Meryl Streep’s Oscar Lost in a Bathroom, Fell for Redford

Meryl Streep captured the hearts of everyone during a talk in Cannes where she humorously shared stories about losing her first Oscar in a bathroom, being a cheerleader, and falling in love with Robert Redford after their iconic hair-washing scene in ‘Out of Africa’.

Tired from the party following Monday’s honor of receiving the honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival – “I went to bed at 3 am and I’m hungover” – the actress exuded wit, expressiveness, and humility as she reviewed her career to a packed room.

She felt more emotional than expected on Tuesday night when receiving the Palme, amused by the audience’s reaction. She humorously mentioned, “I lead a very quiet life at home where no respect is given.”

The conversation started off relaxed with French journalist Didier Allouch, during which she unspooled her career and also discussed the evolution of women’s roles in cinema, how the initiative to identify abuses spans across all sectors and not just Hollywood, and that producers have never really identified with female characters.

“Before there were women in positions of power, it was very challenging for men to see themselves in a female protagonist (…) And it wasn’t just about the money, they just didn’t feel it,” Streep explained. She recalled the first time a man approached her saying, “I know how you feel”, was with ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. She, as a woman, has never found it difficult to identify with her male counterparts’ roles, like with John Savage or Robert de Niro in ‘The Deer Hunter’ (1978).

During the talk about ‘The Deer Hunter’, directed by Michael Cimino, her voice broke recalling the “wonderful” John Cazale, her partner at the time who passed away shortly after the film was completed. This moment added an emotional depth amidst the anecdotes she shared.

Laughing, she recounted how she lost her first Oscar for ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ (1979) in a bathroom. She depicted the amusing incident of lifting her long dress, during which the confusion led to the statuette presumably being taken by the next person who entered.

Reflecting on the moment she collected that first Oscar – later to be joined by two more – she can only recall the fear she felt, exclaiming, “I’m not a rock star!” She emphasized that her life is chiefly about her five children and five grandchildren.

From the set of ‘Out of Africa’ (1985), one of the few love stories she has filmed in her extensive career, she brightly remembered a scene that remains iconic to viewers. The first attempt at the scene where Redford had to wash her hair was quite bland, lacking passion, Streep remarked. “But Redford learned, and it was wonderful. By take five, I was so in love…” she shared about the scene’s sexy and intimate nature, unusual for cinema. “We see a lot of people making love in movies but not a scene with that love and tenderness. I didn’t want it to end,” she stated.

She spoke fondly of Clint Eastwood, “a great author” who directed her in ‘The Bridges of Madison County’, a film that was shot in just five weeks with Eastwood’s unique method of recording rehearsals and then using those takes for the final cut. She labeled Steven Spielberg a “genius” and remarked how a person’s or character’s attire defines them.

Discussing her brother Harry, who served in the Vietnam War, her children and grandchildren, and even her husband, Don Gummer, from whom she separated a few years ago, Streep held her family in high regard. For her, family comes first, and cinema second, so accepting a role depends on whether the story moves her but, more importantly, whether she can balance it with her everyday life. “I always depend on the script that comes through the door; I don’t know if it’s going to be fun or serious, and I like that, I like that kind of serendipity,” she added, emphasizing, “my family life takes up a lot of time.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top