sexta-feira, 1 de novembro de 2013

Meryl Streep, VOGUE - VOGUEPEDIA Personalities

Meryl Streep
VOGUE - VOGUEPEDIA Personalities

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz. Published in Vogue, January 2012.
Appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2005 to promote her new film Prime, Meryl Streep—famous for her Oscar-caliber performances in wrenching motion pictures like The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Sophie’s Choice—gave the audience a taste of the raucous sense of humor that had largely, before then, been hidden under the bushel of her “serious actress” reputation.

She joked with Ellen that they were acquaintances only because they kept running into each other at the bar before Hollywood events. She played along in a giddy game of name that foreign accent (Streep killed). She really got the audience going with her account of the Prime casting process: “They pitched it and said, ‘You know, it’s the story of an older woman and a younger man.’ And I thought, Ah, that might be fun! And then realized that the ‘older woman’ was Uma [Thurman] . . . and I was the older . . . older woman.” (Cue sympathetic groans from the mostly female studio audience.
At the time, Streep, then 56, seemed resignedly headed down the familiar road of actresses of a certain age who end up playing genteel grannies or crazed, knife-wielding crones. But by 2009, Streep had miraculously pulled off the near-impossible: ranked third on Forbes’s list of the industry’s top-earning actresses, behind Angelina Jolie (then age 34) and Jennifer Aniston (40). After starring in the sexy comedy It’s Complicated opposite Alec Baldwin—nine years her junior—she was feted on the cover of Vanity Fair. “I’m 60, and I’m playing the romantic lead!” she crowed. “Bette Davis is rolling over in her grave!”[2]
Hollywood’s new box-office queen “broke the glass ceiling of an older woman being a big star,” the director Mike Nichols marvelled. “It has never, never happened before.”[3] So how did Streep do it? It had a lot to do with that unexpected sense of humor—and a gale-force charisma that only gets richer with age. Three seriously funny scripts by, about, and for women—older women—put her on top of movieland’s commercial heap.
First came the silver-haired, impeccably accoutred Miranda Priestly, the editor of Runway, the world’s most powerful fashion magazine, in The Devil Wears Prada. The script was based on Lauren Weisberger’s best-selling roman à clef of the same title, which Streep found naïve, “written out of anger.”[4] She decided in researching the Miranda Priestly character that it was “much more fun to make the überboss out of my own pastiche of experience.”[5] It became Streep’s highest-grossing film to date.
Next came Mamma Mia! That one earned half a billion dollars worldwide. She followed it up delightfully with her title role as the cookbook auteur Julia Child in Nora Ephron’s hit Julie & Julia.
“Streep’s success,” Vanity Fair observed, “forced Hollywood to consider a startling hypothesis: If you make movies that actually interest women, they will buy tickets to see them.”[6]
More startling to Streep—whose sensibility was formed in the consciousness-raising feminist era at the all-women’s Vassar College of the sixties—is that these movies about older women also appeal to men. In a commencement address at Barnard College, she told graduates that men of her age often approach her to express empathy for characters like Miranda Priestley: “They can relate to her issues, the high standards she sets for herself and others, the thanklessness of the leadership
position. . . .”
[7] Men learning to sympathize with a female character is, to Streep, “a huge deal,”[8] much more than just the secret to higher box-office receipts.
Although Streep has been transformed from merely being the greatest actor of her generation into being, well, a movie star, she remains above the typical (and sometimes tawdry) Hollywood fray. Married to the sculptor Donald Gummer—raising a family of four children, a dog, two cats, and three fish in their Connecticut home—she has kept her private life private. In a Vogue interview, Jack Nicholson, a sometime costar, once likened her to the Mona Lisa: “There’s this tremendous part of Meryl that I don’t know that anybody has ever seen. It’s that old Gioconda smile, the mystery of her.”[9]
Streep posed for her first Vogue cover at 62, as rumors swirled, yet again, that she was in contention, yet again, for another Oscar (this time, for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady). Her star shows no sign of burning out. Streep is of an age when she will also be receiving more lifetime achievement awards—for example, as a 2011 Kennedy Center honoree for her “lifetime contribution to American culture.” But, as she shared with Barnard’s graduates, “awards have very little bearing on my own personal happiness. . . . That comes from studying the world feelingly, with empathy in my work. Being a celebrity has taught me to hide, but being an actor has opened my soul.”[10]

