"America doesn't reward people of my age, either in day-to-day life or for their performances."
"Our culture is pretty youth-obsessed, especially people that pass 40. I was not offered any female adventurers, or love interests, or heroes or demons. I was offered witches because I was ‘old’ at 40." Meryl StreepMeryl Streep, three-time Oscar winner, 18 times nominated for the Academy Award, in other words, the most nominated actress, number 73 on the Forbes list of the world's highest-paid celebrities in 2013, number 92 in 2014 (via) and according to Forbes one of the highest paid actresses (via) experienced a turn in her career as soon as she turned 40: She was offered three witch parts within one year ... and turned them all down (via).
On why she takes issue with witch depiction in pop culture:
“I just have had a political sort of reaction against the concept of old women being demonized and age being this horrifying, scary thing. I just didn’t like that. I didn’t like it when I was a little girl. I don’t like it now."On why male movie decisonmakers have defaulted to witch characters:
"Once women passed childbearing age they could only be seen as grotesque on some level."On how a witch role seemed different at 65 than at 40:
"Before that, I had been playing interesting parts. I just thought that it was emblematic of what Hollywood thought of women who pass a certain age: that now they are old crones. It made me mad, so I didn't want to do that or play into it. Now, it's age-appropriate. I am an old crone, I'm 65 and I'm thrilled I get the chance to play such a … big, challenging musical part."On feeling comfortable in a witch role because Hollywood has improved:
"Things have changed since. That was 25 years ago. Now there’s so much more interesting stuff available.”
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photograph of Meryl Streep on the subway in August 1981 via