Archive for the Meryl Streep Category

MERYL STREEP TO RECEIVE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS

Posted in Awards, Meryl Streep on September 8, 2011 by Miranda Wilding



FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The good times never seemed so good for NEIL DIAMOND.

Known for his songs that have become anthems at ballparks and bars, NEIL was chosen Wednesday to receive the KENNEDY CENTER HONORS this year along with some of the biggest names from Broadway, jazz, classical music and Hollywood.

NEIL DIAMOND will be honoured with Broadway singer BARBARA COOK, cellist YO YO MA, saxophonist SONNY ROLLINS and actor MERYL STREEP for their contributions to American culture through the arts. President BARACK OBAMA will salute the artists and others will perform in their honour at a ceremony at THE KENNEDY CENTER.

NEIL said he was “flying way above sea level” when he heard about the honour.

“I’ve watched and I’ve seen and I’ve even dreamed that someday that would happen to me,” he told THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.

“But I never really believed that it would.”

NEIL said he used to get distracted when people sang along with him to hits like SWEET CAROLINE, which was written for presidential daughter CAROLINE KENNEDY.

“But I realized pretty quickly that it was a compliment and I had no choice in the matter anyway. So I got with the program and just learned to love it,” said the singer, who earlier this year was inducted into THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME.

NEIL also tweeted Wednesday that he was engaged to a woman named KATIE — but wouldn’t tell AP who she was so that she wouldn’t “change her mind.”

YO YO MA is one of the best known classical musicians. He played for President JOHN F. KENNEDY and President Dwight D. Eisenhower at age 7 at a fundraiser for a national cultural centre that would later become THE KENNEDY CENTER. The 55 year old said he feels too young to be receiving such an award for lifetime achievements.

The son of Chinese parents who lived in Paris and moved to New York said some of his musical heroes have won the KENNEDY CENTER HONORS, including MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH and LEON FLEISHER, so he was stunned to be joining their ranks. He said the honours are an important moment to nurture the arts each year.

“The whole nation gets together to celebrate essentially the accomplishments of the human spirit. It really is to celebrate, in a sense, what people who are passionate are capable of doing.”

SONNY ROLLINS has shared the stage with CHARLIE PARKER, MILES DAVIS and DIZZY GILLESPIE, among others.

“I definitely feel that this award is not so much for me as it is for some of the great, great jazz artists that preceded me. I’m very happy that it’s an honour for jazz because I think jazz is such an important spiritual force all over the world.”

The elegant and incomparable MERYL STREEP has made more than 45 movies and has won two OSCARS in a career that spans from SHAKESPEARE to WOODY ALLEN. She was most recently nominated for BEST ACTRESS in 2010 for her performance in JULIE & JULIA. In the upcoming biopic THE IRON LADY, MERYL will play British Prime Minister MARGARET THATCHER.

She said she is deeply honoured by THE KENNEDY CENTER’S recognition and wishes her parents were alive to see it.

“All that education, allowance, tuition, voice lessons, summer jobs, scholarship application deadlines and loving care and discipline — all that they gave me bore fruit in a way they never dreamed,” she commented in a statement.

CBS will broadcast THE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS on DECEMBER 27.

YET ANOTHER ACADEMY ADORES MERYL STREEP

Posted in Awards, Meryl Streep, Phenomenons on April 12, 2010 by Miranda Wilding


FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Everyone worships MERYL STREEP…and with good reason. She’s the goddess that revolutionized the art of acting.

It’s fabulous to know that another Academy recognizes the supreme achievements that she is responsible for over the last few decades.

MERYL STREEP has another Academy to thank.

The star of films such as SOPHIE’S CHOICE, PLENTY, THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN and JULIE & JULIA has been named an honorary member of THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS & LETTERS, an elite club that includes TONI MORRISON, STEPHEN SONDHEIM and JASPER JOHNS.

Not even two OSCARS, seven GOLDEN GLOBES and a lifetime achievement prize from the AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE prepared Ms. Streep for this.

“I have to say that I was stunned and when they sent me the roster of people in the Academy I just burst into tears,” MERYL commented in a recent telephone interview.