1. 1949
Mary Louise Streep born in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolfe Streep, a home-based commercial artist, and Harry William Streep, Jr., head of personnel at Merck & Co. pharmaceutical company. Raised Presbyterian in Bernardsville, with younger brothers Dana and Harry, she will have her name shortened by her mother to the nickname “Meryl.” She later will describe her father as “very academic and very bright.” As for her mother: “You wanna know what my mother was like? Look at Ladies in Lavender. I almost couldn’t watch it, because Judi Dench looked exactly like my mother.”[11]

2. 1955
At six, makes her “first conscious attempt at acting,” placing her mother’s half-slip over her head to play the Virgin Mary in the living room, a scene captured by dad on Super 8. “As I swaddled my Betsy Wetsy doll I felt quieted, holy, actually,” she later recalls, “my transfigured face and very changed demeanor” drew in younger brothers Harry to play Joseph, and Dana, a barnyard animal. “They were actually pulled into this nativity scene by the intensity of my focus. . . . I learned something on that day.”[12]

3. 1958
The nine-year-old nascent actress takes eyebrow pencil and carefully draws lines all over her face to replicate the wrinkles she had memorized from her adored grandmother’s face, and makes her mother take a picture.
4. 1960

Around this time her mother enrolls her in opera-singing lessons with renowned coach Estelle Liebling. Streep’s unexpected ability to carry a tune will be heard in 1983’s Silkwood, 1986’s Heartburn, 1987’s Ironweed, 1990’s Postcards from the Edge, 1992’s Death Becomes Her, 2006’s A Prairie Home Companion, and 2008’s box-office smash and Grammy-nominated Mamma Mia!

5. 1964
Attends Bernards High School, shedding braces, glasses, and darker hair. “I wanted to learn how to be appealing,” she later says. “So I studied the character I imagined I wanted to be. I researched her deeply, that is to say shallowly, in Vogue, Seventeen, and Mademoiselle.” She peroxides her hair, irons it straight, and also works on “lightening” her giggle: “This was all about appealing to boys and at the same time being accepted by the girls, a very tricky negotiation.”[13] She makes varsity cheerleader, stars in all the school musicals, and ultimately is crowned homecoming queen. Her yearbook reads “pretty . . . vivacious . . . many talents . . . where the boys are.”[14] (“My favorite part of high school was the boys who sat in the back row,” she will tell Ms. in 1979. “They were so funny! So much of what I know about comedy—even the most sophisticated comedy—comes from high school, because it’s such a painful, funny time.”[15]) She also takes lessons in acting, which, along with her ambition to be a U.N. interpreter, becomes a dominant interest.

6. 1968
Enrolls at Vassar. “Outside of any competition for boys, my brain woke up,” she later says. “I found myself again. I didn’t have to pretend, I could be goofy, vehement, aggressive, and slovenly and open and funny and tough and my friends let me. I didn’t wash my hair for three weeks once.”[16] As she will tell Vassar students in a 1983 commencement speech, “What everybody says is absolutely true—these are the halcyon days. Real life is actually a lot more like high school. . . . Looks count. A lot.”[17]

7. 1969
Begins to seriously pursue acting at Vassar, making a brilliant theater debut (in her drama professor’s opinion) in the Strindberg classic Miss Julie. He will later remember her college performances as consistently “hair-raising, absolutely mind-boggling. I don’t think anyone ever taught Meryl acting; she really taught herself.”[18]

8. 1972
After earning an acting degree from Vassar, heads to the prestigious Yale School of Drama for three years, where she will appear in more than 40 productions, be nicknamed “Yale’s Leading Lady,” and develop an ulcer from feeling so nervous and pressured by the intensely competitive atmosphere.

9. 1975
Goes directly from Yale to the New York stage, making her Broadway debut in Trelawny of the ‘Wells,’ as part of Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival.

