All The Happy Birthdays To Meryl Streep

rexusa_2061758apPhoto: BEImages/Gregory Pace.
It's Meryl Streep's 65th birthday today. We're not sure if that means anything to you, but it means a great deal to me. I was 16-years-old when I first watched Streep go toe-to-toe with Goldie Hawn in Robert Zemeckis' highly underrated pitch-black comedy Death Becomes Her. I had just been let go from my summer job deep frying Mars bars at the state fair. This was in Canada, by the way, a country without states. But, they called it that nonetheless. Regardless, I was crushed — those crispy Mars bars were everything to me.
Advertisement
I needed something, anything, to take my mind off the day's events. Then, I pressed play.
When Streep walked into the frame, everything around me started to melt away. There was nothing else but her. I'd heard whispers of a legendary thespian, someone who literally became the women she played, and who'd been nominated for more Oscars than anyone before her. But, I had never seen her act. Right away, I was hooked. Over the coming weeks, I immersed myself in Streep's epic catalog.


Kramer Vs. Kramer. Bone-chillingly cold, beautiful in a way that borders on alien, she makes you hate her, fear her, love her, and empathize with her all in one. It only got more astounding with her turn as a complicated, haunted immigrant in Sophie's Choice. It's no secret that her range is incredible, but to see it at play all within the course of one movie? It's a performance that hasn't faded in the slightest with time. Even her turn as a spiteful editrix in the otherwise guilty-pleasure, The Devil Wears Prada, was enough to pull the movie into another level entirely — the scenes revealing her character's surprising humanity had the kind of depth only Meryl could bring. Oh, and of course, their was her gritty but doomed activist in Silkwood. The scope of her ability was breathtaking, indomitable, once-in-a-lifetime — and despite the gravity of her skill, she is always a joy to watch.
That was a decade ago. Since then, Streep has never stopped amazing me. And, in an industry where youth is often a far more powerful currency than talent, she's done her best to buck that trend. Besides having a public persona that is all grace, humility, and friendliness (something that goes a long way in today's Hollywood), she's maintained relevance by refusing to be pigeonholed in a way that very few other actors can claim to achieve at her age. She brings surprising mirth to the world of romantic comedies for empty nesters in It's Complicated, where it almost seems like we may be getting a glimpse of her real personality. Though, of course, I wouldn't presume to know the "real" personality of a figure who keeps so pointedly out of the public eye.
Then, just when you think she's found a new home in fun blockbusters like Mamma Mia, she'll turn right around and do something so astonishing, so excruciatingly awesome, that it serves to refute any and all claims that she could ever lose "it." August: Osage County is the greatest manifestation of this trait, and even though it's painful and soul crushing, it's also an addicting movie that demands multiple viewings. In fact, it might just be demanding one right now...
Meryl Streep changed me. I am now the proud owner of my own chocolate-bar deep-frying station, and I have her to thank. Happy Birthday, Miss Streep. You've changed my life.
Advertisement

More from News

Verizon says the number will be retired for a full year instead of the usual 50 days
Nate Parker's 60 Minutes interview airs on Sunday, and the Birth of a Nation filmmaker said he doesn't feel guilty about the rape allegation that has ...
A man who once crawled under America Ferrera's skirt is now claiming that he's fighting for female body diversity. Really
You could spend all day critiquing the media for the lack of compelling content created by and starring women. But why not put the kind of female-centric...
Frances Bean Cobain has been ordered to dish out a pretty daunting sum of cash to estranged husband Isaiah Silva over the next four months. The 24-year-...
Update: E! News reports that Kim Kardashian has filed a complaint with French authorities against Vitalii Sediuk. The celebrity "prankster" tried to ...
One of Laguna Beach's original cast members gave birth to a baby girl in Newport Beach, CA, on Saturday. Morgan Smith, who starred on the first and second ...
No, She didn't sing, "The Stars Are Blind
Update: The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office charged the two male protesters that stormed the stage during Ryan Lochte's performance during Dancing With ...
Chrissy Teigen confirms that her life is just too too cute
The actor will not be attending a screening of the film Voyage of Time this evening. Though he narrates the documentary film, Pitt says he will not be ...
Two weeks ago, Nick Gordon was found responsible for the 2015 death of one-time girlfriend Bobbi Kristina Brown in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by her ...
Just when we thought we couldn't handle any more Hollywood romances ending, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber broke up. "Over the past few months we've ...
Viola Davis wants people to rethink what it means to be a survivor of sexual assault. In a speech benefitting the Rape Foundation, the How to Get Away ...