“I couldn’t believe that I’d be even allowed in the kitchen.”

The 112 year old Academy announced Monday that MERYL and conductor JAMES LEVINE had been elected to a special category, established in 1983, for “Americans of great distinction in the arts whose work falls outside the traditional departments” of music (composition), literature and art.

Directors WOODY ALLEN (with whom MERYL worked in MANHATTAN) and MARTIN SCORSESE along with choreographers TWYLA THARP and PAUL TAYLOR are among the current members.

While WOODY and former member ORSON WELLES both worked extensively on screen, MERYL is the first person to be chosen solely for acting.

“Both of this year’s inductees are performing artists and both are at the peak of their careers,” remarked poet and Academy President J.D. McClatchy.

“James Levine’s conducting and Meryl Streep’s acting are extraordinary examples of insight, depth and virtuosity.”

Architects Fumihiko Maki of Japan and Alvaro Siza of Portugal were added to the Academy’s honorary category for foreign artists.

Inductees into the main body include authors Marilynne Robinson, Francine Prose, Thomas McGuane and Richard Powers, composers Tania Leon and Fred Lerdahl, architect Thom Mayne and painters Thomas Nozknowski and Peter Saul.

Members are elected for life (openings are created when a member dies) and encouraged to serve on committees that distribute prizes, but there is no responsibility beyond agreeing to join.

MERYL summed up her own category: “I’m in a particular subset of members that’s not even allowed to vote.”

The inductees demonstrate again how far the academy has changed from its frankly snobbish roots, when modernists, women, Jewish people and non Caucasian individuals were not welcome and the presence of an actor, even one as monumentally talented as MERYL, might have set off mass resignations.

Thomas McGuane, whose novels include KEEP THE CHANGE and NINETY TWO IN THE SHADE, had been previously cited by the Academy.

He received an award in 1972 for his novel BUSHWHACKED PIANO and remembered speaking at the ceremony with Bernard Malamud, Walker Percy and Eudora Welty.

“All those people are gone but remembering them and that event has made this a gratifying personal landmark,” he said.

New members will be inducted at an afternoon ceremony next month at the Academy’s beaux arts complex in upper Manhattan, just off the Hudson River. Author Calvin Trillin, elected to the Academy two years ago, will be a featured speaker.

MERYL plans to attend.

“I just hope to have lots of cocktails and talk about highfalutin things,” MERYL stated.

Like they do in Hollywood.

“Uh…yeah. Of course.”

MERYL STREEP & STANLEY TUCCI: A MAGICAL JULIE & JULIA PRESS CONFERENCE

Posted in Film, Meryl Streep on February 5, 2010 by Miranda Wilding



This article is authored by BRAD BALFOUR at THE HUFFINGTON POST

Looking very JULIA CHILD like, actor MERYL STREEP – the latter half of JULIE & JULIA – stepped up to the press conference table in a long grey dress cut to mid calf, wearing a string of pearls.

Her screen husband STANLEY TUCCI wore a sport coat and a white open collar shirt.

At this event, held close to the original release of the film, MERYL was her usual effervescent self, while STANLEY performed as the snarky comic counterpoint.

They both seem to have enjoyed playing these characters so much that it’s no surprise that her starring role in JULIE & JULIA recently won MERYL a GOLDEN GLOBE and yet another OSCAR nomination.

Though MERYL went on to get hosannas for IT’S COMPLICATED — another film in which the actor plays a vibrant woman who transcends the implication of her age — and for her voice work in the animated FANTASTIC MR. FOX, it’s the twists and turns provided by director Nora Ephron in JULIE & JULIA that makes the intertwined stories of seminal French chef JULIA CHILD and her fan Julie Powell the best of the bunch.

The wife of a diplomat in 1949 Paris, JULIA CHILD wonders how to spend her days. So she tries hat making, bridge and cooking lessons at the CORDON BLEU school. There she discovers her passion and eventually creates her landmark book MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING, leading to a career that in the 1950s and 60s made her the first star chef on television.

In 2002, writer Julie Powell (played by the endearing Amy Adams), about to turn 30 with an unpublished novel and working aimless jobs, decides to cook her way through JULIA CHILD’S book in a year and blog about it.

