Metro – Meryl Streep: “Hope Springs” is totally relatable, it’s a world I’m familiar with


Metro.co.uk published a new article interviewing Meryl Streep about her new movie “Hope Sprngs”:

Oscar winning actress Meryl Streep, 63, tells Metro about her new film Hope Springs, sex and the downside to being an actress

You’re a beautiful woman hiding behind a wig and unflattering clothes in “Hope Springs”. Did you help create your look?

I did do some shopping, both for myself and my character. This person is not an alien to me. I’m from New Jersey, I grew up in the suburbs, it’s a world I’m familiar with. I raised my children in a mixed neighborhood in the country and I do shop at malls.

Do you get hassled if you go to your local mall?

In recent years it’s been harder, I will say that, but I used to be able to.

Have you ever shopped in disguise? 

No, that’s more embarrassing if you get caught.

Are you into clothes and fashion? 

I don’t have very much interest in trends. I don’t follow the fashion shows and stuff like that but I’m very interested in how people put themselves together, how women and men announce themselves to the world through what they put on their bodies. Whether we choose Birkenstocks or whether we choose Burberry – it all signifies, and it’s really interesting to me. So costume as character is what I’m interested in.

You’ve been happily married to sculptor Don Gummer for 34 years. What was it like trying to relate to someone in such a different situation? 

I can’t speak for all humanity, even though I often try, but it’s easy to imagine, and to be caught being complacent. I mean, in friendships, in relationships with your children, in any intimate relationship, it’s easy to catch yourself thinking you know what the other person thinks. And thinking you know how they are going to react. You make assumptions and it’s not always the best idea.

Do you have a group of girlfriends you talk women’s stuff with? 

I have a wide circle of girlfriends, all of whom talk about the exact same things, so we all know where we are in our lives. We know many people can relate to this story. That’s really what pulled me to the material because I thought: ‘God, nobody makes a movie about this, about people my age wanting to be seen, heard, intimately known.’ That’s an unknown landscape for movies.

The subject of sex still seems taboo in the US. Why are people so uncomfortable talking about it? 

I think it’s just about allowing yourself to be vulnerable, to show your weakness, to show what you need, to show what you are not capable of doing all by yourself. And how much you need. I think that’s what it is. And that’s what’s embarrassing and hard.

Do you think a younger generation can relate to the film?

Of course. Young people can also be calcified in their relationships and ignorant of each others’ needs. Everyone can take a page from this book.

Are you still excited to be nominated for big awards such as Oscars? 

I am very, very honoured to be nominated, always. When actors say it’s the nomination that matters, that it’s not the winning or losing, they’re not lying. Because the way the thing is set up, the first round of nominations come only from actors.

Do you find it terrifying that your daughter, Mamie, is an actress? 

Talk about big shoes to fill. If you knew my daughter you wouldn’t think it’s terrifying because she’s very capable and imaginative. She has a great sense of humour and she enjoys it. I would never discourage a kid from doing what they love – and she loves it.

Did you ever wonder if you’d made the right career choice? 

Many times, sure. Because it seems so uncertain all the time. I was always unemployed. To the outside world, it may seem like I’ve always had a job but I didn’t. Every four months, when a film finishes, I don’t know what I’m going to do. There’s a big chasm that opens up. So I read things and try to figure out what might come next and be worth putting a lot of energy into.

Is there anything you don’t like about acting? 

The uncertainty part of it. It’s very uncertain, especially when you have a family. My mother always asked me: ‘How can you live like this? How can you not know what you are going to do next year?’. But I think that’s part of what makes actors able to destabilise themselves enough to take on another persona. It’s because they’re always sort of floating.

You said a while ago you wanted to make only one movie a year. That didn’t last, did it? 

No, that fell apart. I made six movies in 18 months not long ago. I never did that when I was 29. It was just because they were good parts and I had to take them. Even when I was young and had energy, that would have taxed my stamina. But I just couldn’t say no. 

Hope Springs” is out in the UK on September 14.

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