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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Streep, considered by many to be this generation´s best actress, still is playing love interests and sexually charged women such a Lee, the would-be cosmetician of Marvin´s Room. “I really understand Lee,” says Streep, looking younger than the middle-age character who must deal with her estranged cancer-stricken sister and her hostile son. “Trying to control her son and making just about every wrong move there is. So filled with outward determination and hope, and inside being so self-loathing and visiting that on her kid,” Streep says. “The last thing you want is the worst part of you to be continued in your children. And that´s exactly what she does. She turns him into someone who hates himself.” Marvin´s Room, which is being released nationally after early engagements in several major cities, is the kind of raw, emotional film – such a Sophie´s Choice and Kramer vs Kramer – that made her a star. Written by Scott McPherson, who had AIDS when he wrote the script and has since died, Marvin´sRoom resonates with issues of mortality, family ties, prioritizing life goals and reconciling with roots. “The movie is hitting a chord. Maybe it´s all the aging boomers reconciling,” Streep says. “Maybe it´s the mortality of our parents and coming to that age where you just have to either forgive or trash it out in some way with your family.” Streep doesn´t look much different than she did in 1978 in her breakthrough role as Linda, the working-class, small-town girl in The Deer Hunter. Her skin is pale and soft and unlined. The Lee of Marvin´s Room looks haggard and life-battered, as if Streep willed herself to look older.
Lee resonates strongly among the roles she has brought to life, Streep says. “I love them,” she says of the many women whose spirits have inhabited her. And which of them maintain a special place in her heart? “I really love Helen, the character of Ironweed, says Streep, her face softening. “Sophie lives in my body. And Francesca in Bridges of Madison Country. And Postcards (from the Edge). And Heartburn – I loved playing that. But immediately I think of Helen in Ironweed”. Streep, known to pick her roles carefully, responds to the visceral reaction she feels when reading a script. “It´s a feeling of my hert, really, literally racing. That is something that I understand. This situation that this person I am reading is in, and now I´m in it. And it is nothing that I have purposely tried to do, but now I´m in it.” – “And then I call my agent and say, ‘Yes, I´ll do it’,” Streep laughs. In her next role, for ABC´s … First Do No Harm on Feb. 16, she plays a mother battling the medical establishment over the treatment of her epileptic child. A quote from Dustin Hoffman – that acting with Meryl Streep is like being in the ring “and she delivers punch for punch” – is read aloud to Streep. She laughs. “He always talks in pugilistic terms about working with me. Like he´s girding himself for battle with the Gorgon or something.” Streep, who won a supporting actress Oscar playing opposite Hoffman in Kramer vs Kramer, calls the actor “relentless – though I might add, some really wonderful people are relentless in the pursuit of what they want.” And what about Robert De Niro, her most frequent co-star (Deer Hunter, Falling in Love and Marvin´s Room)? “Oh…,” she moans, wondering how to respond. “I´ve known him for 20 years, and my feelings about him as an actor are mixed up with my feelings about him as a friend. He´s the most loyal person in the world. His talent is just gorgeous. And every time I work with him, I learn something. Even in my old age, just this last time, I learned working with him.” Special moments of actor-to-actor chemistry she has experienced?
“Oh! That´s a lot of people,” Streep says immediately. “That´s Diane (Keaton, who plays Streep´s sister, Bessie, in Marvin´s Room) … She is physically incapable of actorishness or falsity or any kind of punching up the line for the laughs. She´s just real. Because she´s really on a very high order of artist.” Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays her tough-sensitive son in Marvin´s Room, impressed her. “Leonardo´s the real thing. A fabulous little genius,” she says. Contemporaries of Streep such as Hoffman, De Niro, Robert Duvall and Gene Hackamn have commented on an attitudinal shift among younger actors, who will come up to them asking how to ‘make it’. Has Streep noticed a generational difference? “Oh, yes,” she says and nods. “And I don´t think it´s just b**** either. Glenn (Close) and I have talked about this. I think it has to do with coming up in the theater. The ethos of ‘the play´s the thing’ … we´re all in this together. Not ‘maybe I can get a series out of this if I´m reviewed well on Broadway’. That´s not the way we thought. Young actors think a career is something that means business. We thought of a career as life work, and you look at the body of work.”