With their sympathetic, loving husbands in tow, the film undulates between these two stories of women both learning to cook and finding success through it.

MERYL has approached her career with a similar passion that was unexpected at first.

From her first film role in, ironically, a film titled JULIA (1977), Ms. Streep transferred her ample skills as a graduate of the YALE DRAMA SCHOOL and has gone on to be nominated for the ACADEMY AWARD an astonishing 16 times, with two wins so far.

Q: Because JULIA CHILD was such a character, is there a challenge of not doing an impersonation that might veer into parody? Nora Ephron said that you did JULIA for her one night after SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK…

MERYL: Well, I bet everybody in this room could do their version of JULIA CHILD. To everybody that voice was so familiar, and then how do we know whether we’re doing her or Dan Aykroyd’s version of her? Everyone can pull that Bon appetit! out there. When Nora gave me the script, some time over a year ago, I just thought that it was so so beautifully written.

It was an opportunity to not impersonate JULIA CHILD, but to do a couple of things. For me, embodying her or Julie Powell’s idea of her, which is what I’m doing — I’m doing an idealized version, but I was also doing an idealized version of my mother who had a similar joi de vivre — [is to show her] undeniable sense of how to enjoy her life.

Every room she walked into she made brighter. I mean, she was really something. I have a good deal of my father in me, which is another kind of sensibility, but I really, all my life, wanted to be more like my mother. So this is my little homage to that spirit. That’s more what I was doing than actually JULIA CHILD.

Q: The romance between JULIA and PAUL is so dynamic; it’s touching to see what you’re doing.

STANLEY: Well, it’s pretend.

Q: How did you create this organic looking relationship; what research did you both do before stepping into their skins?

MERYL: STANLEY and I are often on opposite sides in a very famous charades game every Christmas. We’ve been at each other’s throats like married people for a really long time, many years [laughs]. We knew each other in that way and I just sort of am in love with him from afar anyway with the totality of the man, from BIG NIGHT (1996) to his acting and directing work and in every way. So does everyone who knows him. He’s just a real treat to work with. It wasn’t a tough job to imagine being in love with him.

STANLEY: We have to go now. We are in a hotel. Thanks for coming. [laughs]

For me it was easy, too. Probably like most people in the world, I, too, have been in love with MERYL STREEP for many, many years. We’d done The Devil Wears Prada together, which was really fun and we knew each other a bit socially before that and so for me it was awesome. It was incredibly easy.

[To Meryl] You also make it easy because you’re so comfortable. I’m always a little nervous when I start shooting and I was very nervous to play around with that.

MERYL: Were you nervous when we started?

STANLEY: I was so nervous. I was. You made me feel so comfortable. It was nice.

MERYL: You know what Nora did — she did what she called a costume test, but it was really sort of introducing us to our world. She took us up to the rooms which they built in the Paris apartment that she built in Queens, or wherever they were and let us walk around in our clothes. In isolation in your Winnebago, or whatever it is, you kind of have a hard time convincing yourself that you are who you say you are.

When you walk into this world and the light comes in a certain way and the landscape of Paris — a photograph but still — and here’s the man of your dreams, it all came together before we had to actually [do it]. That was a big day.

STANLEY: Yes, I remember. Those actual physical elements really helped a great deal.

Q: What would you have asked the people you played in this film if you had the chance?

STANLEY: I’d like to ask them how they lived so long eating what they ate. I’m convinced that they both had two livers. I’d just be curious.

I can’t say that I know what I would’ve asked them, but what I would’ve liked to have done is watch the interaction between the two of them in that little kitchen — either in Paris or in Boston — because to me that was the most interesting thing. When you see that kitchen — we recreated it in the film — it was so casual and really very intimate. I would’ve just liked to have watched that, watch them put together a meal. That would’ve been a great thing.

MERYL: I would agree. I would’ve loved to have heard PAUL’S voice. JULIA’S is so vivid and she left behind such an articulate trail of her journey in the book that she wrote with Alex [Prud’Homme] and in MY LIFE IN FRANCE and in her cookbooks. Her voice really comes through. I would’ve loved to have heard him because he was a great storyteller and his interests ranged across a wide variety of topics – and I’m sure that he was sort of a really interesting person to hear.

