In her latest role, Meryl Streep stars as Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom in The Iron Lady and if you’ve watched the trailer, you’ll see that she once again disappears into her part.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Streep explained that some of the roles she takes on, she can just roll out of bed and do, but the role of Thatcher was more of a challenge.
“There are so many secrets in many lives that we’ve already decided we know everything about; you don’t know everything, and why we’re alive is to learn more,” she said about the part. “I really like to portray prickly people, or people that are just, sort of, difficult women, on a certain level,” she said.
Over the years, Streep has taken on many different personalities, as well as voices. In Julie & Julia her persona was all giggles and food while in The Devil Wears Prada she was sharp, cold, and created tension that not even the sharpest of knives could slice. She said mimicking voices is one of the easiest things for her to do, as though she is a child copying a voice that she’s heard before.
“I mean it’s not easy – I work hard too. But, for me, it’s part of a whole thing to capture how someone speaks is to capture them, because how people speak delivers their personality, on a certain level,” Streep said. “And, you know, like me? I hesitate. I’m like – I say ‘like.’ I look around the room for the answers to the question that I’ve partially forgotten what it was. But, to me, that’s character.”
Because she feels so close to her characters, she doesn’t think of them as separate entities.
“I don’t think of it as separate from the other work of living as someone else and taking on their body, and their feelings, and their cares, and what they love, and who they miss” she said. “The sound of it is maybe because people who have a little bit of a musical bent catch on quicker. But my theory of it is maybe because people who have a little bit of a musical bent catch on quicker. But my theory is everybody can sing and everybody can do accents. Everybody I’ve ever met thinks they can do Julia Child!”
Streep’s passion for being in movies is evident in every role she plays and how the characters she plays immediately come to life through the screen.
“Every movie is an opportunity to tell something about your own life – at least that’s the way I work it out, kind of as therapy in some way,” she said. “And so you end up bringing things that don’t necessarily have to do with the plot, but kind of help it along.”
Watch the video below!
The Iron Lady premieres in theaters on January 13.
Written by Sarah Lorsch