisdom with the MFA students: to pay off their student loans as soon as possible and to avoid credit card debt, and for the women in the class to not focus so much on appearance, shoes and their weight. “While it’s important for young actresses to be attractive — it’s not the most important thing,” Streep said. “This obsession with perfection is destructive to a wide range of characters and it limits people.” When asked how she works through challenges, like nervous and insecure scene partners, she replied, “People are people. When I got really famous, people got scared to act with me and they would bring a shaky energy to the set. So when I work with people who are nervous, and I’m doing a scene with them, and I know my lines … and baby, I know my lines… I’ll look at them and tell them, ‘I forgot my lines’ and they immediately relax.” Acting, Streep reminds us, is an art – and it is an art of storytelling. When asked by a theatre student about her most challenging role she replied, “The hardest thing to do is to do something when you don’t feel it. You feel what’s going on in your real life. And then you have to be funny when you’re not feeling funny. You have to cry on the best day of your life. It’s weird and hard to do what isn’t really happening, and make it like it is. But we need actors. We need them to help us understand different emotions and realities. To console us. To let us know that we’re not alone.”