Q: JULIA CHILD went through so many challenges in the beginning of her career. What were some of the challenges that you both went through as you started out as actors?

MERYL: Well, my challenge was committing to acting, thinking that it was a serious enough thing to do with my life. What are you going to do with your one wild life? I just didn’t think it was…I don’t know. I thought it was sort of silly and vain, acting even though it was the most fun [thing] that I had ever done. It remains that, ergo it can’t be good for me. It was just deciding. I remember thinking the first time that someone said, ”Well, what do you?” and I said, ”I’m a…I’m an, uh, actor.” Then I had committed, I realized, but it took a long time.

STANLEY: I took it too seriously at first and it took me a long time to understand that you have to be serious about what you do but you mustn’t take yourself seriously. That way you’ll be happier and ultimately you’ll be more successful. You’ll be better at what you do.

I think the challenges for me at the beginning…Well, it was much easier after I lost my hair, to tell you the truth. I started to work constantly once I started to lose it. So I’m thinking about losing the hair on my whole body. [jokes] That’s disgusting.

MERYL: That’s going to be repeated everywhere now and come back to haunt you.

Q: What were some of the best bonding experiences you had over food either on this movie or elsewhere…and if you could hang out with any character you’ve ever played who it would be and why?

MERYL: Well, we bonded. I mean, I knew STANLEY, but I thought, “Well, I might as well invite him over for dinner.” So he came and I decided I’d make blanquette de veau and it was not quite done when he arrived – and so he came in and completely took over in the kitchen.

STANLEY: It’s untrue.

MERYL: It’s totally true.

STANLEY: We tried to do it together, but we’d had too much wine. “Why are you doing that way?”

MERYL: “Is that what you’re going to do?” Seriously, I’m just asking. [laughs]

STANLEY: Why do you hold it that way?

MERYL: “Can I just…It’s okay. I can show you an easier way.” Boom. It was out of my hands. He’s just a great chef and I’m a cook.

STANLEY: You’re very kind. It was a fun night, but we didn’t eat until about 11 or so. My wife Kate came and said, “What time are we eating?” I said, “I think we’ll be done cooking about eight.” She [Meryl] goes, “We’re not going to make that.”

Q: What were your favourite food memories, chefs and restaurants?

MERYL: Great, great tomatoes, but my mother [had] The I Hate to Cook Book cookbook [by] Peg Bracken. Do you remember that? No. Not in your family. I remember when I was 10 going up to a little girl’s house up the street and she and her mother were sitting at the table and they were doing something to tennis balls and I said, “What are you doing?” They said, “Making mashed potatoes.” I said, “What do you mean? Mashed potatoes come in a box.”

They were potatoes. They were peeling potatoes and I had never seen a real potato. So my mother’s motto was, “If it’s not done in 20 minutes, it’s not dinner.” She had a lot that she wanted to do and cooking wasn’t one of those things.

My food memories, I mean I think JULIA CHILD really did change the whole thing. I recently found my knitting book at the bottom of a knitting bag from 1967. It wasn’t a knitting book. It was a magazine that had some knitting patterns in it and it was called Women’s Day, from 1967.

It’s filled with recipes and food ads and it’s all Del Monte [brand] canned peas, Del Monte canned corn, Del Monte peas and corn, green beans and all the recipes are like, “Take ground meat and put in artificial mashed potatoes, layer it, top it off with tomato sauce out of a jar, put it in the oven and presto it’s dinner.” This is how we ate. People forget. JULIA changed the way that people thought about cooking. It was great.

Q: If you had the opportunity, what chefs would you like to have over and what would you like them to cook for you?

MERYL: Dan Barber [from the Manhattan restaurant Blue Hill].

Q: And what would you have him make for you?

MERYL: Anything that was fresh up there.

Q: And STANLEY…?

STANLEY: My grandmother…She was an extraordinary cook…But Mario Batali, I think in a lot of ways…Yeah, Mario.

Q: Did you do your own JULIA imitation?

STANLEY: No. I never did. I would’ve been fired.

