Meryl Streep relaxes into normal with “Hope Springs”


New article from yesterday was published by Readingeagle, including some parts of interviews with Streep and Jones. She also talks about “The devil wears Prada” sequel and her upcoming movie “August: Osage county” with Julia Roberts. It’s familiar to another interview but still there are some new parts. Read some below (at the end put the link to the official article to read it full!):

In theaters this week, the film casts her as Kay, the long-suffering wife of Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones), an inconsiderate, emotionally distant accountant. Their children are grown, and all Kay has left is suffocating boredom. She doesn’t run anyone’s life, not even her own.

The movie takes off when Kay finally asserts herself, booking the two for a weeklong retreat in Maine for intensive marriage counseling with a celebrity love guru (Steve Carrell). Otherwise, she tells Arnold, their marriage is over. He doesn’t go happily, but he does go.

“The film is about life,” Streep said, relaxing with a cup of coffee at a Los Angeles hotel. “It’s about how you can live with someone for a long time and ignore that problems are setting in. I think ignoring creates a peril in your own home.”

There’s nothing autobiographical in her rendition, insisted Streep, who has been happily married to sculptor Donald Gummer since 1978 and has raised four children, including actresses Mamie and Grace Gummer.

“The bigger issue this film addresses is that you only get one life,” the actress continued. “It’s so worth it to keep the romance alive in that life. It’s worth it even if it’s tough, because you can only get there by being completely open with your partner. Opening up is really hard and painful. At the same time, it’s very rewarding.

“As you get older, you can settle into the roles of your life,” Streep said. “You want to feel comfortable. In this film I play the kind of woman who doesn’t want to make waves. But there is an irritant in her. She isn’t content to live this boring life. She wants to make a pearl out of it.”

That doesn’t sound like much fun, but in fact the film is a comedy. Much of the humor comes from Kay’s efforts to recharge the couple’s long-moribund sex life.

“It does amaze me that this film showed people who are actually middle-aged having love scenes,” Streep said. “European films have always been more interested in showing people of all ages engaging in life, including having sex. I hope this film serves an underserved audience.”

And no, Streep said, while her filmography has seldom called upon her to perform sex scenes, getting up close and personal with Jones on camera didn’t leave her unnerved.

“The only time I get nervous is making a speech as myself,” Streep said dismissively. “I never get nervous doing any type of scene for a movie.”

(…)

For her part, Streep said, her first time working with Jones came out well.

“It surprised me how quickly I felt married to him,” she said. “I thought it would be a process, and I was worried because we didn’t have much time to rehearse. I was a little apprehensive coming in. You never know, when you open that door, who will be standing there. But quickly I felt comfortable, which is a stupid word for what I’m really talking about, which is trust.”

There may be little in common between Kay and Streep, but she said that wasn’t a problem. After 35 years as an actress, morphing into diverse characters is second nature to her.

“I never think of a character as someone who is different from myself,” she said. “In the case of this housewife, I thought about the shy parts of myself and the quiet parts of my own personality who doesn’t want to talk about things.”

Each role is its own private therapy session, Streep added.

“The selfish reason that I want to act is to explore some part of myself,” she said. “It’s so valuable. It’s about understanding myself through these characters. The funny thing is that, no matter how different the character is, there is always something personal that I find worth exploring.”

What can a world-acclaimed star of stage and screen find in herself through playing a frustrated suburban housewife?

“I understood her desire and her longing,” Streep said promptly. “I knew her yearning and wanting something more as time passes her. I knew her feeling of wanting to enrich whatever time you have here on this planet. Her life happiness is sitting right there across the dining-room table from her, eating his eggs and bacon in the morning. She knows happiness is right there, but how do you get there?”

The key, the actress said, is a certain reality at the core of a character, a scene or a story.

“It’s either honest or it’s not,” Streep said. “In this case a woman decides to go into counseling, despite the fact that her husband almost forbids it. That’s an extreme act of bravery to me. It’s very brave to initiate things in life. That’s the challenge of staying truly alive. You must initiate your own happiness.”

(…)

As for the future, Streep has heard the rumors of a “Devil Wears Prada” sequel, but isn’t sure she’s ready to step back into the stilettos of fashion editor Miranda Priestly.

“It exhausts me to think about it,” she admitted. “I’m talking about the diet and exercise routine to play that character. Exhausting.”

Her next film, due in 2013, is the screen adaptation of “August: Osage County,” Tracy Lett’s award-winning play about a family trying to sort out its differences after the disappearance of the clan’s alcoholic patriarch.

“I’m playing a woman who is a chain-smoking pill addict who has mouth cancer,” Streep said delightedly. “It’s set in a house in Oklahoma with all the shades drawn and the windows sealed up tight. It’s based on a great play, and I’m looking forward to it, although so many things in it are tough.”

After decades on the big screen, she said, she still gets a charge out of tackling a new character.

“It’s still the same feeling for me,” Streep said. “I still believe that every character deserves the absolute best shot I have in me. It’s a life that I’m given to portray. I’m representing life.”

That idea was driven home by a moment on the “Hope Springs” set.

“Tommy said something to me when I was making some half-assed apology for being unprepared for something we suddenly decided to shoot as an addendum to the script,” she recalled. “I was profusely apologizing, and he looked at me and said, ‘Isn’t it a privilege to be an actor?’

“There it is,” Streep said, laughing. “Even with all the overpraise we get as actors, you still have to approach each role as a life that you’re facing with humility and honor.”

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