If Meryl Streep wore white yesterday at the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, where she very excitedly collected her well-deserved Palme d’Or d’Honneur from a no less emotional Juliette Binoche, in the meeting this afternoon with the public in a packed Debussy room, The American actress has appeared completely in black. “I got a hangover. Yesterday I went to bed at 3 in the morning,” she said as an apology after receiving a standing ovation.

The film legend, who will turn 75 in June, felt overwhelmed by so much attention. “I lead a very quiet life. They don’t respect me at home, so all this is too much,” he confessed in his talk with the French journalist Didier Allouch before reviewing an emblematic career that began on stage in 1971 and in which three Oscars stand out, among numerous recognitions.

She had not set foot on the Croisette for 35 years since she won the best actress award here for her performance in A Cry in the Dark. From that time he recalled that they told him that he would need nine bodyguards “and I thought they were exaggerating because he had never had one, but it was all so crazy, with paparazzi who would put the camera in your face, not like now, when he would have needed 12. He had scared because he wasn’t a rock star.”

With Kramer vs. Kramer, Robert Benton’s film about the harsh divorce of a couple with a young son in which she won her first golden statuette as a supporting actress, she has ensured that the novel was more focused on the father’s dilemma and not so much about the point of view of the woman, who leaves her husband and is away from home for 18 months. Streep managed to get her character rewritten to make her more human. “Dustin Hoffman, Robert Benton and I wrote a version of the reasons why she would have left her house and I won,” she commented on a film that “was made at the right time.”

Born in New Jersey in 1949, a young Streep first sang in Michel Cimino’s The Hunter. She has then done it in other films such as Mamma Mia!, Into the Woods or Florence Foster Jenkins. “I love to sing. When I was little I took opera lessons, but I like rock and roll more.”

From Out of Africa (1985), directed by Sydney Pollack and co-starring Robert Redford, he recalled a funny anecdote about his co-star in the famous scene in which he washes her hair. “At first he did it very softly – and he got up to make the gesture to Allouch – so he needed a coach and when we were on the fifth take, I fell in love. “I didn’t want it to end.” And he added: “It is a sex scene in a way, because it is very intimate. “We have seen so many scenes of people fucking, but we don’t see that loving touch, that affection.”

Streep, who has always declared herself a feminist and has been a champion of the Time’s up movement, has mentioned that when she started in the industry, everything was very different from now. “Opportunities for women have changed. There are many interesting roles and many women have their own production company. I had a production company: making babies! I didn’t want to receive calls after seven at night, so I didn’t dedicate myself to that,” admitted the actress, mother of four children and grandmother of five grandchildren, who declared: “I’m very old and I’ve worked with almost everyone.” The directors”.

He called Clint Eastwood, director and actor of The Bridges of Madison, “fantastic” and acknowledged that they filmed in only five weeks and that he never raised his voice, “well, just once.” Of Spielberg, who directed her in The Pentagon Files, he has pointed out that he is “a genius” and that he has everything under control in his head. Mike Nichols, with whom he collaborated on Silkwood, No More Cake and Postcards from the Edge “made jokes on set and was a great director.” Precisely from Postcards from the edge, he has spoken about his relationship with Carrie Fisher, whom he played in the autobiographical film. “I miss her. “We had a great friendship.” And he didn’t want to talk much about the difficult choice scene in Sophie’s Choice, “it was very sad. “I don’t like to remember her.”

Streep has also admitted that she often got nervous before her first day of shooting a movie. “I used to tell my husband – Don Gummer, from whom she separated in 2023 after 45 years of marriage – the night before: ‘I don’t know how to do this’; the considerable number of roles she has played with different accents (“If I had played women from New Jersey all my life, I wouldn’t be in this room”) and that she has always sought to play “people who aren’t like me” in stories that are credible and with directors who convey confidence, “if I don’t go home.”

Participating in films that raise a lot of money has not been his objective: “I have never looked for a box office success.” She has insisted that producers have never identified with characters played by women. “Before there were women in positions of power it was very difficult for men to see themselves in a female protagonist. “They didn’t feel it.” And she has shared that the first time a man approached her and said, “I know how you feel,” was with ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, where he played a powerful director of a fashion magazine. Streep has always been clear that family comes first, “it takes up a lot of my time” and that today “I depend on the script that arrives at the door, I don’t know if it’s going to be funny or serious and I like that, I like it.” that kind of serendipity.”