Q: MERYL, you said that you had a hard time committing to acting. What were some of the other things you were taking seriously at that time?

MERYL: Well, when I was in drama school I was obsessed with Jonathan Schell’s book The Fate of the Earth. I’ve always been interested in environmental issues and I still am. That seems to me be worthwhile work, but over time I understood, just what I think from other people’s work, we need art as much as we need good works. You need it like food. You need it for inspiration to keep going on the days that you’re low. We need each other in that way.

So, yeah. I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that you can make a contribution. I’ve even reconciled myself to the fact that even my children might choose this profession. They seem to be and now that’s okay. Really, I was pushing the sciences but it’s just not going to happen.

Q: MERYL, how hard or easy has it been to stay focused with all the success you’ve had in recent years?

MERYL: You know what, I didn’t think about it. I really didn’t think about either sustaining my career or my voice. I haven’t really thought about it. I’m like every other actor – I’ve been unemployed more than I’ve been working because of the nature of what we do. We just have a lot of down time, even though it seems like you’re working, working, working. So I’ve never gotten used to either being working or being out of work. It’s a very uncertain life and there are only a few people that would sign up to be married to someone else doing that.

My husband is an artist and he understands that, the vagaries of the job. I just take it as every day is a miracle and I’m really glad that I’m still working and that people are not sick of me. Even I’m sick of me a little bit.

Q: You’re now a box office star – has that changed anything about the choices that you make now?

MERYL: I seem to have more choices in the last five years, in the previous five years, maybe. I really don’t know why that is, but part of me thinks it has to do with the fact that there are more women executives making decisions because everything starts with what gets made and where the money comes from. I’m sure that they’ve had more to do with that really than I have.

Q: How do you deal with all the accolades?

MERYL: Well, fortunately, the blogospshere supplies you with the other side of all the accolades.

[laughs] Just sign on and get humble.

CHRIS MARCH FROM PROJECT RUNWAY: THE DESIGNER OF MERYL STREEP’S GLOBES GOWN

Posted in Glamour, Meryl Streep, The Golden Globes on January 20, 2010 by Miranda Wilding

Dressing a GOLDEN GLOBE winner is nothing short of a dream come true for any budding designer.

Sunday night, that dream became a reality for Project Runway’s Season Four alum and fan favourite Chris March as MERYL STREEP took the stage in his dress. The designer, who met the actor through her hair and makeup team, was called about a month ago to work on a design for MERYL’S double nomination at the GLOBES.

“I wanted to faint!” Chris said about receiving the call.

“I have always wanted to design something for someone like that and it was a great and amazing opportunity.”

Soon thereafter, Chris had a meeting with MERYL to discuss his vision.

“I liked the idea of putting a belt on an evening gown. I think it gives it a modern twist. I sketched it out quickly and she really liked it.”

And while MERYL might be one of the biggest stars in Tinseltown, Chris said that being introduced to her was anything but intimidating.

“She is the sweetest person you can imagine. She’s very friendly and welcoming and I wasn’t nervous at all.”

After turning out MERYL’S dress in under a month, all the hard work paid off when Chris watched the JULIE & JULIA star go up to the podium to receive her GOLDEN GLOBE for BEST ACTRESS (MUSICAL/COMEDY).

“I almost had a heart attack when Colin Farrell read her name. It was very exciting to see her come up on stage wearing a dress that I made with my own two hands. I thought it made her look tall and thin and comfortable and confident. It looked great!”

Chris had a number of other favourite outfits from that particular evening. But no one else stunned him quite like CHER.

“She looked like she was about 20 years old! And she wore something a little wow and interesting.”

THE GODDESS MERYL

Posted in Meryl Streep on December 3, 2008 by Miranda Wilding

meryl_streep

I’ve worshipped at the altar of MERYL STREEP since I was a little girl.

She’s an acting phenomenon and a true legend. She’s also an incredible beauty. Her cool intelligence and elegant wit coexist gracefully with her luminous alabaster skin.

I didn’t see MAMMA MIA. I actually had no idea about this particular fact. That film has grossed 500 million dollars world wide. For the very first time in her lengthy career, Ms. Streep is a bona fide box office draw.