10. 1976
Appears in Henry V. Earns a Tony award nomination for Tennessee Williams’s 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. During rehearsals for Measure for Measure, introduced to—and falls in love with—actor John Cazale; he tells Al Pacino, “I’ve met the greatest actress in the history of the world.”[19]

11. 1977
Eases into television with The Deadliest Season—in which she plays the wife of a hockey player accused of manslaughter—and into movies, making her screen debut in a pivotal flashback scene in Julia. Cast, along with fiancé John Cazale, in The Deer Hunter. “I was ecstatic to be in it because I was living with John at the time and we could be in it together.”[20]

12. 1978
Spends much of her time at the bedside of seriously ill Cazale, who is diagnosed with bone cancer. March: Cazale dies. Grieving, Streep dives back into work, playing Alan Alda’s Southern mistress in the political satire The Seduction of Joe Tynan. “I did that film on automatic pilot,” she later says. “I couldn’t have worked with a more lovely, more understanding person than Alan Alda.”[21] April: In the NBC miniseries Holocaust, plays a well-to-do German woman trying to save her Jewish husband James Woods from the Nazi concentration camps. Meets sculptor Donald Gummer, brother Harry’s Yalie chum. September: Marries Gummer. Wins an Emmy for Holocaust, but doesn’t pick it up, telling Ms., “I don’t believe performances should be taken out of context and put up against each other for awards.”[22] December: The Deer Hunter released; she will receive her first Oscar nomination.
·  13. 1979
April: Stars in Manhattan as Woody Allen’s glamorous lesbian ex-wife. August: The Seduction of Joe Tynan released. November: Henry Wolfe Gummer born (later the musician known as Henry Wolfe). December: She plays Dustin Hoffman’s tormented wife in the divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer.

14. 1980
Appears in an April Vogue People Are Talking About article, in a group shot by Annie Leibovitz. (Vogue will run the photo again in 2007, in a Nostalgia column by writer John Burnham Schwartz.) Wins her first Oscar, Best Supporting Actress, for Kramer vs. Kramer. Accidentally leaves her statuette on the back of a toilet during the festivities.

15. 1981
Stars opposite Jeremy Irons in The French Lieutenant’s Woman, for which she will be nominated for her third Academy Award. “When Meryl walked into the makeup room,” Irons will recall in Vogue years later, “she walked in as my lover. And all day, when we did the [love] scene, she created this little box of reality around us. But that evening, when I went to dinner with her and Don . . . she had become Meryl, mother, again.”[23]

16. 1982
November: Stars in Still of the Night as an icy Hitchcockian blonde. December: The underrated thriller is quickly eclipsed in movie history by the release of Sophie’s Choice, for which Streep will win her second Oscar in as many years. The excruciating scene in which she must choose which of her two children to save from the death camps was so painful for Streep that she refused to do more than one take.

17. 1983
Silkwood is released, costarring Cher and Kurt Russell. In her fifth Oscar-nominated role, she plays real-life whistle-blower Karen Silkwood. August: Daughter Mary Willa Gummer is born (later known as the actress Mamie Gummer).

18. 1984
Reunites on-screen with Robert De Niro in Falling in Love, which The New York Times dismisses as “a classy weeper that poses a rude question: What are talented people like Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, and Ulu Grosbard, their director, doing in a sudsy movie like this?”[24]

19. 1985
In Plenty, plays a fighter in the French Resistance. Out of Africa, costarring Robert Redford, released. Based on Isak Dinesen’s account of building a plantation in Kenya, the story was originally planned for Greta Garbo back in the day. Streep almost didn’t get the part because director Sydney Pollack wanted someone sexier (“For that well-known sexpot Isak Dinesen,” Streep will dryly explain later.[25]) Despite mixed reviews, the sprawling film wins seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography. Streep is nominated for Best Actress, but loses to Geraldine Page for The Trip to Bountiful.

20. 1986
May: Second daughter Grace Jane Gummer born. July: Heartburn, costarring Jack Nicholson and directed by Mike Nichols, released. Despite its tagline “Two Oscar-winning Stars Combine with an Oscar-winning Director,” the film goes unrecognized by the Academy. Twenty-month-old Mamie appears in it, her first acting role. (“You know,” Mamie later says, “I still get residuals from Heartburn. A couple times a year I get a check for $80.”)[26]

21. 1987
In Ironweed, plays a drinking buddy opposite washed-up baseball player Jack Nicholson. “Meryl Streep, as ever, is uncanny,” reports The New York Times, “a stunning impersonation of a darty-eyed, fast-talking woman of the streets, an angry, obdurate woman with great memories and no future.”[27] Both Streep and Nicholson nominated for Oscars.

