Meryl Streep Says She’s In Awe Of Actresses Who Move Into Producing: “I Have A Production Company Of Babies. That Was What I Produced” – Deadline

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Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep revealed her admiration for actresses who move into production having achieved fame on the big screen in an onstage conversation Wednesday at the Cannes Film Festival.

“There are so many women are producing for themselves and I’m so in awe of the ones who have done that. Reese [Witherspoon] and Nicole [Kidman], Natalie Portman. Everybody has their own production company,” she said.

“I have a production company of babies and that’s what I’ve produced, but I didn’t ever want to get phone calls after seven o’clock at night. So, I never did that. I’m in awe of people who do that. There are only so many hours in the day,”’ said Streep, who had highlighted earlier that she was a mother of four, and grandmother of five.

Streep was speaking to a packed Debussy Theatre in Cannes, where she was the recipient of its Honorary Palme d’Or on Tuesday night.


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The actress admitted she was feeling a little fuzzy having stayed up until 3 a.m. at the opening-night party, discussing French director Quentin Dupieux’s opener The Second Act.

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Touching on changes for women in the industry across her 50-year career and near 100 credits, Streep suggested the emergence of female executives had been a game-changer for actresses, both in terms of pay and the types of roles of offer.

“The biggest stars in the world are women right now … although … there’s Tom Cruise. It’s a lot different from when I started … how they did the deals, there was a lot of leveraging, trading … you know, ‘I’ll give you this big male star…’ I not sure how it worked back then but we were undercut in those negotiations.”

“Movies are a projection of people’s dreams, even executives have dreams… before there were women in a greenlight position at the studios, it was very difficult for men to see themselves in a female protagonist role… it’s a personal thing… it’s not just about money… they just didn’t get it.

“The first movie I ever made where a man came up to me and said, ‘I know how you felt’ was Devil Wears Prada,” she said, referring to the 2006 hit in which she played a powerful New York City–based fashion magazine editor-in-chief.

“More than one man came up to me and said, ‘I know how you felt. I know what it’s like to be the one who takes the decisions.’ That was fascinating to me. No man watches The Deer Hunter and feels like the girl, but I can watch The Deer Hunter and identify with John Savage, Chris Walken’s character, Robert De Niro. We can do that. We speak that language. It’s hard for them to feel us.”

The sweeping discussion touched on a number of Streep’s key film credits from Kramer vs. Kramer, The Deer Hunter, Sophie’s Choice, Out of Africa and Bridges of Madison County and her experiences working directors such as Mike Nichols, Steven Spielberg as well as Clint Eastwood.

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She recalled Nichols, who directed her in Silkwood (1983), Heartburn (1986), Postcards From the Edge (1990) with affection: “He would sit by the camera, and if he was laughing, tears would pour down his face. It was so disarming and probably strategic because it made us feel powerful and wonderful and that anything we did was terrific.”

She said Spielberg worked in an entirely different way: “He’s a genius and he has such an understanding of the mise-en-scene. Mike was interested in the interactions between the characters. Spielberg is all about the whole movement, the whole piece. Mike would add that later with his editor Sam O’Steen. He’d make the music afterwards. Steven has the song in his head already.”

For Eastwood, Streep recalled how he had been an extremely efficient and speedy director on 1995 drama The Bridges of Madison Country, and would sometimes use takes shot in rehearsals if they worked.

“He made that film in five weeks, we’d be out by five so he could be on the golf course. He was so quick…,” she said.

Quizzed on what made a good director, Streep replied unequivocally: “A good director is a confident director, that’s the most important thing. He really wants to be there and he know what he wants to say… the great directors make it a happy set as well, they make it fun.”

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