29 Fascinating Things Most People Don’t Know About Meryl Streep.
This article is based on "Meryl Streep Trivia - IMDB" and "21 Little-Known Facts About Meryl Streep, The Worlds Most Perfect Being". If you're interested in reading more, check out the links at the bottom of the article.
2/29 Streep struggled with the scene in Silkwood where Karen flashes her breasts to her coworkers. She explained why it was awkward saying, "I'm always so sensitive about women doing nude scenes. It's a personal gripe. I did it because, in context, I thought she probably would do something like that. It made sense. But it's still a completely bizarre and horrible thing to do in front of a crew."
3/29 Chris Pine and James Corden, two actors who have achieved relative success in their own right, say that the highlight of their professional careers was working with Meryl Streep in Into the Woods.
4/29 Kramer vs. Kramer director Robert Benton gave Streep permission to rewrite her dialogue for two of the larger scenes in the movie because she wasn't satisfied with the way it was written. She thought the script portrayed her character as too antagonistic and wanted the film to more realistically portray a woman facing a failing marriage.
5/29 The shoes that she wears as Emmeline Pankhurst in Suffragette are the same shoes she wore as Karen Blixen in Out of Africa 30 years earlier. The production team didn't have period shoes in her size so she brought in the older pair herself.
6/29 Despite her 19 Academy Award nominations Meryl has only won three: Best Actress in Iron Lady and Sophie's Choice and Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer. She has also been nominated for 8 Drama Desk Awards, 5 Grammy Awards, and 1 Tony, none of which she's won.
7/29 Streep not only mastered Polish and German accents for Sophie's Choice but also learned Polish. She was so convincing as Sophie that locals on set thought she was actually Polish. Roger Ebert is quoted as saying that it was "the first accent [hes] ever wanted to hug."
8/29 Meryl asked her alma mater Vassar College if the graduation scenes for her upcoming movie It's Complicated could be filmed on campus. They refused even though two of her children attended the school.
9/29 For her role in Music of the Heart Streep learned to play violin by practicing 6 hours a day for 8 weeks.
10/29 She almost turned down the role of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady because of her strong dislike for the woman. She said, I was not thrilled with her policies or her politics because my friends and I were all playing for the other team. Director Phyllida Lloyd explained to Streep that both she and Thatcher were outsiders and Streep accepted the role.
11/29 Meryl hand knitted the shawl she wears as Sister Loysius in Doubt.
12/29 Meryl Streep revealed that after turning 40 she was offered three witch roles in one year and swore that she would never play one again. However she broke this personal rule after meeting with Stephen Sondheim to discuss playing The Witch in Into the Woods.
13/29 At the beginning of her career Meryl was frequently mistaken for Glenn Close. Once while pregnant and shopping at a baby store in Los Angeles she was told by the staff that they "loved [her] in Fatal Attraction".
14/29 Dustin Hoffman planned the moment where he throws his wine glass in the restaurant scene of Kramer vs. Kramer but only told the cameraman to make sure it was filmed. Meryl's reaction is real and she stayed in character long enough to finish the scene before berating Hoffman for scaring her so badly.
15/29 Meryl likes to prepare for filming by selecting a piece of music that embodies the character or setting to listen to on repeat. For The Hours she listened to "Four Last Songs" by Richard Strauss which Stephen Daldry liked so much that he added it to the film.
16/29 When Charlie Kaufman won the BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay for Adaptation but wasn't able to attend the ceremony, Meryl accepted on his behalf and read the speech he had prepared. However instead of saying, "I would like to thank Spike Jonze", she said, "I would like to spank." The audience went wild.
17/29 Meryl has a BA in English and Drama from Vassar College, an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, and an honorary Doctorate of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College which she attended on an exchange to study costume design and playwriting. She has also been recognized with seven other honorary degrees from schools like Princeton and Harvard.
18/29 On the first day of filming The Devil Wears Prada Meryl pulled Anne Hathaway aside to say, "I think you're perfect for the role. I'm so happy we're going to be working together. That's the last nice thing I'll say to you." And it was.
19/29 An inflatable bra was created for the scene in Death Becomes Her where Streep's breasts grow after drinking the potion but the effect wasn't realistic enough. Instead Meryl's dresser stood behind her and pushed her breasts into position.
20/29 Streep donated her wardrobe from The Devil Wears Prada to a charity auction. She also donated her salary from The Iron Lady to the National Women's History Museum.
21/29 Behind the scenes of Kramer vs. Kramer Dusting Hoffman and Streep jokingly tried to get Justin Henry to pick between them. Henry finally picked Streep saying that she was nicer. Hoffman replied, "Oh yeah? Work with her five weeks then see what you say."
22/29 Sydney Pollack initially didn't consider Meryl Streep a contender for Karen Blixen in Out of Africa because she wasn't sexy enough. However when she showed up to the audition wearing a low-cut blouse and a push-up bra he changed his mind.
23/29 When Streep auditioned for the 1976 King Kong remake Italian producer Dino DeLaurentis told his son, in Italian, "This is so ugly. Why did you bring me this." Streep responded in Italian, "I'm very sorry that I'm not as beautiful as I should be but, you knowthis is it. This is what you get".
24/29 The special effects for Alien 3 were created in the UK after most of the cast, including Sigourney Weaver, had returned to America. They needed a prosthetic of Sigourney's head but rather than calling her back to make a cast they found one of Meryl Streep's head in the studio and used it instead.
25/29 After graduating from Vassar College Streep originally planned on attending law school. The morning of her interview she accidentally slept through her alarm clock and took it as a sign that her life was headed in a different direction. She applied for the Yale School of Drama instead.
26/29 Because Streep is at least 5" shorter than Julia Child, who was a staggering 6'2", Streep wore extra high heels and the set designers lowered the countertops to make her appear taller in Julia & Julia.
27/29 Along with Amy Poehler and Sarah Silverman, Meryl is a spokesperson for the Center for Reproductive Rights' Draw the Line campaign which supports women's reproductive health and rights.
28/29 When Pierce Brosnan signed on for Mamma Mia! he had no idea what the project was other than that it was filmed in Greece and Meryl Streep was starring in it. He said he would've signed on for anything with Streep because he had a crush on her in drama school.
29/29 Meryl purposefully chose to not re-read Mrs. Dalloway in preparation for The Hours because she felt that her character Clarissa would have read it in college and forgotten it already, just as Meryl had done.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.