Secrets were revealed as Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep were interviewed on the BBC’s The Graham Norton Show and asked what they were originally named at birth.
Kicking off the hilarity, Meryl Streep proceeded to give an amusing interview to Graham Norton, saying that her name is actually Mary, just like her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother before her, and that she named her first daughter Mary. It’s a family name, apparently, but her father was never happy with it and called her Meryl.
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She went on to say that her mother’s best friend was Louise Buckman, so she was also named after her, but her father insisted carrying on calling her Meryl, which Streep hated.
Streep went on to tell Graham Norton what she would have liked to have been named. Meryl said she would have preferred to be named Patty or Kathy or Debbie, to which Norton replied that she would have been a different person if she’d been named Patty and Streep continued that she was named Meryl, and that she wore glasses.
Streep then went on to say that her surname should have been Street, asking “Why didn’t they just put a ‘T’ on the end instead of a ‘P.'”
Norton went on to interview Nicole Kidman, saying that she had an adorable name when she was little, sort of a pet name, to which Kidman looked a tad confused.
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He then said what he thought was her pet name – Hokulani, to which Nicole Kidman replied that it was her Hawaiian name, not a pet name, as she was born in Hawaii. When Norton asked if everyone born in Hawaii had a Hawaiian name, Nicole replied saying no, but she sure did. Explaining the meaning of her Hawaiian name, Kidman said it means “heavenly star.”
It turns out she actually got the name from the Honolulu Zoo, where a baby elephant was born at the same time as Nicole Kidman and was given the name “Hokulani,” so in effect she was named after that elephant.
Norton then goes on to say that staff on the show Googled the name “Hokulani” and that they actually found a photo, which he then showed to Kidman. This was obviously a moving experience, as Nicole immediately said “ahhhhh.” However, it turned out to not be the pleasant story she was expecting to hear.
At first, Nicole asked Norton if she was going to actually see Hokulani, to which he replied, “wouldn’t it be amazing if we had Hokulani out the back,” but went on to say they did email the Honolulu Zoo to ask how the elephant was doing these days, because, you know, “elephants live.”
Apparently a lady named Barbara found the time to email back and let Norton know the latest news about Hokulani. Nicole Kidman’s jaw dropped on hearing about the emails and she leaned forward to eagerly listen as Norton begins reading it, starting with the rather obvious word “Aloha,” to which Meryl Streep instantly corrects his pronunciation.
He then continued reading out the email, the content of which can be seen below, saying the elephant sadly died in 1970 after being pushed into the moat by another young elephant, probably jealous of the mothering she was receiving. Norton went on to read from the email, “I wish there was a more warm and fuzzy angle to this story. Good luck with your interview!” Good luck indeed.
Naturally, poor Nicole Kidman AKA “Hokulani” was not happy to hear the news of her namesake’s passing. Watch the interview between Graham Norton and Meryl Streep AKA “Mary” and Nicole Kidman AKA “Hokulani” in the video below.
[Photos: Nicole Kidman by Frederick M. Brown / Meryl Streep by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images Entertainment]