Meryl Streep is considered by many to be a living legend. The three-time-Academy-Award-winning actress has a line of work that ranges from the poshest of European politicians to the the dingiest of substance-abusing hillbillies, from a high-fashion magazine editor-in-chief to a deranged aunt who fears her own stove, the woman is the definition of a chameleon in the acting world.
The actress has been nominated an astonishing 18 times for an Academy Award, otherwise known as an Oscar, the most prestigious honor that can be bestowed upon a film actor. The actress has won for her performances in the films Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice and The Iron Lady. Streep was awarded the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Kramer vs. Kramer and Best Leading Actress for the latter two films.
A very admirable quality the star posesses is the fact that she is known solely for her performances and not for her celebrity. The actress is never seen on any tabloids and has never been the subject of a mega-scandal. Every bit of notoriety Streep has gained has been through her work as an actress and that is a model that every member of the Hollywood community should follow. With an entertainment business that is full of half-made celebrities whose claim to fame was a sexual exploitation or a type of nepotism, it is incredibly refreshing to have the likes of hard-working and truly dedicated individuals such as Streep to ground the world of Hollywood and recognize true talent once again.
Throughout her long and successful career, the actress has enlightened audiences of her journey to the top. Said journey was not an easy trek, nor was it one that happened overnight. The star began her adventure by studying at Vassar college and later at the Yale School of Drama, where the origins of her fine-tuning of acting techniques began. The actress took to the New York theatre to begin her professional career and continued to execute her craft on stage until she was cast in her first feature film at 28 years old. Julia was her first full-length film in which the movie’s star, Jane Fonda, reportedly served as a mentor figure to Streep and helped her adapt her craft for the camera, as opposed to stage performance.
Streep continued her trek into the world of film and fought very diligently to acquire the roles that would eventually lead her to stardom. She reportedly struggled at times to work her way past certain casting directors and producers who initially had little to no interest.
Streep acquired an audition for the lead female role in the 1976 film adaptation of King Kong. The actress who was apparently not considered “traditionally beautiful” did everything in her power to spruce up to play the somewhat sexualized character. The film’s director saw Streep walk in and turned to the other casting associate in the room and, in Italian, asked why they sent in this “ugly pig.” Streep shocked the living daylights out of them when she responded in fluent Italian, saying she was sorry for disappointing them and left the room, giving them no chance to retaliate.
For aspiring performers of all ages, the fact that a living legend such as Meryl Streep faced the harsh criticism and rejection of Hollywood just as so many do, is incredibly inspiring. Meryl Streep has and will continue to provide the highest level of quality entertainment the world has come to know. May her legacy live on forever. The interview in which Streep speaks of her King Kong audition experience can be viewed below.
By Cody Collier