Dressed to Win: Best Actress Meryl Streep
Best Actress Oscar winner Meryl Streep — whose dress and earring match her statuette — poses backstage at the 84th Academy Awards on February 26, 2012. Streep won for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in Phyllida Lloyd’s biopic The Iron Lady. That was Streep’s 17th Oscar nomination and her third win. (Photo: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.)
Meryl Streep’s Oscar 2012 competitors were SAG Award winner Viola Davis for Tate Taylor’s The Help, Michelle Williams (as Marilyn Monroe) for Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn, Rooney Mara for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Glenn Close for Rodrigo García’s Albert Nobbs.
Streep’s previous Oscar nominations were: as Best Supporting Actress for Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter (1978), with Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken; and as Best Actress for Karel Reisz’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), with Jeremy Irons; Mike Nichols’ Silkwood (1983), with Kurt Russell and Cher; Sydney Pollack’s Out of Africa (1985), with Robert Redford and Klaus Maria Brandauer; Hector Babenco’s Ironweed (1987), with Jack Nicholson; and Fred Schepisi’s A Cry in the Dark (1988), with Sam Neill.
Also: Nichols’ Postcards from the Edge (1990), as a fictionalized version of Star Wars’ Carrie Fisher, with Shirley MacLaine as a fictionalized version of Singin’ in the Rain’s Debbie Reynolds; Clint Eastwood’s The Bridges of Madison County (1995), co-starring Eastwood; Carl Franklin’s One True Thing (1998), with Renée Zellweger, William Hurt, and Tom Everett Scott; and Wes Craven’s Music of the Heart (1999), with Cloris Leachman, Aidan Quinn, and Angela Bassett.
And in the 21st century, as Best Supporting Actress for Spike Jonze’s Adaptation (2002), with Nicolas Cage, Chris Cooper, and Tilda Swinton; and as Best Actress for David Frankel’s The Devil Wears Prada (2006), opposite Anne Hathaway; John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt (2008), with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis; and as Julia Child in Julie & Julia, co-starring Amy Adams.
Streep’s previous two Oscars were as Best Supporting Actress for Robert Benton’s Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), with Dustin Hoffman, Jane Alexander, and Justin Henry, and as Best Actress for Alan J. Pakula’s Sophie’s Choice (1982), with Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol.
Below is a partial transcript of the q&a with Meryl Streep — who apparently doesn’t know all that much about Oscar history (perhaps too busy being an active part of it). The transcript comes courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
A. Gracias. Thank you.
Q. Any Spanish?
Q. Well, it doesn’t matter. I wanted to ask you about what you said on stage because you said that it would probably be your last time there winning an Oscar?
A. Yes, I’m pushing the tolerance.
Q. Maybe you don’t want to give Katharine Hepburn a run for her money?
A. Did she have more?
A. Oh, well, okay.
Q. No, but really, how did you feel winning this third award, and why did you think…?
A. Oh, I was thrilled. I thought I was so old and jaded, but they call your name, and you just go into sort of a, I don’t know, a white light. And it was just thrilling. It was like I was a kid again. I mean, it was — I was a kid when I won this, like, 30 years ago. Two of the nominees were not even conceived. So, you know, it was great.
And it was doubly wonderful because my long time collaborative colleague, [J.] Roy Helland, makeup man, hairdresser, he won too, and he won for … He won with his colleague Mark Coulier, who is a great British prosthetics designer. But he won not for some, you know, monster-making, but for making a human being, and it’s very unusual in that branch that they give it to somebody who’s just trying to transform people. And so I was really, really proud for him.
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