Well that’s one way to reel yourself another Oscar nomination. Meryl Streep is no stranger to going the extra mile for her characters, and she recently revealed that she almost seriously injured herself while on the set of Mary Poppins Returns.
The 69-year-old, who plays Topsy, Mary Poppins’ (played by Emily Blunt) cousin, told PEOPLE that while performing a musical number on set she had quite the spill. Why? Simply because she was showing off for the kid actors on the set. “We were in the middle of my big musical number, and I was showing off,” Meryl tells the outlet as part of their Practically Perfect Guide to Mary Poppins special edition. “I told them, the first thing they teach you in drama school is how to fall down. So I marched across the room and pretended to trip and fell down.” And any slip at all once you’re up there in age is bound to have it’s consequences. “I did it so hard on both of my knees I practically broke them!” Meryl says. “I thought, ‘Don’t be such a jerk, you’re not 11 years old anymore.’”
Meryl was trying to go all out in order to get some “wows” from young actors Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, and Joel Dawson, who Meryl says are “just beyond—you would not believe how great they are.” And even though Meryl almost blew out her knees and found herself having to ice them, she still is completely alright with what she did. “I got a big laugh from the kids,” she says. “So it was worth it.”
Meryl probably prefers doing this over what she originally planned to do with her life: become a lawyer. In fact, Meryl once said that she had no intention of becoming an actor, but that’s just the way things occurred. “I’m a curious person, and I’m very interested in finding out more about people,” Meryl said. “There is no greater job than the one I have to do that. But I stumbled into this!” As for her knees, they’re fine and you can see them (and her) in Mary Poppins Returns out right now. Just make sure you don’t pop a knee while rushing to go see it.