A movie with Meryl Streep in it is bound to go to the Oscars. It just seems like a natural trajectory at this point. For this and so much more, Streep is always the top choice no matter the film, but that wasn’t always the case.
While on The Graham Norton Show, the Into The Woods actress admitted that she missed out on the 1976 film King Kong remake because producer Dino DeLaurentiis said she was “too ugly” to be in the film.
The role came up because DeLaurentiis’ son saw Streep in a play and convinced her to audition. When she showed up, Meryl said she was met with two Italian words, “che brutta,” which translates to “Why do you bring me this ugly thing?”
The most horrible part of it all? Aside from the fact that Meryl was looked at as a piece of meat, is that she understood the producer because she spoke Italian. The moment, which she called “sobering” ended quickly when the young actress apologized for not being pretty enough and left.
Fortunately, although Streep admits it was a rough time, it didn’t keep her down, and as an audience we have been able to enjoy her in all stages of life. Actress Jessica Lange, who was unknown back then, went on to get the role.
Instead, Streep moved on to the 1977 film Julia, and later on The Deer Hunter, Manhattan, and Kramer vs. Kramer.
It’s only surprising that Meryl was put on a pedestal because she’s Meryl, but back then she didn’t have her clout or recognition. Decades later and this treatment still exists for actresses, especially young actresses who are vying for roles that aren’t the nagging girlfriend or the shrew wife.
Recently, Streep found herself in a conversation about aging in Hollywood, when Russell Crowe decided to use her as an example of an actress who hasn’t whined about there not being enough roles for women.
At the time, Crowe said the following.
“Meryl Streep will give you 10,000 examples and arguments as to why that’s bulls**t, so will Helen Mirren, or whoever it happens to be.”
Streep addressed the comment and backed the actor up.
“I agree with him. It’s good to live in the place where you are.”
Check out the clip of Meryl Streep telling her story on The Graham Norton Show below.