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‘Clint Eastwood never spoke except once’: Meryl Streep recounts her greatest films at Cannes

I’m not a rock star“, says Meryl Streep, as she begins a more than hour-long conversation about her career at Cannes with journalist Didier Allouch. However, when the American arrives in the Debussy room – inevitably bursting – the public rises to its feet and allows. Her joy explodes as much as the crowd in the stadium.

A few hours after receiving the honorary Golden Palm branch for the opening of the 77th edition of the festival – “I went to bed at three o’clock and I’m tired– he jokes – the actor went to meet the attendees of the festival. Presented with a video montage of his most iconic films, the talk presents some of his biggest roles in chronological order.

Full of humor, Meryl Streep – four Oscars and 21 nominations – is humble when reminded of her success: “I am so old, I have worked with all the directorsThe first film discussed during the meeting was Sydney Pollack’s Kramer vs. Kramer.

Blessing Kramer vs. Kramer

A social phenomenon immediately after its release, this drama gave the actor the opportunity to win his first Oscar. He returns to a famous anecdote, according to which he himself wrote the closing speech. Of course, the legend is true. “Dustin Hoffman thought he knew what my character was thinking. He wrote his own version of the speech. Screenwriter too. Me too. Finally we voted and I won.”

“Kramer vs. Kramer” by Sydney Pollack.

Two years earlier, he starred in Michael Cimino’s Journey to the End of Hell. Meryl Streep says she had no idea the movie would become such a classic. “I focused on the humanity of my character. My boyfriend was in Vietnam at the time and upon his return he became addicted to heroin. It was a difficult topic to talk about.

Although he has only a few minutes on screen, the actor leaves his mark in the minds of the audience. “It’s normal, it was a time when there was only one woman in the movies,” the star replies to the laughter of the audience.

Shoot difficult scenes

When he approaches Alan J. Pakula’s choice of Sophie, Meryl Streep’s smile fades. He especially returns to the chosen scene, shot in two shots – “They chose the second one thanks to the child’s reaction“The sequence was shot without rehearsal and leaves the actor with a disturbing memory.”I don’t like to think about it. Nothing helps you in difficult scenes. You feel seen.

Out of Africa, the actor recalls a moment when an insect got under his suit. This epic romance with Robert Redford made Meryl Streep a star.”banking” – which makes money at the box office.”I did not pay attention to this. I never came out with blockbusters, but from that moment I had the strength to start projects.

The Clint Eastwood method

In the cinema, the star was surrounded by the greatest actors. Robert De Niro – He tells how he tried on 32 coats before finding the right one for his character in Falling In Love – Jack Nicholson, but also Clint Eastwood. The latter photographed him on Madison Avenue in 1995.

We shot the film in five weeks. It was going very fasthe explains. Sometimes we were rehearsing and without warning he would say: ‘We are going to the next scene’ and he would continue the rehearsal with the final cut.” The actor also talks about his personality. “He never raised his voice except once when someone was talking during the shoot. He screamed so loudly that the entire team was shaken for the rest of the day.”

Clint Eastwood’s “Madison Road”.

A game of strong women

Among her many roles, Meryl Streep has played many strong women. Still, she regrets that the simple heroine never resonates with the male audience. “I identify with De Niro’s character in Journey to the End of Hell, so why can’t men recognize themselves in us?

He continues: “The first time a man came up to me and said, “I know how you feel,” he did Devil Wears Prada Because she was a strong woman who made decisions.

Before leaving the stage, Meryl Streep reminds the young people starting in the cinema:To keep hope alive“and no”do not give up“. a sentence which he would repeat twice before disappearing to public approval.

Comments collected by Thomas Desroches, Cannes, 15 May 2024.

Source: Allocine

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