‘I always screw up’ Meryl Streep opens up on ‘making mistakes’ in career

Meryl Streep discusses ‘screwing up’ in 2015

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Meryl Streep is arguably one of the most recognised actresses across the globe, having won many awards and starred in some of the biggest films of her time. One of her most notable performances is her portrayal of stern and straight-talking Miranda Priestly in the 2006 popular film The Devil Wears Prada. Her fashion-forward co-star on the project, Emily Blunt, once said it takes a while for actors to get over their intimidation of her.

Emily Blunt plays Miranda’s eager to please assistant Emily, who wants nothing more than to be her number one. 

Much like her character wanting to satisfy Miranda, Emily apparently wanted to do the same for Meryl.

In a recently released episode of BBC’s Talking Pictures, in a clip from a 2015 interview, presenter Charlie Stayt asked how the star interacts with nervous colleagues.

He said: “Emily Blunt said about you when people meet you, indeed people who work with you, they have to get over… I think this is her phrase, ‘Get over being intimidated by Meryl Streep.'”

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Smiling and looking less hostile than her The Devil Wears Prada character, she laughed and replied: “I can feel that, you know, with younger actors sometimes.”

However, she divulged that within the first week, usually, that perception has been dissolved.

She added: “But I always screw up inevitably in the first week… badly.”

Intrigued by her response, Charlie questioned: “Meaning what?”

Meryl described: “Well, I forget my lines. I forget my lines all the time.”

The list continued with her adding: “Or I just come in a little too early or late or you know, just make mistakes and then everybody kind of relaxes a little bit.”

Charlie sympathised with younger actors or those who were newer to filming and turned the table on the actress to see if she had ever felt nervous around a star or made a blunder in front of an idol.

Asking if she ever had a “Why am I here moment?” when she started, Meryl let out a firm “Oh yes.”

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Giving fans a glimpse into her history, she opened up about a “long time ago” when she made dinner for her then boyfriend’s friend “Al Pacino.”

At the time, he had just appeared in “The Godfather movies” and whenever the three of them would stroll around “Little Italy” they “never ever had to pay for food” because Al was so recognisable.

For a treat one night, she decided to cook them dinner, but her “lip was twitching”, and her “hands were shaking” the entire time she was in the kitchen.

However, she believes that people now are less “intimidated” by the “ubiquity of fame”.

Adding that “reality television” had increased the number of famous people that viewers were introduced to, Charlie commented, “that’s interesting.”

She concluded: “I think people are more familiar and less scared.”

Many of Meryl’s hits are included in the special episode covering the likes of Mamma Mia, Kramer vs Kramer and Sophie’s Choice.

Talking Pictures Meryl Streep is available on BBC iPlayer.

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