Meryl Streep: I was starstruck when I met president Obama and Michelle

A new article from yesterday was published by – interview with Meryl Streep about her  new movie “Hope Springs” which starred her and Tommy Lee Jones, mentions her upcoming movie “August: Osage County” with Julia Roberts also “Julie&Julia”, “The Devil wears Prada” and her meeting with President Obama and First Lady in the White House. The article is taken from here.

AT next year’s Oscars, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Meryl Streep will be presenting herself with an award.

Widely considered the world’s greatest living actress, the star landed her third Oscar in February, walking away with Best Actress for The Iron Lady. And if the buzz surrounding her latest film is to be believed, “Hope Springs” could see her repeat the success.
Meryl plays Kay Soames, who has been married to accountant Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) for 31 years and it’s a pretty passionless life – they sleep in separate bedrooms and meet wordlessly over the exact same breakfast daily –  but Meryl had a lot of fun filming the relationship.
“It was a complete joy,” she beams, looking considerably more glamorous than her character (for whom she wears a dowdy wig). “I’ve wanted to work with Tommy Lee Jones for 30 years but I never got the chance. And then this opportunity presented itself.”
So what does she think the film is about?
I went to the White House recently and I was starstruck by our President and First Lady. – Meryl Streep

“The fact that every human being is filled with longing and we all handle it in a private way,” she says. “It’s a spiritual longing, a yearning for love – even if the person you love is sitting right next to you. So it’s all about keeping that alive in your life.”

So it’s about sex?

Meryl laughs hard, revealing fine laughter lines around her eyes.

“I don’t think it is,” she manages. “It was a chance to talk intimately about things that matter and, in a way, we don’t get to see that in the movies from people our age.”

She means old-ish people, but Meryl seems far younger than her 63 years. There has always been something otherworldly about her face and skin, although the actress insists there’s no great beauty secret, other than avoiding the sun – and taking full advantage of the occasional freebie.

“At the Oscars they give you this free pack,” she confides.

“And whatever is in that pack, I smear it on for a year.”

Friendly, unaffected and easy to chat to, Meryl is the most personable of legends. Yet younger talents are famously intimidated by the prospect of working with her. In October, she starts filming August: Osage County based on Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name.

Julia Roberts plays her daughter and admits she worships Meryl, while Anne Hathaway, her Devil Wears Prada co-star, recently claimed Streep should “rule the world”.

“It’s different on every film set,” she says. “I feel the young actors get nervous and I don’t deal with it very well. But the older actors usually know someone who’s worked with me and tell them it’s not a big deal.

Quickly they’ll see that I forget my lines all the time and then everybody goes, ‘Hmm, the greatest what?’ That happens a lot now.”

Meryl admits to feeling a little awed herself from time to time. 

“I went to the White House recently and I was starstruck by our President and First Lady, and Bruce Springsteen who was also there.”

Life must get rather surreal when you move in Meryl’s circles and she admits, with a grimace, that she feels a little detached sometimes.

“I wish I could feel things like the Oscars,” she says. “It’s like it’s happening to somebody else. But I still feel excited and nervous and I get into a sweat about what to wear.”

Occasionally, she’ll catch one of her films on TV and admits she tends to watch them, though not for narcissistic reasons. 

“I never remember the plot,” she says. “My involvement in films is so subjective. So I watch them now and go, ‘Oh my God, she didn’t get out of the car! Why didn’t she get out of the car? Why didn’t she go with him?’ While I’m making the film I get lost in it and forget what the movie is about.”

Away from work, the actress leads a relatively normal life, living in upstate New York with her husband of 34 years, sculptor Don Gummer. The couple have four children – Henry, 33, Mamie, 29, Grace, 26 and Louisa, 21 – and Mamie has followed her mum into acting, winning a string of successful TV roles in recent years.

Meryl admits that, even at her level, it’s not the most stable of professions. “Acting is a very uncertain life but its uncertainty and its flux is sort of necessary I think, to do the job right. I’m serially employed, for a short amount of time and then I’m looking around thinking, ‘What am I going to do now?’”

This has inevitably led to compromises over the years. “During Julie & Julia my daughter had an emergency appendectomy,” says Meryl. “She was in hospital for a week, really sick on morphine. That film was a joyous shoot but I was glad it was over because I can’t be in two places at once.”

But when it comes to the crunch Meryl will always favour family over film. 

“I have two brothers and two great sisters-in-law who are like my sisters – I go to them when I have a problem,” she says. “I also have girlfriends from college that I’m very close to. I see them every year and that’s who I normally travel with. We go to some horrible retreat and analyse each other – it sounds awful but it’s great!”

Ask what the future holds and Meryl says she has never been one for making plans.

“I’ve never strategised anything, ever – and that includes my pregnancies. They just happened,” she says. “I don’t look ahead in that way. I try to live in the present. I’m not a producer; I don’t have a company. I just try to take the interesting opportunities that come along.”


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