Oscar 2009: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia

Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 6:24PM
 
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia

MERYL STREEP:  Thank you.  I want to change my name to
         "T-Bone."

         (Laughter.)

         T-Bone Streep.

         (Laughter.)

         I think it sounds good.  Oh, gosh.  I — I'm going to
         forget what I wanted to say because I'm, like,
         overwrought.  Darn, what was my first part?

         AUDIENCE MEMBER:  You love Nora.

         MERYL STREEP:  Yeah, I love Nora.

         (Laughter.)

         I really I am grateful to Nora and to everybody at Sony.
         And Stanley, of course, and everybody in the cast and
         crew.

         (Applause.)

         I just want to say that I've, in my long career, played
         so many extraordinary women that basically I'm getting
         mistaken for one.

         (Laughter.)

         And — no, really, I have — I'm very clear about the
         fact that I'm the vessel for other people's stories and
         other women's lives.  And this year I got to play not
         only one of the most beloved women in America, Julia
         Child, but I also — I also got to secretly pay homage to
         my own personal, not-so-famous-hero — that's my
         mother — who shared — who was of the same generation as
         Julia, who shared her verve.  A lot of the people in this
         room knew my mother and knew that she had a real joy in
         living.  And she just had no patience for gloom and doom.
         I'm not like that.

         (Laughter.)

         I come to Golden Globes weekend, and I am really honestly
         conflicted how to have my happy movie self in the face of
         everything that I'm aware of in the real world.  And I
         want to say that that's when I have my mother's voice
         coming to me, saying, "Partners in Health.  Shoot some
         money to Partners in Health.  Put the dress on.  Put on a
         smile.  And be damn grateful that you can" — "you have
         the dollars to help and the next day and the next day and
         the next day."  And I am really grateful.  I am really
         grateful.  So thank you.

         (Applause.)

         Thank you, Mother.  Thank you, Don.  Thank you, Elena.
         Thank you, kids.?

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Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia
Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 6:29PM
Barkley Court Reporters in Back Stage Speech
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia

