She’s a household name and one of the most beloved actresses of all time but, in a candid new interview, Meryl Streep revealed she never wanted to pursue a Hollywood career during her younger years. “I didn’t want to be an actor,” The Devil Wears Prada star admitted to Stephen Colbert at the Montclair Film Presents An Evening With Stephen Colbert and Meryl Streep event in Newark, NJ on Saturday, Dec. 1. “I never had that dream that I must go on the stage.”
Now that she has one of the most impressive resumes in Hollywood, can you imagine if Meryl never blessed our screens with her talent? We certainly can’t! The 69-year-old explained that she didn’t consider acting a “viable career option” when she was younger because she “didn’t think it was serious.”
Meryl grew up in Bernardsville, NJ, a small town about 40 miles outside of NYC. “Nobody I knew in Bernardsville was going to be an actor,” she told Stephen.
It wasn’t until she gave acting a shot that she learned she could pave her way in La La Land. “I think doing something makes you want to do it really well,” Meryl said while explaining that something can get boring if you don’t attempt it at your highest potential. “That’s ultimately what I decided — I really do like this and maybe it’s stupid, but I think I’m going to try,” she added.
Though Meryl feels that she “sort of stumbled into” acting, she ultimately couldn’t have chosen a better or more fulfilling career for herself. “Maybe I’m not really an artist, I am a curious person, and I’m very interested in finding out more about people and there is no greater job than the one I have to do that,” Meryl confessed. “Deeply try to understand what makes somebody very different from you tick and what if feels like to be them.”
If Meryl never got into acting, then the directors of her latest film, Mary Poppins Returns, would’ve had to cast another actress to play new character Topsy in the 2018 Mary Poppins sequel. “It’s fun, the movie is just great,” Meryl told Stephen of appearing in the highly-anticipated film, which hits theaters on Dec. 19. “It’s like a little tiny gift to America at Christmas.”
Though she is thrilled about the new Mary Poppins flick, Meryl admitted that she doesn’t want to bring back any old characters that she has played in the past. “I never want to go back, I don’t even want to see them really,” the Mama Mia! star revealed. “I think everything was pretty much perfect already.”