Meryl Streep: The legend. The movies. The legacy

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Aishwarya Srinivasan
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Meryl Streep


There’s no debate on the fact that Meryl Streep is a true icon of this generation and an actor par excellence! In honor of the day she was born, here’s a round up of all her phenomenal performances till date!

Meryl Streep is the only actress in history to have the most Oscar nominations ever! With 21 nominations and 3 wins, she has built a legacy that people can only dream of. But she was always born to be in front of the camera. She plays her characters with conviction and makes every movie she has ever starred in, worth the watch. Since day one of her career, she has always aced at playing strong independent female leads that add something meaningful or rather carry the whole film on her shoulders, rather than just being there just for her looks or becoming a mere caricature. Her career spans over 46 years and she has worked with some remarkable directors like Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen and Greta Gerwig. She is considered film royalty in modern day Hollywood and rightfully so given the amount of iconic characters she has influenced pop culture with.

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Here’s a list of some of her best performances that’ll remain etched in our hearts forever!

Miranda Priestly - Devil Wear Prada

One of her most popular roles ever, from recreating her dialogues to recreating her outfits from the movie, she truly shined as the devil of an antagonist in the film. She played Miranda Priestly, a demanding editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine and was the absolute highlight of the film.

Donna Sheridan - Mamma Mia

Donna was a free spirited single mom who raised a beautiful daughter while also building her hotel business in Greece! She loved her gal pals and the three shaking a leg to Dancing Queen will always remind you of your best time with your girlfriends!

Julia Child - Julie and Julia

Julie and Julia is based on a true story on the life of celebrity chef Julia Child, and Meryl Streep plays that titular role in the film. It is about her rise to fame and Meryl gives a fantastic performance of the charming chef and has a vivacious screen presence throughout the film.

Joanna Kramer - Kramer Vs Kramer 

Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep share screen space as the main leads and this emotional drama about a couple who has an ugly custody battle over their child brings out harsh truths the two have to face.

Sophie - Sophie’s Choice

Sophie’s Choice is the movie that made her a star and put her on the map. There is truly no other movie better than Sophie’s Choice in her filmography. The film is a post-war drama where she plays a woman who has to choose between saving her son or her daughter. The role earned her an Oscar for best actress and she gave it her all in playing a woman who has to make an unthinkable decision.

Katherine Graham - The Post

Meryl Streep plays Katherine Graham, the first woman publisher of the highly acclaimed Washington Post in the movie The Post. The film earned the love of the audience and the critics because of Meryl’s spectacular performance in the film and also gave her an Oscar nomination for it.

Margaret Thatcher - The Iron Lady

Apart from the fact that she gave a phenomenal performance in the film, her physical transformation for the role was also unbelievable. Prosthetics and paint were used, especially on the bridge of her nose to make her look exactly like the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She earned her third Academy Award for this film!

Sister Aloysius - Doubt

Meryl plays a nun who observes the church’s father’s wrong doings with a young black student and reports it to the authorities. The film deals with the issue of race and religion in the US.

Violet Weston - August: Osage County

Meryl Streep stands out in this portrayal of a dysfunctional family and a mother-daughter who are constantly at odds with each other. The film earned both Meryl and Julia Roberts a number of accolades for their performances.

Mary Louise Wright - Big Little Lies

She joined the cast in the second season of the show, after the series had already gained so much recognition. She played Perry Wright’s mom and has a tough time grasping the fact her son was abusing his wife. Her character and Nicole Kidman’s character Celeste get into a battle of truth in the court with her kids also having to see the consequences of it. Meryl Streep as an antagonist always hits differently as she is really good at bringing out that chilling anger out on-screen. 

Happiest Birthday to the living legend and the master of playing versatile roles, we could never get tired of watching you on-screen!

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