22. 1988
Plays Lindy Chamberlain in A Cry in the Dark (uttering the immortal line, “A dingo ate my baby!”) Of all the accents Streep is famous for, she finds Aussie the hardest.

23. 1989
By this time, her success in serious roles has become predictable—as Vogue will later say, “Another accent, another Oscar nomination, so what else is new?”[28] June: Celebrates her fortieth birthday. “I remember turning to my husband and saying, ‘Well, what should we do? Because it’s over,’ ”[29] she later recounts to Vogue. The following year she will receive three different offers to play witches. December: For a change of pace, embarks on a series of comedies, a few of which will be considered her worst films: She-Devil with Roseanne Barr, Carrie Fisher’s autobiographical Postcards From the Edge (1990), and Death Becomes Her (1992).

24. 1990
Receives yet another Oscar nomination, this time for Postcards from the Edge. It will be another five years until she is nominated again (for Francesca, who finds forbidden love with Clint Eastwood in The Bridges of Madison County).

25. 1991 
Third daughter Louisa Jacobson Gummer born. She also will become an actress. (Streep will later joke of her kids, “I would love someone to be an astrophysicist or even just a vet.”[30])

26. 1992 
Vogue profiles Streep, who is appearing in Death Becomes Her, a movie about an aging actress who takes a youth potion. “Every girl deals with what she looks like,” she says, “from the moment she discovers what that is in comparison to everybody else—to women of beauty. It’s the only issue for women, from age eleven until they, I guess, hit 50 and don’t give a damn anymore. No, I wouldn’t say 50 now. It’s probably 60, right? Maybe more like 75. Maybe they never stop.”[31]
·27  1994
Offered the title role in the Alan Parker film Evita, but when production is delayed the part goes to pop icon Madonna. Thrills fans with her sturdy physique as a white water–rafter in the action flick The River Wild, battling a raging river and armed robbers.
· 28 1995
Clint Eastwood—who later calls her “the greatest actress in the world”—plays opposite Streep in The Bridges of Madison County. “There was a big fight over how I was too old to play the part,” she says, “even though Clint was nearly 20 years older than me. The part was for a 45-year-old woman, and Clint said, ‘This is a 45-year-old woman.’ ”[32]
· 29 1998
Stars in One True Thing with Renée Zellweger. “We used to make up Scrabble words between takes, not all of them appropriate for print,”[33] the younger star tells Vogue (adding that she recently came across a high school scrapbook page reserved for favorite actress, on which she had written in sparkly marker, “Meryl Streep.”)[34]
· 30 1999
Plays a violin teacher in Music of the Heart, after Madonna drops out citing creative differences with director Wes Craven.
· 32 2001
Voices the character Blue Mecha in Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi movie A.I. Regally sits at the center of assembled silver-screen royalty on the gatefold cover of Vanity Fair’s “Legends of Hollywood” Special Collector’s Edition. The epic Annie Leibovitz shoot involved ten A-list actresses and three separate locations (London, New York, and Los Angeles).
· 32 2002
“For an actress, worrying about appearance is a horrible, horrible trap,” December Vogue quotes her as saying. “It’s great for acting to be unconscious of how you look and to be willing to mess up how you look, and see what that does to people.”[35] The magazine features her two new releases, Adaptation and The Hours. For Adaptation, directed by Spike Jonze, receives her thirteenth Academy Award nod, breaking records held by Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn for most nominations. Later jokingly comments, “I also hold the record for losing more.”[36] (Early in her career, Streep had received a letter from Davis, in which the legendary star said she viewed her as her successor as the premier American actress.)
· 33 2003
January: Sandra Bullock jokes in Vogue, “The Academy shouldn’t even nominate Meryl Streep anymore. She should just be given an award every year. . . . The Meryl Streep Category.”[37] September: Streep celebrates her silver wedding anniversary. Despite the fact that she often mentions her husband when she is interviewed, she once told Vogue, “He hates to be written about in my movie stuff.”[38]
· 34 2004
