Meryl Streep collected another well deserved accolade from the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Streep was praised by playwrites Tracy Letts and Tony Kushner. Here is what Letts had to say (quote from Hollywood Reporter):
“I’m very mistrustful of an actor who shows up knowing all of their lines, because that actor is not trusting the process,” said Letts, explaining that memorization is the easiest part of the job. “She was learning her lines organically, the way we’re supposed to. The reason I got mad is because sometimes, I feel when they’re discussing Meryl they imbue her with mystical qualities: She’s a magician, a witch, god-given. She is a good actress because she works really, really hard. She didn’t work really hard at the O’Neill and then stop just because she became a movie star.” While actresses are always saying that Streep is their role model, Letts added, “That’s not gender-specific — she’s my acting hero too.”
The Hollywood Reporter kindly provided Streep’s entire speech, as follows:
Well, I feel like I’m at the funeral, so I’m really happy! You usually don’t get to be there.
I remember that day, Joey, swimming out. Everything is so intense, thanks to George [C. White], this amazing place that you dreamed up.
I have so many things to say, but really, just, you know, you can’t at those moments when you’re nobody and just starting, and you have gigantic student loans thanks to Yale — I mean, thanks to Yale!
Tonight, three of my esteemed teachers are here — and I’m just blown away — from Yale: Alvin Epstein, Betsy Parrish, Carmen DeLavallade. I think of the things that you taught me pretty much two or three times a week — I really do, I told you tonight, I really mean it, I think about it all the time. And not everybody everything said there went in. Carmen taught me — there’s just nothing like great teachers.