I am almost reluctant to write about this incredibly talented woman. She was once quoted to have said ‘Enough people write about me every day without even interviewing me’ so in some ways I feel I’m not quite qualified for the job. However, I feel an incredible amount of respect for this woman, so I will plough on regardless.
The first time I saw Meryl Streep in a film was in a late night showing of Bridges of Madison County. She was captivating. The film meandered innocently along, weaving a tale so intricate, so real that I felt my heart breaking alongside her. It was the first film I ever cried at…although, when I say ‘cried,’ I really mean something more like ‘howled like a baby at for hours on end after it was finished, walking around the house clutching a box of Kleenex for moral support.’ Her performance was inspirational and absolutely stunning.
Over the years following this, I watched, equally blown away as she performed in other well known films such as Kramer Vs. Kramer, The Devil Wears Prada, Mamma Mia! and It’s Complicated. What struck me every time was that, despite knowing that it was the same woman playing these roles, she was completely different every time.
To some, this may seem a ridiculous thing to say-after all, what is the point of acting other than to become different than yourself? But in my eyes, it is a frustratingly difficult thing to achieve. Some of the most acclaimed actors today cannot satisfactorily achieve it. And yet, Meryl Streep dives time and time again into different eras, relationships, countries…and creates a character with such depth and soul that the film comes to life.
It is because of all of this that I feel a large amount of respect for her. It is evident that she deserves the reputation of ‘greatest living film actress.’ She works hard at every challenge she accepts, taking numerous classes in accents for each film; she is known to be fiercely loyal and dedicated to her children and her family (as quoted in an interview): ‘Every single decision I make about what material I do, what I’m putting out in the world, is because of my children’; and to me she appears to be a powerful woman who follows her heart and not the publicity-Mamma Mia, for example, was initially a low budget film created by two women who had never done anything like it before and yet look at it now!
At the end of the day however, Meryl Streep is still human. Where other celebrities dazzle in the spotlight and eagerly search out the cameras, she keeps her life private. She’s not showing us how to be famous; she simply shows us what we can do with a little talent and a lot of work when we are driven by our hearts.
…So what are you waiting for?