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“I thought each movie would be my last”: Meryl Streep Felt Her Career Would End After She Hit 40, Went On to Win 13 Oscar Nominations Later

"I thought each movie would be my last": Meryl Streep Felt Her Career Would End After She Hit 40, Went On to Win 13 Oscar Nominations Later

It’s true that aging is just another word for living. Everyone who is lucky enough to survive through life will age. But what happens when this natural biological process starts affecting your career? Often described as the best actress of this generation, Hollywood actor Meryl Streep would soon be turning 74 in June 2023. Recipient of numerous accolades throughout the years, Streep still actively participates in movies and other forms of acting-related gigs. However, her journey to date has not been an easy one.

Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep

Interestingly enough, Streep had almost decided to quit acting on several occasions throughout her career. And the most prominent occasion was when she was entering the fourth decade of her life.

READ MORE: Jennifer Lawrence Unintentionally Hurt Meryl Streep’s Feelings Over Her Age: “That’s right, just tell the old goat where to go”

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Meryl Streep feared her career would end once she hit 40

In one of her interviews, Meryl Streep revealed that she doubted her career would end as soon as she reached the milestone of 40. Explaining how that was the norm back in the day, Streep stated,

“I remember as I was hovering around [age] 40, I thought each movie would be my last, really. And all the evidence of other 40-year-old women at that time — this is 27 years ago — would leave you to believe it was over.”

Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman in Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)
Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman in Kramer

Furthermore, in another media interaction, Streep shared that as soon as she turned 40, she was offered the role of a witch in three different contexts. She said,

“I remember when I turned 40, I was offered, within one year, three different witch roles. To play three different witches in three different contexts. It was almost like the world was saying or the studios were saying, ‘We don’t know what to do with you.'”

However, none of her fears came true. Owing to her exceptional acting talent, Streep went on to receive around 13 Oscar nominations since 1989 – the year she turned 40.

READ MORE: Ridley Scott Rejected Meryl Streep Twice for Two Iconic Feminist Roles Only to be Proved Wrong by Her With Staggering 3 Oscar Wins

When Streep decided to quit acting after her very first role

Well, the fear of turning 40 was not the only hiccup in The Iron Lady actor’s career. In fact, when Meryl Streep saw herself first time on the screen, she was horrified and decided to quit show business. She revealed,

“When I saw myself on screen for the first time, I was horrified. I had a bad wig, and they took the words from a scene I shot with Jane and put them in my mouth in a different scene. I thought I’d made a terrible mistake, no more movies. I hate this business.”

Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep in Out Of Africa

Furthermore, in another conversation, Streep shared that she was heavily influenced by the environmental concerns affecting the globe. Explaining how she felt like she was going to be in debt if she does not give back anything as service, Streep admitted that she thought of quitting acting to do something that was more meaningful and measurable.

READ MORE: “I didn’t know what to do”: After Assaulting Meryl Streep On-Set, Dustin Hoffman Forced 16-Year-Old to Give Him a Massage After Flashing Her

But thank God that she didn’t give up on show business. Because today, it’s almost impossible to imagine Hollywood without her groundbreaking roles and performances. May it be her role in the 2000s like the Devil Wears Prada, Mamma Mia! or Julie and Julia that helped her reclaim stardom. Or her Academy Award Winning performance as the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady – the acting world will forever be grateful for her invaluable contributions.

Source: Showbiz Cheatsheet

Written by Devyani Sharma

With a portfolio of over 600 articles, Devyani Sharma is a freelance writer working in the Entertainment and Sports niche. With a Master's Degree in English literature, Devyani places great importance on the power of words and their ability to connect with readers. When not busy watching sci-fi movies, action thrillers and comedies, Devyani indulges in her love for fiction novels and writing about NASCAR races.