She is sitting in the catbird seat (deservedly) and she’s thrilled to bits…

CHRISTINE SPINES talks to the goddess MERYL in an excellent interview for EW.

I have to post a couple of excerpts here:

She even auditioned for JESSICA LANGE’S role in the 1976 version of KING KONG. When she showed up to audition for producer Dino De Laurentiis, he started speaking to his son in Italian.

‘He said, ‘Why did you send me this pig? This woman is so ugly. Blech!’ recalls Streep, who speaks the language fluently. ‘So I looked at him and said (in Italian), ‘I’m very sorry I disappoint you.’

She rolls her eyes and smirks. ‘He was so used to treating girls like bimbos. Never imagined that a blonde person could speak Italian.’

(De Laurentiis flatly denied this exchange or that the meeting even occurred. He says he did meet Streep. But for a different film.)

Unbelievable. What a useless old scuzz. Anyone that would have the unmitigated gall to call my MERYL ugly (as if…) and then lie about it…???

Hmph. But then there’s so much integrity and generosity in that business, isn’t there?

Let’s not even get into the notion that all glamorous blondes are intellectually deficient. Anyone who ever possessed the supreme foolishness to pursue a battle of wits with me never won.

GAME. SET. MATCH.

Now, instead of competing with SUSAN SARANDON or ANNETTE BENING to play the latest eccentric mom, Streep is going toe to toe with ANGELINA JOLIE and JULIA ROBERTS for the title of MOST BANKABLE ACTRESS ON EARTH.

She’s bigger than she’s ever been. ‘Definitely,’ she laughs, ‘and in so many ways.’

She leans to one side, points to her derriere and slaps it hard.

There’s a poetic justice to the fact that Streep’s career has eclipsed those of her male contemporaries – PACINO, DE NIRO, DUSTIN HOFFMAN and even NICHOLSON – almost none of whom can match her box office clout. She’s clearly loving her new power.

‘It’s all completely improbable and sort of great,’ she giggles. An unrepentant feminist, Streep takes a particular joy in beating the guys on their own turf.

‘Well, they have their own fun,’ she allows.

I will adore her to the end of time. Greatly looking forward to DOUBT.

To see the rest of CHRISTINE’S article, please go here

MERYL STREEP: BEAUTY EVOLUTION 1979 – 2008

Posted in Meryl Streep on August 29, 2008 by Miranda Wilding

MERYL STREEP was someone I idolized growing up.

She is a towering talent in the film world. To a young impressionable girl like me she was the living bloody end…and then some.

But I also thought she was very beautiful. She still is.

She possesses expressive blue green eyes, luminous skin, wonderful cheekbones…and that great hair.

With her advanced intellect, wit and natural elegance, she’s pretty much the perfect woman in my estimation.

To see how MERYL’S look has changed over time, please go here

STYLE TRANSFORMATION: MERYL STREEP 1980 – 2005

Posted in Meryl Streep on June 16, 2008 by Miranda Wilding

MERYL STREEP is a glittering acting phenomenon with generous amounts of natural glamour.

Possessed of a cool intelligence and a sparkling wit, she has the kind of elegant, patrician beauty that many women envy – even as Ms. Streep approaches her 60th birthday.

I grew up with MERYL. I bow to NO ONE (believe me…) but I wouldn’t mind genuflecting to her every day of my life. I’ve never met her but she’s given me a great deal. She’s inspired me far more than most other women in her profession could ever hope to. Her superb unrelenting genius and virtuousity as an artist leaves me completely awestruck every time I see one of her films.

There has never been anyone like her. There never will be again.

As far as fashion is concerned, MERYL doesn’t have a defined outlook. But she has all that gorgeous hair, great blue green eyes, those cheekbones…

I get the impression that she doesn’t give a damn about dressing a certain way. I found an old interview with her from the early 80s, granted some time after she won her first Oscar for KRAMER. It described how she rode home on the subway, defiantly wearing a tattered sundress with a safety pin poking through it.

She’s an exceptionally stunning woman with unprecedented gifts. Why on earth should she care about style?

More power to her…

To see MERYL’S IN STYLE slideshow, please go here