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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I don’t feel like an icon, unless you mean stiff and wooden sometimes. I’m so tired generally – that’s my main defining feature. (Meryl Streep, Entertainment Weekly, 1994)
After five years in Tinsletown, Meryl Streep quit Hollywood and relocated the family to Connectitut. While a good number of her films during that time earned solid reviews and box office – her stay in the City of Angels also gave Streep a reputation. Not only was she in an undesireable age group in Hollywood, her outspoken criticism on the payment inequality and lack of interesting roles for women was greeted with the industry’s kiss of death – Meryl Streep was difficult to work with. Her farewell to Hollywood was her first and only hooray into the action genre, a surprising move rivaling the lone-rider action movies of her male counterparts. “The River Wild” offered a unique role for a woman in a, in retrospect, very family friendly action adventure, which might have been a rapid too slow for Stallone, but just right for a lion mother.
Among the many changes in Meryl Streep’s career in the 1990s – her move to Los Angeles and the switch from dramatic roles to lighter fare – perhaps the most volcanic change took place in 1991, when she switched agents. An actor switching agents is not exactly big news, but Sam Cohn, the prominent New York-based agent at International Creative Management is not just any agent. According to a 1994 article in The New York Times, what happened remains murky. Streep speaks hesitantly about it. According to several agents, the rift centered on casting Streep in “Remains of the Day.” Mike Nichols, whom she regarded as a trusted friend, planned to direct. But after Streep and Jeremy Irons read for him, Nichols apparently decided otherwise. He declined to tell Streep. So did Cohn, who was also Nichols’s agent. By all accounts, Streep wasn’t just outraged, she was deeply hurt. And she severed her relationship with Cohn, signing with the powerful Creative Artists Agency. Eventually, James Ivory took over the film, casting Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in the lead roles. ”I left because of something Mike did that I felt Sam should have protected me from,” Streep says. She speaks cryptically and emotionally about the episode. “Mike knows what he did, but unfortunately Sam wore the scar.” As their article continues, Streep says she’s now friendly with both men. “My relationship with them is in the ‘life’s too short to be mad category,'” she says. “Mike is someone I share an enormous amount of history with. He has a big part of my heart. I was very upset to be upset. I have too much of a need for forgiveness in my life.”
As if it wasn’t difficult enough to find a good leading role on film in the early 1990s, Meryl Streep teamed up with Goldie Hawn to find a project with two female leads. The actresses turned friends wanted to share their star power on the screen togehter, and although they were turned down by Hollywood at first, they found their match in Robert Zemeckis’ turn on the night of the living dead in Los Angeles – women who want to stay young forever. What a stretch for Hollywood.
Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn are probably friendship-goals in life and on film, but they couldn’t have approached their careers more differently. Hawn rose to fame in the late-60s playing dumb blonde characters in a string of more and less successful tv shows features – even winning an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress in “The Cactus Flower”. But the actress wanted more – better roles, and more power. She founded her own production company, The Hawn/Sylbert Movie Company, with Anthea Sylbert in the late 1970’s and started producing starring roles for herself. They struck gold with their first producing effort – a starring role in “Private Benjamin”, which became a box office hit and a critical darling. Hawn/Sylbert continued to produce more starring roles in “Protocol”, “The Late Shift”, “Criss Cross” and “Overboard”, among others. Although Hawn actress semi-retired in the early 2000s and only shows up on film every once in a while (decade), she has paved the way for many actresses to come. On the other hand, Meryl Streep has never shown interest in any other part of the business than acting. When aksed by Simply Living in 1991 about building her own production company, she said, “I don’t want to start a company. I have lot of other concerns. All I am is an actress. That’s all I wanted to be, ever. I don’t want to be on the phone, talking to unions about set-ups, lunches, how to move trucks off the freeway, overtime. I have no interest in that.”
“Defending Your Life” is another odd and often-forgotten film in Meryl Streep’s filmography. It’s the second film Streep shot in Los Angeles, and, since “The Deer Hunter”, the second and last time in her career she has played a character that can be simply described as “the girl”. Fittingly for a film that plays in the afterlife up in the clouds, it’s breezy and airless
The late 1980s brought a distinctive change in Meryl Streep’s life and career. Starting in 1987, Streep prepared for the lead part in Oliver Stone’s “Evita”, a part she always wanted to play. Streep and Stone even made it to a New York City recording studio and did preliminary dubbings of the score. She would stay with the project as a priority for the next two and a hal years. The originally planned filming, set to begin in early 1989, was halted due to the riots in Argentina. The filmmakers scouted locations in Brazil and Chile, before deciding on Spain, but filming was postponed once again when its film company dropped out due to recent box office failures. While Stone managed to secure another film company to produce the film, Streep withdrew from the project. She has called the loss of that role a “bitter disappointment” in an interview with The New York Times years later. But the real distinctive change came when the Streep/Gummer family moved from Connecticut to Los Angeles in 1989. The reason for the move was simple – having had their son attending pre-school in England, Nairobi and Australia, and two young girls about to start school, they wanted to give their family a stable base. So they sailed off to Los Angeles, where they stayed for four years. The shift to the other side of the country brought a change in roles offered to Streep during that period. After the aforementioned “Postcards from the Edge”, she co-starred opposite Albert Brooks in his after-life comedy “Defending Your Life”.
