GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 19

cover story
Streep has been an environmental activist since
the late '80s, co-founding Mothers & Others, a group
that opposed toxic pesticides in foods and children's
products. Caring for the environment would naturally
extend to what affects her grandchild. According to
a source quoted in Closer Weekly, " She's into organic
food, so she's getting nontoxic toys and sustainable,
healthy products right down to the sheets and blankets.
She's been researching voraciously, like when she does
research for a part, about what's best for Mamie and the
baby. "

"

"

" Empathy is the thing that will save us... "

In acting, research is important but only part of
Streep's method for understanding a new character.
How is she able to transform herself so seamlessly into
so many different roles that we forget that she's Meryl
Streep and actually believe we're seeing Margaret
Thatcher or Julia Child, a desperate Polish Holocaust
survivor, or a tough-as-nails nun in the Bronx? Streep
herself has given the answer: empathy. In a conversation last year with Stephen Colbert at the Montclair Film
Festival, she said, " Actors are natural empaths. It's part
of the job description, like - can you type 90 words
a minute? Can you empathize, can you feel what this
person feels?

November 24, 2014 President Obama presents Meryl Streep with
Medal of Freedom
19 GRAND

WINTER 2021

"

We all stop imagining, so quickly in life,
what it's like to be other people.
But empathy is the thing that
will save us, if we will be saved.

Empathy - deeply understanding another person with
compassion - is what she brings to roles like that of
nuclear whistle-blower Karen Silkwood, who died in a suspicious car accident. " I put together every piece of information I could find about her... What I finally did was look at
the events in her life, and try to understand her from the
inside. "
Her characters are not perfect people-some of them
are downright unlikable - like Miranda Priestly, the editor
in The Devil Wears Prada, or Sister Aloysius in Doubt. But
through empathy, Streep is able to show us their humanity.
In giving her the Medal of Freedom, President Barack
Obama was quoted by White House reporter Jennifer
Bendery as saying, " I love Meryl Streep. Her husband
knows I love here. Michelle knows I love her. There's nothing they can do about it. "
Streep's career has spanned more than 40 years - starting as a young theater actor after she graduated from Yale
Drama School in 1979. She never thought she was conventionally beautiful, and neither did some directors.  But
she was arresting and charismatic in early roles like The
Deerhunter (1978) and Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979).
(In fact, she's gorgeous, with strong cheekbones, a peach
complexion, and an aquiline nose.)
Over the last 20 years, since turning 50, she's played
powerful older women with panache, humor, and often
sex appeal. Her two recent films show her willingness to
experiment with genres. In Let Them All Talk she teams up
with film legends Candice Bergen and Dianne Wiest on
the Queen Mary 2 as college frenemies, where they basically improvise their own dialogue.  In The Prom, a musical
comedy in which she plays a narcissistic Broadway star who
descends on a small Indiana town, she sings, dances, and
flirts with the high school principal.  In her upcoming film,

Continued on next page


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GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021

Contents
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 1
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 2
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 3
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - Contents
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 5
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 6
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 7
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