It’s hard to picture highly-acclaimed actress Meryl Streep as anything other than successful, but Streep says her acting career didn’t take off immediately, Pop Sugar is reporting. Streep had a revealing interview with Stephen Colbert on December 1 during Montclair Film Festival’s annual “An Evening with Stephen Colbert” fundraiser held at Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Streep said she could completely relate to Lady Gaga’s character in A Star is Born. Just like Gaga’s character struggled with being insecure about her looks in the music industry, Streep also felt like her appearance was holding her back in her career.
“There was no way I was gonna be a film actor, never… that wasn’t even an option,” Streep recalled. “My nose was too big… I’ve just seen A Star Is Born, and I so related to that.”
Streep went on to say that she wishes she valued herself and was more confident when she was younger and just starting out.
“I’ll come upon a movie, and I’m in it, and I’m really young and very beautiful, and I’ll think, I was so unhappy, I thought my nose was too big, I thought I was fat,” she said. “And I’ll think, ‘What was I thinking?’ Every woman in this room thinks about her weight, if only it were 10 pounds less. We are so judged by how we look… We inevitably allow ourselves to be the object of ‘What should I wear tonight? Is my hair clean?’ You think about these things. Men do not think about these things.”
According to Variety, Streep even remembered losing out on the role of Patsy Cline in the 1985 film Sweet Dreams to Jessica Lange and felt it was due to her looks. While Streep admits now that nobody but Lange “could possibly have done it,” not getting the part was really upsetting at the time. Now, Streep thinks losing out on the role might have been a good thing as it helped her explore her acting range. Unlike some people in the industry, Streep was never tied down to just playing an attractive woman.
“The greatest gift in my career was not being cast as bombshell early in my career — even though I was one — because I could be a character actor,” she explained.
While Gaga’s role in A Star is Born really resonated with her, she told Colbert that the movie, in general, was “brilliant.” Upon being questioned about whether she could ever take on Gaga’s part, however, Streep outright denied this and insisted that the role was meant for Gaga only. Receiving such high praise from one of the most revered actors in the business bodes well for the film come awards season!