Meryl Streep: I’m guessing she’s one of the lions

on

If a dictionary were made up of images

instead of words, one contender for the definition of “actor” would

be a picture of Meryl Streep.

As Scribe Grrrl blogged about in August, Streep’s new movie, Lions for Lambs,

premieres November 7. With its release less than a month away, and Streep speaking about it in interviews, it’s worth another look. I may spring for this one at the theatre out

of curiosity: It’s one that could stir a little controversy.

Set against the backdrop of the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and

the War on Terror, Streep plays a journalist, Janine Roth, on the scent

of a big story with bigger policy implications.

Can I pause a moment to say that Streep

is looking smarter, more powerful and consequently sexier than ever?

(I, too, have a girl-in-glasses fetish.) In

Lions for Lambs, Streep throws down with Tom Cruise (not

literally, though I bet she could take him), who plays a pro-war GOP

senator, over a bombshell story that could shape policy on the war.

Robert Redford
directs and also stars as a university professor

whose story fits in there somehow (I got bored reading the IMDb plot synopsis, sorry). If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the

trailer.

 

 

So here’s what’s new. This week, she spoke with Times Online about the movie and her career, and only added to my adoration

of her. (I’m going to ignore the usual annoying questions directed

at every successful woman about how she can possibly manage to cope

with her personal and professional lives.)

Naturally, the conversation

begins with politics. Streep expects the movie to be perceived

as anti-war, but claims that it raises questions more than offering

opinions. However, she does speak to her own view of the upcoming

election:

I’m glad that there seems to

be change. People are holding their breath. That’s why you don’t see

masses on the streets — they know he’s [Bush] going. I’ll be relieved

when the whole group is out. I think in a way things had to get this

bad before they got better. It would be nice to have a woman president.

I think half the Senate should be women, half of Parliament, half the

ruling mullahs.

You and me both, Meryl. She also

reports that her childhood ambition was to work for the United Nations,

as a result of a trip there at age 10: “There were all these

women in booths in headphones. I thought it was so cool. They were taking

the language of one culture and translating it to another.”

As for acting, she “suspected”

it “in a puritan way. It didn’t seem serious or contributing to the

betterment of the world.” I, for one, am glad she got over that.

However, she says still wonders, “When I grow up what will I do with

my life?” I, for one, can also relate. Then again, I’m

not an award-winning actor, so maybe not. The downside of fame,

she reports, is being watched, in part because it makes her self-conscious,

but also because she would rather observe others: “I always think,

‘Why are they watching me? I want to watch her’.”

When the reporter reminded her that

she is labeled one of the greatest actors now in Hollywood, this was

her response:

“It does not go in. It can’t.

How can it? It’s not like I haven’t tried to believe it. [laughs]

But I don’t. They just say that about me because I’ve been around a

long time.”

Or because she’s got skills.

As for being around “a long time,” Streep brushes off any questions

about turning 60 in a couple of years:

“Oh, that’s miles away.

I’ve lost enough people and had enough be ill to know that all the people

who whine about getting old should just shut up. Because of the

ones who are not here, who didn’t make it this far. My God, what a thing

to whine about. Imagine! I have no patience for it. We are just lucky

to be here. Every second we’re lucky.”

Streep’s upcoming projects include

playing Donna in Mamma Mia!

and a role as Sister Aloysius in the adaptation of the controversial

play Doubt, opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman.

More you may like