the "devil" in miss
Streep reaps the benefits of
longevity, indelible performances and most important, family
The Popcorn Reel
Spotlights: Meryl Streep
Her two upcoming films: "A Prairie Home Companion" and "The Devil Wears Prada"
Meryl Streep: Happier than ever before.
(Photo: Brigitte Lacombe)
June is a busy month for Meryl Streep -- on the big screen,
that is. Well, everyday is a busy one for the Oscar-winning actor.
Meryl Streep, now at 57, is more committed to family than ever before, her
illustrious career notwithstanding. She is in frequent contact with her
daughters, and in a recent interview with Parade Magazine, explained that she
always was a family woman. "I always knew I would like to, if I could find
the right person, have a family." Ms. Streep does "not look at her career
as separate from my life." She and her husband of 27 years, sculptor Don
Gummer, are a tag-team when it comes to looking after their three daughters.
They also have a son. "I back Don up. He is my back up. We
agree. So thank God for that!"
The "devil" in the title of this piece is not intended as a
reference to Ms. Streep being any kind of demon or devilish figure; it is purely
a reference to her hard-working ethic both on and off-screen, an ethic she
credits to her late mother, who passed away in 2001 at age 86. Ms. Streep
however, has played a devil of sorts, on several occasions: in the film
She-Devil (1989) opposite Rosanne Arnold she made life for the television star a
misery. In "Death Becomes Her" (1992) she haunts Bruce Willis and is
haunted by Goldie Hawn, and on soon (June 30) in North America she is the
"devil" in the title of the film, "The Devil Wears Prada", playing a
hard-driving magazine editor who makes Anne Hathaway's life a living hell.
Two weeks prior, she will be on the big screen in Robert Altman's film "A
Prairie Home Companion", where she plays a showbiz mother of a serious,
self-absorbed poet daughter (Lindsay Lohan).
And that's just the start -- Meryl Streep will be filming, or
will have filmed three more big-screen projects in 2006. A film called
"Dark Matter" which is currently in production; "First Man" where Ms. Streep
plays the president of the United States to Robert De Niro's first husband role;
and will play Watergate scandal whistleblower Martha Mitchell, in a cast that
includes fellow Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow, and nominees Annette Bening and
Oscar in Kramer vs. Kramer (1976 -- photo: Columbia Pictures);
Oscar nomination in "Adaptation" (2002 -- photo: Columbia Pictures); playing a
Hillary Clinton-esque U.S. senator in "The Manchurian Candidate" (2004 -- photo
has a resume that has seen her work with the creme de la creme of leading men
including: Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Denzel Washington, Dustin Hoffman,
Gene Hackman, Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood and Bruce Willis. She has
also shared the screen with a sorority of fine leading ladies like Lily Tomlin,
Shirley MacLaine, Diane Keaton, Julianne Moore, Goldie Hawn, Uma Thurman and
Glenn Close, to name a few. She has also worked on stage, most recently in
a Shakespeare in the Park production in New York City's Central Park, which was
sold out for the summer several years ago in 2001, in "The Seagull" , opposite
Activism is an occupation very close to Ms. Streep's heart.
Over the years she has been near or right on the frontlines of numerous causes
and has been an outspoken opponent of the ongoing war in Iraq. During a
speech at the Golden Globe Awards two years ago she made no secret of her
disagreement with the current American administration's priorities has traveled
down. "I just want to say that I don't think two biggest problems in
America are that too many people want to commit their lives to one another until
death do us part, and steroids in sports. I don't think those are our two
biggest problems." At the time of the speech, she was accepting a Globe
award for the anti-HIV/AIDS drama "Angels in America". At a fundraiser for
U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry during that same year, Ms. Streep said:
"During Shock and Awe I wondered which of the megaton bombs Jesus, our
president's personal savior, would have personally dropped on the sleeping
families of Baghdad." A few moments later she added, "I wondered, 'Does
Jesus understand collateral damage?'" Responding to a concern raised by a
New York Times reporter during a interview in 2004 on which the topic of
celebrities speaking out in political causes emerged, Ms. Streep said, "it's not
your profession so much that defines you as your personhood. . . you don't
jettison your citizenship just because you're famous."
Though she gets neither the attention nor the scorn that Jane
Fonda and Susan Sarandon have from various members of the conservative political
base in America, Ms. Streep has made mention that she will continue to speak out
when the situation demands.
Streep, center with Lily Tomlin and
Garrison Keilor (left) and Lindsay Lohan in "A Prairie Home Companion." (photo: Picturehouse)
Ms. Streep standing down Anne Hathaway (seated), in "The Devil Wears Prada."
(photo: 20th Century Fox)
Ms. Streep's acting career is anything but slowing down. Meryl Streep has been nominated for an Oscar no less than 13 times, more than
any man or woman in Academy Awards history, including Jack Nicholson (who with
three Oscar wins has one more than Ms. Streep does), and the late legend
Katharine Hepburn. "I still love acting. I love it. Love It.
Love it. Love it, love it, love it," Ms. Streep told the New York Times
two years ago.
The latest stretch of films in June and filming beyond then sufficiently appears
to prove Ms. Streep right. Indeed, she is working like the "devil".
-- Written by Omar P.L. Moore