We have let her come into our living room, night after night. We have watched her fill us with pure joy, engulf us in despair, swell us with pride and do it all over again. We remember her by many names, in varied languages. But, she is celebrated unanimously as her fans (Streepers) would like to call her, ‘The Crowned Queen of Hollywood; Meryl Streep’.
Here’s her incredible journey to becoming the inimitable Streep!
1. Unsure beginnings
Despite being born to a commercial artist and an art editor, who constantly encouraged little Mary Lousie Streep to build her confidence, Meryl often found her own shy, introvert nature overwhelming. But strangely, her bespectacled eyes shone in front of the camera lens, speaking of a future that was yet to come.
She was found to be ‘too ugly’ to play the lead role in King Kong, by Dino De Laurentiis. Most of the scenes from her debut feature film were edited out, leaving behind few best-forgotten scenes. If you thought her journey to glorious stardom was without its own glitches, you’d be surprised to know the truth.
Her heart was set on theater and plays and she found the whole ‘business of Hollywood’ abhorring, thinking it to be a great mistake to ever venture into! But despite her trepidation, Hollywood slowly started consuming this incredible artist. However, on her personal front she lost her lover to lung cancer. A loss, that she could never come into terms with.
With ‘The Deer Hunter’ in 1978, for which she earned a nomination, Hollywood knew it found its shining star in making. From there on, every time she featured on screen, she ensured that she gave an unforgettable performance to the audience.
With each performance, Meryl set a benchmark that became impossibly high as she navigated through the cinematic lanes of Hollywood. Let alone her 409 nominations and 157 awards won till date, her greatest contribution has been that of bringing to life those fictional characters that have long since stayed in our hearts.
Cinema has produced more beautiful faces than ever noted, numerous performances that are worth being remembered. But, a star like her comes only once in a while, because that is how legends are meant to be. To a woman whose performances are as varied as the accents she has mastered, an artist whose contribution to her art has gone beyond the ordinary, a thousand salute to such a woman who made acting seem beyond the usual.
Author : Nimisha Menon