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18.05.2015 Meryl Streep finds her inner hag in Into the Woods after 20 years of saying no to witches

into-the-woods.jpg
UNTIL her starring role in the Disney musical, Streep had refused to play the part of a witch in protest at the lack of roles being offered to older women.
MERYL STREEP resisted taking the role of a witch for more than 20 years.
As soon as the Oscar-winning actress turned 40, she started being offered the parts of scary old villains.

Appalled at the lack of decent roles for women of her age, she refused every one of them. Until now.

Streep, now 65, finally found her inner hag when she was offered the lead in this year’s smash hit Disney musical Into the Woods. She felt it had a story special enough to tempt her to the cauldron.

Directed by Rob Marshall, the man behind the big-screen adaptation of Chicago, Into the Woods is a fun mix-up of fairytale characters and legends, with Streep’s leading lady witch entrancing a stellar cast including Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, Johnny Deppand James Corden.

She said: “When I turned 40, I was offered three witches in one year and I realised this was the way my career was going to go: they don’t know what to do with women past a certain age.

“So I turned them down and I have said no to playing witches ever since. However, I changed my mind when this role came along because this witch is quite different. First of all, she transforms.

“Her whole reason for being is to reverse a curse that has been placed on her. She sets in motion all sorts of devices and causes a dramatic upheaval in everybody’s lives.

“I believe fairytales have evolved as cautionary tales. They were told to scare children away from the dangers they would encounter and to encourage young women to marry rich men.

“Everybody is encouraged to find a prince and live happily ever after and sometimes it doesn’t work that way.

“This is where the Into the Woods fairytale becomes reality and it gets exciting, random, weird and almost like real life. For an actor, they are great fun.”

Meryl Streep attends the gala screening of "Into The Woods" at The Curzon Mayfair in London.
 

Renowned for her serious screen work in films such as Sophie’s Choice and The Iron Lady, Streep has enjoyed a successful sideline in musical and light entertainment with comedies such as Postcards from the Edge and the smash hit musical Mamma Mia.

She said: “I really love the music from Into the Woods. I actually love it more every time I listen to it. When you first encounter the music, it’s arresting but on the second and third listen, it has more and more to give you.

“And when you’re in a musical they pump the music that we’ve recorded in a studio beforehand through the whole set. I remember coming out of the theatre on Broadway and singing No One is Alone to myself – that song just pierces you when you hear it. The other songs are equally as wonderful.”

Streep jumped at the chance to bring the original Stephen Sondheim stage show to the screen.

She said: “There is no one like Stephen Sondheim. There is no one who writes singable, character-driven music that tells a story. The wit, the intelligence and the daring in his music is unparalleled, so I was really happy to have the chance to work on it.

“Rob has a percussive sense of the movement of the piece, like a conductor. He has the rhythm of it in his body.

“He is a former dancer, so I think it is really important for him to keep the incipient heartbeat of the piece beating and pushing forward.

“He is extremely gentle as a man and has a soft touch, never over-powering, no big ego … it is all about the work and making it happen.

“This is a musical with a brain.”

20.06.2015 16:52:38
kabby15
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