The 1990s are often completely forgotten in articles and highlight reels of Meryl Streep’s career. Critics often take a leap between 1985’s “Out of Africa” and 2006’s “The Devil Wears Prada” when reviewing her craft. What is left out is a decade that can be best described as the self-finding trip of an actress in the worst period of her life – her 40s. By the late 1980s, Streep was “America’s greatest living actress” by far. In 10 years of screen work, she had received 8 Academy Award nominations with two wins for some of the greatest female characters of that decade, including Joanna Kramer, Sohpie, Karen Silkwood and Karen Blixen. Her star power took a slight turn after “Out of Africa” when leading roles in “Heartburn”, “Ironweed” and “A Cry in the Dark” failed to attract an audience. By the time she turned 40, as Streep has recounted in interviews, she told her husband that “it’s over,” because all roles offered to her were witches.
In this new weekly series, Simply Streep will dive into the projects that Meryl Streep did during the 1990s, how Hollywood and the perception of character actresses changed during that time, and how films with Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson continued to be box office events while actresses took a backseat. The 1990s started with “Postcards from the Edge”, a sarchastic meme of a film before the term even existed.
Yesterday, Meryl Streep and the cast of “Big Little Lies” attended the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. They were nominated as Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series, but lost to the cast of “The Crown”. Lots of pictures from the ceremony have been added to the photo gallery with more information to follow. Enjoy. Update: A video segment of Meryl’s appearance has been added to the video archive, with many thanks to Youtuber Wei Lan. Screencaptures have been added as well.
Big congrats to the team of “Little Women” on receiving 6 Academy Award nominations this morning. While the team leader Greta Gerwig was snubbed for a Best Director nomination, the film received nominations for Best Picture, Leading Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Actress in a Supporting Role (Florence Pugh), Costume Design (Jacqueline Durran), Original Score (Alexandre Desplat) and for Best Adapted Screenplay (Greta Gerwig). “Little Women” marks only the sixth movie in Meryl Streep’s career to receive a nomination for Best Picture – the other being “The Deer Hunter” (winning), “Kramer vs. Kramer” (winning), “Out of Africa” (winning), “The Hours” and “The Post”. The Oscars will be handed out on Sunday, February 9, 2020.
Yesterday, Meryl Streep attended the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills as a nominee for “Big Little Lies”. Unfortunately, she didn’t win – the award went to Partricia Arquette for “The Act”. To make matters worse, Meryl also skipped the red carpet, so there are only very few pictures, but at least some lovely ones with Helen Mirren, which is better than nothing. Right? :-) Neither “Big Little Lies” nor “Little Women” scored any wins at the Golden Globes this year. Pictures from the show have been added to the photo gallery. Update: Screencaptures from the ceremony have been added as well, and you can find the video segment in the video archive.
According to The New York Times on December 29, Sony’s “Little Women,” an adaptation by Greta Gerwig of Alcott’s 19th-century, coming-of-age novel, sold an estimated $16.5 million in tickets at domestic theaters Friday through Sunday. That places it in a dead heat for third place with Disney’s “Frozen 2,” now in its sixth weekend in theaters. Final counts on Monday will determine which film placed third. Regardless, it was a good weekend for “Little Women,” which opened on Christmas Day and finished the weekend with $29 million in estimated cumulative sales. An all-star cast doubtlessly helped sell moviegoers on “Little Women” — Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep are in it — and the movie got terrific reviews (it currently holds a 95 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes). Audiences were clearly eager to see Gerwig’s follow-up to “Lady Bird,” her 2017 movie about an angsty teenage girl that was among the most critically lauded films of the decade. And so far, while not being treated a “major awards player” in the Best Picture or Best Director category, the “Little Women” have received 14 nominations so far from various awards groups in the Best Ensemble category.
★ Boston Society of Film Critics Awards – Best Ensemble
★ Boston Online Film Critics Association – Best Ensemble
★ AARP Movies for Grownups Awards – Best Ensemble
★ Alliance of Women Film Journalists – Best Ensemble Cast
★ Critics Choice Award – Best Ensemble
★ Austin Film Critics Association – Best Ensemble
★ Central Ohio Film Critics Association – Best Ensemble
★ Georgia Film Critics Association – Best Ensemble
★ Florida Film Critics Circle Awards – Best Ensemble
★ Indiana Film Journalists Association – Best Ensemble Acting
★ Chicago Indie Critics Awards – Best Ensemble
★ Online Association of Female Film Critics – Best Acting Ensemble
★ Seattle Film Critics Awards – Best Ensemble Cast
★ Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards – Best Acting Ensemble
Upon reviewing Meryl Streep’s work this decade, let’s remind ourselves where we’re coming from. The 2000s were probably her career’s most exciting period since the 1980s. As many actresses in their 40s, Streep took a backseat in the 1990s – the only profitable or relevant film she did back then was “The Bridges of Madison County”. Films like “One True Thing” and “Music of the Heart” were appreciated and Oscar-nominated, but stood little comparison to the big classics Streep did in the 1980s. So in the 2000s, after a screen absence of three years, Streep returned big time with “Adaptation” and “The Hours”, then with the miniseries “Angels in America” on television. Two years later, she played one of her most iconic roles in “The Devil Wears Prada”, topped it off with a big box office success with “Mamma Mia” and closed the decade with two Oscar-nominated performances in “Doubt” and “Julie & Julia”. In short, the 2000s not only validated her star status, but something new Meryl Streep has rarely been in her career before – a bankable star. The 2000s were something of a Streep renaissance.