Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A portrait of a woman, an era, and a profession: the first thoroughly researched biography of Meryl Streep—the “Iron Lady” of acting, nominated for nineteen Oscars and winner of three—that explores her beginnings as a young woman of the 1970s grappling with love, feminism, and her astonishing talent.
In 1975 Meryl Streep, a promising young graduate of the Yale School of Drama, was finding her place in the New York theater scene. Burning with talent and ambition, she was like dozens of aspiring actors of the time—a twenty-something beauty who rode her bike everywhere, kept a diary, napped before performances, and stayed out late “talking about acting with actors in actors’ bars.” Yet Meryl stood apart from her peers. In her first season in New York, she won attention-getting parts in back-to-back Broadway plays, a Tony Award nomination, and two roles in Shakespeare in the Park productions. Even then, people said, “Her. Again.”
Her Again is an intimate look at the artistic coming-of-age of the greatest actress of her generation, from the homecoming float at her suburban New Jersey high school, through her early days on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama during its golden years, to her star-making roles in The Deer Hunter, Manhattan, and Kramer vs. Kramer. New Yorker contributor Michael Schulman brings into focus Meryl’s heady rise to stardom on the New York stage; her passionate, tragically short-lived love affair with fellow actor John Cazale; her marriage to sculptor Don Gummer; and her evolution as a young woman of the 1970s wrestling with changing ideas of feminism, marriage, love, and sacrifice.
Featuring eight pages of black-and-white photos, this captivating story of the making of one of the most revered artistic careers of our time reveals a gifted young woman coming into her extraordinary talents at a time of immense transformation, offering a rare glimpse into the life of the actress long before she became an icon.
Gray, “A Mother Finds Herself.” 19“Empathy . . . is at the heart”: Commencement address delivered by Meryl Streep at Barnard College, May 17, 2010. 19“tricky negotiation”: Ibid. 19“I worked harder on this characterization”: Ibid. 19“Seventeen magazine knockout”: Gray, “A Mother Finds Herself.” 20“We felt like we were in a little shell”: Debbie Bozack’s quotations are from an author interview, Apr. 30, 2014. 21“Just remember Biology”: Streep gave her signed 1965 Bernardian yearbook to
Israel Horovitz in Tim Lewis, “Icon: John Cazale,” British GQ, Jan., 2010, as well as to the author by another of Cazale’s friends. 190–91“negotiate the stairs”: Epstein, Joe Papp: An American Life, 4. 191“John Cazale happens once in a lifetime”: Israel Horovitz, “A Eulogy: John Cazale (1936–1978),” Village Voice, March 27, 1978. Used by permission of Israel Horovitz. 191“emotionally blitzed”: Gray, “A Mother Finds Herself.” 191she drew sketches: Epstein, Joe Papp: An American Life, 4.
1979. 249“‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ is a Manhattan movie”: Vincent Canby, “Screen: ‘Kramer vs. Kramer,’” New York Times, Dec. 19, 1979. 249the U.S. gross: Box Office Mojo. 249“difficult to escape”: Gary Arnold, “‘Kramer vs. Kramer’: The Family Divided,” Washington Post, Dec. 19, 1979. 250“I keep thinking of Joanna”: Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, “‘Kramer vs. Kramer’: Madonna, Child, and Mensch,” Ms., Jan., 1980. 250dungarees on MacDougal Street: MG. 250Hawaiian jacket: Mel Gussow, “The Rising Star
but also I want to thank—because I really understand I’ll never be up here again.” (With that, she gives an almost imperceptible side-glance that says, Well, we’ll see . . .) “I really want to thank all my colleagues, all my friends. I look out here and I see my life before my eyes: my old friends, my new friends.” Her voice softening, she goes for the big finish: “Really, this is such a great honor, but the thing that counts the most with me is the friendships and the love and the sheer joy we
was on duty, she would give her friends double dips. In class, Meryl was attentive when it suited her. She had a knack for languages—the accents, at least. When she didn’t care for the teacher, she got C’s. She dreaded the geometry teacher, whom the kids called Fang. Even worse was biology. “Just remember Biology and the Biology exam and you’ll never sleep again,” one boy wrote in her sophomore yearbook. “I don’t know what you’d do if I didn’t tell you all the answers,” wrote another. As the