She gave an excoriating, anti-Trump speech at the start of 2017, leading to a personal Twitter attack from the president himself and prompting women around the world to proudly carry signs emblazoned with her name. But Meryl Streep is not interested in leading the so-called Resistance.
“It’s affected my life because I don’t really — I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to be that,” Streep said when asked what it’s like being more of a political figure than she has ever been in her career. “I’m a really private person, and like a lot of people in show business, I’m actually shy so it’s hard for me to do all this stuff.”
Streep made the comments at a panel moderated by BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith on Tuesday morning in New York City, where she was joined by The Post director Steven Spielberg and costar Tom Hanks.
“This stuff” likely refers to moments such as Streep’s January Golden Globes speech where she lambasted Trump for mocking a disabled reporter.
“Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose,” she said, making the then-president-elect so riled up he began tweeting about how “over-rated” Streep was.
Just a few weeks later, women carried signs at the Women’s March reading “What Meryl Said” and “Meryl Streep For President.”
Streep, Hanks, and Spielberg acknowledged that The Post, with its themes of press freedom and standing up to government power, had been rushed into production due to the current political environment.
“I’ve lived through all these eras and it doesn’t feel like an alien landscape,” Streep said of the current climate, “but it does feel like stepping back in time and how quickly we forget what the world was like 40 years ago.”
Streep also said she thinks that if more women were in positions of power in Hollywood, then the industry would not have tolerated or enabled the behavior of influential alleged predators like Harvey Weinstein.
And while Streep may be keen to pull back from politics, she was all too ready to push her costar to run for office.
“Tom [Hanks], on the other hand, should be president,” she said to applause. “I mean really, this guy, there really is no one who knows more about history, statesmanship. No, seriously, it’s true!”
Hanks could only blush, take off his glasses, and rub his face in embarrassment.