Meryl Streep begins breaking rules almost exactly where the rules begin.
By 65, most actresses fall out of favour and stop getting calls, but Streep’s career is as hot as ever. In recent years, she’s starred in The Devil Wears Prada, Mamma Mia, The Giver, and Into the Woods, just to name a few. In the last 5 years, she’s made 10 movies, and between ‘08 and ‘09, pulled in $24 million, putting her just behind heavyweights Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie in earnings.
Despite being a Hollywood star, Streep refuses to cave in to many of Hollywood’s demands. She’s remained based on the East Coast for the majority of her life, describing the four years she spent living in L.A. as “unsettling.” She doesn’t have a publicist. She doesn’t have a personal stylist. She has no interest in Botox, or plastic surgery, and is “happy to let time do what it has to do.” And she’s been wearing the same cardigan for the last 30 years.
Streep is bucking trends and breaking rules not only in her personal life, but also in her professional life, where she is reshaping the Hollywood landscape.
“I think the parts for women my age are wilder, more extreme. The protagonists of a romantic comedy – something very conventional – are written for younger women. I’ve always thought of myself as a character actor, anyway, a theatre or repertory actor – someone who does a lot of different things, and I’ve always liked to. Even when I was younger, I took on some things that were odd.” – Meryl Streep
Streep’s films are reaching unconventional audiences, such as women and the older generations, and drawing them to the box office. After its release, Mamma Mia quickly became the most successful film of all time in Britain, and grossed $601 million worldwide. The Devil Wears Prada, released that same year, took in almost $3.5 million at the box office. None of this surprised Streep, but the Hollywood bigwigs were caught off-guard.
“Her crusade, at this point, is to show Hollywood how much money can be made from female-driven movies.” – Entertainment Weekly
According to Streep, the key to becoming a breakout star is to remain an individual, and to not fall into the many traps Hollywood can provide.
“I think for young women it’s hard [to become a breakout star] because they all think they have to look and act a certain way. That’s a trap.” – Meryl Streep
Streep has proven that to stand out, you need to make sure you’re not fitting in. Examine your own behaviours, routines, attitudes and actions. Are you bucking trends and breaking rules, or are you falling into a trap?
Image Credit: Huffington Post