MS. STREEP:  Hello.
     Q.   I just wanted to ask you, you're famous
 for your accents, and something that's always
 occurred to me, whether it was watching this movie
 or so many of your others, how do you perfect it?
 Are you looking in the mirror, or are you in the
 shower?  When do you hammer it home?
          MS. STREEP:  I don't think about it that
 way.  I mean, usually I sort of have an idea inside
 me that I understand how this person speaks, and
 then I corroborate that from listening to — if it
 is someone from another country, I listen to tapes
 of people speaking, or I go downtown and sit in a
 cafe in New York.  Polyglot America.  You can hear
 everybody.  I love listening in in restaurants.
     Q.   You can still be anonymous and listen in?
          MS. STREEP:  Oh, yeah.
     Q.   You had amazing success with "Mamma Mia!,"
 and Broadway loves you.  Any idea of possibly
 coming to Broadway and being on the stage any time
 soon?
          MS. STREEP:  I don't have a plan for that,
 but I would like to.  I always said that when my
 children grew up and went to college that I could
 maybe think about doing that, and that happened
 this year.  So I am looking.
     Q.   I am Ted from E! up front, right in front
 of you.  Thank you for your words, your benevolent
 words.  I appreciate that.
          I want to ask you about Julia Child — and
 congratulations on your role, awesome.
          Forgive me if this has already been
 addressed, but was it ever researched about how
 Julia Child felt about her work being repurposed
 like that?  Because in the film it seemed like she
 was edgy about it, but it never really got
 answered.
          MS. STREEP:  Well, yes.  In the film we
 referred to accurately that she, in her 90s, was
 not amused by the fact that Julie Powell was
 writing a blog about cooking her way through
 Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Julia
 Child was disgruntled because she felt this person
 was not being serious about cuisine.
          Julia was a sunny personality, but she
 really took this quite seriously.  She tried to
 establish a master's degree in gastronomy in Boston
 University, and she wanted it to be considered a
 serious point of study.
     Q.   So it was the approach, it wasn't the fact
 that the work was being reformatted, per se?
          MS. STREEP:  I think it was the fact —
 well, she wasn't reformatting Julia's own work.
 Julie Powell wasn't changing the recipes.  She was
 just cooking her way through it.
          But I think she was offended by the
 language.  She's a lady of a certain age and
 certain time where you can't say, "Fuck, fuck,
 fuck, fuck" all the time, and she was not used to
 it, and I think it upset here.
     Q.   Did you cook before, or did this film
 really inspire you to take up a new hobby?
          MS. STREEP:  I have four children, and I
 cook constantly and have for many years, but not
 well.
          So it is an inspiration to sort of dive
 back in and also, you know, a smaller group and not
 so many diverse palates in the room.  One of my
 children only ate white food for many years, and it
 was really hard to accommodate that.
          It is more fun now that it is just me and
 my husband.
     Q.   So one of the most fascinating things
 about covering you is you are one of the most
 accomplished actors in the world today with all the
 awards and all the movies that you do, but you
 somehow are out of the limelight.  You don't have
 paparazzi lurking out of trash bins and you and
 your husband fighting it out.
          In the Critics' Choice he was in the gold
 fair game or something.
          Can you, as such a famous personality like
 you, choose to lead a life that doesn't have all
 this craziness around you?
          MS. STREEP:  I think it was easier for me
 when I was coming up.  There was no such thing as
 the 24/7 news cycle.
          I think for younger actresses the scrutiny
 is very, very hard.  The blogsphere, where people
 comment on their weight and their appearance,
 endlessly tearing people down.  That always
 happened, but it sort of happened in apartments and
 restaurants, and you didn't hear everybody's
 opinion of you.
          But now I think it is kind of a relentless
 drag on people, and it interferes with your ability
 to be a good actress if you're constantly
 self-aware of yourself as a person.
          To me it is valuable to think about how I
 am coming off all the time if I'm trying to create
 a character.  Because that's the thing I like to —
 that's a process I love, and it is just sort of
 falling in love, you know, surrendering to another
 person, in this case, a character.
     Q.   At this stage of your life, what do awards
 mean to you?
          MS. STREEP:  Well, it means a great deal
 to have the admiration of the people in my
 community, my film community.  It is a little
 family.
          I don't live in the glare of the
 spotlight.  I come, you know, from my little
 outside life and come into this room where
 everybody that I've ever worked with is, people I
 love.  People I would love to work with, people I
 admire.  People whose work I've followed forever.
          It is like a little homecoming.  It is
 sort of great to be able to come to these award
 shows.  That means a lot to me.
          The award itself is from the Hollywood
 Foreign Press, who have seen me for 30 years in
 movies, and they are still not sick of me.  That
 means something to me, it really does.  Because it
 is hard to remain new.
          So I am very proud to get this award,
 especially for this movie, because I loved this
 movie.  I loved the script.
          I think it is a good signal to the
 business, to the financial end in our business that
 movies that on the page would seem like a
 middle-aged woman is cooking, it just seems so
 boring, and yet it has its audience.  It was a big
 hit, and that's good news.
     Q.   Ms. Streep, being such a celebrated
 actress, there's a lot of people who look up to
 you, especially a lot of young people.  What advice
 do you have for young people who want to break into
 acting and one day be just like you?
          MS. STREEP:  I always say to my daughters,
 "You don't have to do anything you don't want to
 do, and don't read things about yourself.  Don't
 read the blogs."
          It is really hard not to Google yourself
 and get into the horrible vortex, but it is much,
 much better for your mental health and everything
 else.  You try to lessen the self-awareness and the
 self-consciousness.
     Q.   How do you stop yourself from being over
 the top in your roles?
          MS. STREEP:  I never stop myself from
 that.  That's my chance.
     Q.   Congratulations.  Thank you for a
 beautiful acceptance speech.
          I am trying to picture you with your mom
 when you were little when your mom was cooking.  Is
 there any —
          MS. STREEP:  My mother hated cooking.  My
 mother had one cookbook, it was the Peg Bracken I
 Hate to Cook Book.  There was a woman smoking a
 cigarette on the cover, going "Huh."  My mother
 didn't smoke, but she said, "If it's not done in 45
 minutes, it's not dinner."
          Yeah, we had a lot of frozen food.
          When I was 10, I remember going to a kid's
 house, and her mother — she and her mother were in
 the kitchen doing something with tennis balls.  I
 said, "What are you doing?"
          They said, "Peeling potatoes."
          I said, "That's not potatoes.  Potatoes
 come in a box."  I actually didn't know that.
          But my mother knew how to have a good
 time, she really did, and she really lit up the
 room when she entered it.
     Q.   Congratulations.  A lot of actresses sort
 of complain, "When you hit 40 in Hollywood, it is
 really tough."  Have you found it to be difficult,
 hard to get those really strong roles, or they come
 few and far between?
          MS. STREEP:  Boy, I don't know.  I am
 trying to hold all the offers back, darling.  Not
 really.
          It is — I haven't ever felt that I
 haven't had a chance.  I haven't really felt that
 yet.  Maybe that's coming next year.  Maybe this is
 all — who knows.
          But I am really enjoying it as it comes.
 I think that the business has changed.  I think it
 really has changed a great deal for women.
          When I did "The Bridges of Madison
 County," I was 45.  There was a big fight with the
 studio because they said I was too old, and my
 costar, Clint, was 65, which I thought was really
 old.  Now he seems like he was a kid to me now.
          But I think Sandra Bullock is 45 now, and
 it is a little bit better.  The perception of her
 is different than ten years ago it was for me.  So
 it is getting better, definitely.  Thank you.