April: Honored with the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award. Her legendary leading men pay touching tribute. Silkwood’s Kurt Russell sums up her unparalleled appeal. “The magnificent Mr. Nichols put it right about you,” he says. “ ‘Anyone,’ he said, ‘who gets to know Meryl has to fall in love with her.’ I said, ‘And if they don’t?’ ‘Well if they don’t, then there’s something wrong with them.’ I just want you to know, Meryl, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me.”[39] July: She plays a memorably ruthless mother of vice-presidential candidate Liev Schreiber in The Manchurian Candidate.
· 35 2005
In Prime, displays genius comic timing as Uma Thurman’s new therapist and potential mother-in-law.
·36  2006
May: To promote A Prairie Home Companion, appears on the cover of W with costar Lindsay Lohan in a mother-daughter portrait by Michael Thompson, with an accompanying story and fashion portfolio entitled “Two Queens.” Tabloid habituée Lohan had pitched the cover idea to the magazine herself, having become enamored of Streep while playing her daughter in the Robert Altman film. June: The Devil Wears Prada released. Streep will garner her fourteenth Oscar nomination for it, and win Best Actress at the Golden Globes. It is one of the most expensively costumed movies in history, due to the innumerable looks from Chanel, Gucci, Givenchy, et al; in her Globes acceptance speech the following January, Streep thanks costumer Patricia Field, “because that was like ‘Special Effects’ for our movie.”[40] The producers donate many of the clothes to charities including Equality Now, Breast Cancer Research, and Dress for Success. Streep reportedly hangs onto her Miranda Priestley sunglasses, which she will use again during the “Money Money Money” sequence in Mamma Mia!
· 37 2007
“Will she wear Prada?” asks The Los Angeles Times in the lead-up to the Seventy-ninth Academy Awards. “All eyes will be on Streep’s Oscar style.”[41] The Devil Wears Prada star walks the red carpet in a dress given her personally by Miuccia Prada—although, as Variety later notes, the general consensus is that it was a “regrettable ensemble.”[42]
·38  2008
July: Hits the multiplex as Donna, singing Abba hits, in the film version of the Broadway smash Mamma Mia! December: Dons a nun’s habit—and returns to Oscar-nomination territory—as scary Sister Aloysius Beauvier in Doubt. The film is hailed as one of the year’s best.
·39  2009
February: Wears off-the-shoulder Alberta Ferretti on the Academy Awards red carpet, to rave reviews. “It draws the eye up to her face,” says Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, “which is stunning. . . . But, boy, her fashion is back and forth like a yo-yo.”[43] August: Rejoins Nora Ephron (Silkwood and Heartburn), who directs her in a joyful portrayal of Julia Child in Julie & Julia. As the six-foot-two cooking legend, the five-foot-six Streep wears extra-high heels and gains fifteen pounds. November: Lends her voice to Mrs. Felicity Fox, opposite George Clooney as Mr. Fox, in Wes Anderson’s animated hit Fantastic Mr. Fox. Stars in romantic comedy It’s Complicated, after which she decides to take a break. “Sometimes if you give that much you have to settle it down and let the field go fallow for one year, like the farmers do.”[44]
·40  2010
January: Comedienne Tina Fey indulges in some Streep-worship in an episode of 30 Rock. “You can try to fight getting older,” warns Fey’s character, Liz Lemon. “You can be like Madonna and cling to youth with your Gollum arms. Or you can be like Meryl Streep, and embrace your age with elegance. Two paths. Meryl Streep . . . or Madonna.”[45] February: Up for the sixteenth time for an Oscar, for Julie & Julia, loses to Sandra Bullock in the November surprise The Blind Side. (“I left her a voicemail going, ‘You’ve got to watch your back. I’m gonna take you down,’ ” Bullock jokes. “She sent me dead orchids and told me to die.”)[46]
· 41 2011
The Iron Lady released; she receives New York Film Critics Circle Award for best actress. Streep is on her way to challenging Katharine Hepburn’s record of four Oscars.
·42  2012
Streep appears on her first Vogue cover in January. Describing her turn as the Iron Lady, director Phyllida Lloyd tells Vicki Woods, “It’s not an impersonation on any level. It’s an incarnation.”[47]
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