Meryl Streep Quotes On Acting, Life, & Family

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Born Mary Louise Streep, Meryl Streep has been called “the greatest living actress,” and “the best actress of her generation.” Her fans applaud her ability to convey real emotion on camera, and producers value the way she can master any accent she’s assigned. She’s been in big hits like Sophie’s Choice, and The Iron Lady, and her almost 50-year-long career (and counting) is marked by a record 21 Academy Award nominations and 32 Golden Globe nominations. The most famous Meryl Streep quotes span decades and follows this talented actress through an incredible career.

A cheerleader, homecoming queen, and perfectionist, young Meryl Streep started acting while she was a student at Vassar. From there, she enrolled in the Yale School of Drama and awed audiences in the movie Julia, which was her first film role in 1977.

While her talent was undeniable even in those early years, Streep wasn’t always a producer’s first choice. She was sometimes told she wasn’t pretty enough for leading female roles and faced her fair share of rejection. Despite the criticism and struggle, Streep never lost her determination. She continued auditioning and accepting roles until no one could deny that she was exceptional.

Actress Meryl Streep photographed in January 1978. (Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)

Vanity Fair once wrote, “It’s hard to imagine that there was a time before Meryl Streep was the greatest-living actress.” Her many performances have been described as “eternal” and “iconic.” And even with her worldwide fame, Meryl Streep quotes reveal that she enjoys a relatively normal personal life alongside her sculptor husband, four children, and grandchild.

Check out these Meryl Streep quotes to learn more about this incredible actress.

  1. “All an actor has is their blind faith that they are who they say they are today, in any scene.”
  2. “I think the most liberating thing I did early on was to free myself from any concern with my looks as they pertained to my work.”
  3. “It is well that the earth is round that we do not see too far ahead.”
  4. “The reason I chose the movies that I did was based on where they were being filmed.”
  5. “I was offered, within one year, three different witch roles. It was almost like the world was saying – or the studios were saying – ‘We don’t know what to do with you.'”
  6. “Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.”
  7. “The interesting thing about being a mother is that everyone wants pets, but no one but me cleans the kitty litter.”
  8. “Leave me to the thing I love. I love acting. But being called ‘the greatest living actress’ – a designation, not even my mother would sanction – is the opposite of good or valuable or useful. It is a curse for a working actor.”
  9. “Obsession is an attractive thing. People who are really, really interested and good at one thing and smart are attractive if they’re men.”
  10. “You just have to keep on doing what you do. It’s the lesson I get from my husband; he just says, Keep going. Start by starting.”
  11. “Integrate what you believe in every single area of your life. Take your heart to work and ask the most and best of everybody else, too.”
  12. “Instant gratification is not soon enough.”Meryl Streep quotes
  13. “Don’t give up or give in in the face of patronizing ridicule, amused disdain, or being ignored.”
  14. “Don’t waste so much time thinking about how much you weigh. There is no more mind-numbing, boring, idiotic, self-destructive diversion from the fun of living.”
  15. “I’m a pain in the ass to all of the costume designers with whom I work because I have very strong feelings about the subject.”
  16. “People say, ‘When you have children, everything changes.’ But maybe things are awakened that were already there.”
  17. “I want to feel my life while I’m in it.”
  18. “The more you are in this business, the more humbled by it you become.”
  19. “I’m thrilled when I get nominated. I don’t count how many and I don’t remember how many I’ve had. I just know it’s a lot.”
  20. “Expensive clothes are a waste of money.”
  21. “I have four to five months, tops, per year to give to my acting work.”
  22. “I believe in imagination. I did Kramer vs. Kramer before I had children. But the mother I would be was already inside me.”
  23. “I think I’m not a natural performer; I think I’m an actor.”Meryl Streep quotes
  24. “All an actor has is their blind faith that they are who they say they are today, in any scene.”
  25. “You can’t get spoiled if you do your own ironing.”
  26. “I didn’t have any confidence in my beauty when I was young. I felt like a character actress, and I still do.”
  27. “My feeling about fears is, if you voice your fears, they may come true. I’m superstitious enough to believe that.”
  28. “Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.”
  29. “I’m curious about other people. That’s the essence of my acting. I’m interested in what it would be like to be you.”
  30. “What does it take to be the first female anything? It takes grit, and it takes grace.”
  31. “My family really does come first. It always did and always will.”Meryl Streep quotes
  32. “Grace, respect, reserve, and empathetic listening are qualities sorely missing from the public discourse now.”
  33. “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.”
  34. “My job is usually to express emotion as freely as possible.”
  35. “Service is the only thing that’s important about love. Everybody is worried about ‘losing yourself’ – all this narcissism. Duty. We can’t stand that idea now either… But duty might be a suit of armor you put on to fight for your love.”
  36. “Show business has been really, really good to me because I can work and take a lot of time off, and I’m an extremely undisciplined person.”
  37. “There’s no road map on how to raise a family: it’s always an enormous negotiation.”
  38. “I get a trickling few scripts that I’m lucky enough that some of them are great. I don’t get loads of scripts.”
  39. “You win an Oscar, it can double the audience that you had before.”
  40. “Enough people write about me every day without even interviewing me.”
  41. “How you first meet the public is how the industry sees you. You can’t argue with them. That’s their perception.”
  42. “I let the actions of my life stand for what I am as a human being. Contend with that, not the words.”

Meryl Streep quotes

We hope you enjoyed this collection of Meryl Streep quotes from a true living legend and one of the most talented actresses of our time. If you know someone else who is a Meryl Streep fan, don’t forget to share!

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