Meryl Streep To Play Opera Legend Maria Callas
Looks like Meryl Streep may have an Emmy vehicle on her hands. Aside from starring in the highly anticipated blockbuster The Giver, Streep will step into the role of opera singer Maria Callas for an upcoming biopic.
While an opera singer may be a stretch beyond the imaginable for Meryl Streep, the actress has transformed into quite iconic people over the years, including Margaret Thatcher, Anna Wintour, and Julia Child — just to name a few. Now it’s being reported that she will play opera legend Maria Callas in the film adaptation of Terrence McNally’s play Master Class.
According to Page Six, Master Class will take Meryl Streep out of Oscars sights and into the Emmys, as the film will premiere on HBO. Mike Nichols, a director that Streep has worked with in the past, will direct the Tony-winning play-turned-film. The play is based on Callas and her time teaching students at Juilliard in 1971.
According to the report, sources say that filming is expected to begin in January for Streep. Although Meryl’s role in The Giver is wrapped, don’t think for a second that the thespian is sitting still. Streep just wrapped on the musical film Into The Woods, and has another musical project yet to film. The latter is director Jonathan Demme and screenwriter Diablo Cody’s project Ricky and the Flash, which sees Meryl Streep as a rock star whose career is fading and decides to reconnect with her estranged children.
A source told Page Six about the role: “Meryl is learning the tricks of the guitar trade from none other than legendary Neil Young for that movie.”
Additionally Meryl Streep’s real life daughter and actress Mamie Gummer is currently in negotiations to join her mother for the rock film. If all goes through this will be the first time she has acted with her mother since 1986’s Heartburn.
As for Streep’s role as Maria Callas, she will have a lot to take from in terms of research. There are many actresses who have stepped into the role in the play version. In the 1995 Broadway production Zoe Caldwell, Patti LuPone and Tyne Daly are just some of the people who played Maria Callas.
Streep must feel safe with director Mike Nichols as she’s worked with him on Silkwood, Heartburn, Postcards From the Edge, and Angels in America.
In recent years big names like Meryl have found a place on HBO in award winning films. Michael Douglas collected a Golden Globe for his portrayal as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra. Additionally Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomar and Julia Roberts received nominations for Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart.
[Image via The Weinstein Co.]