"Someone asked, 'How do you sustain yourself during moments of uncertainty, when you're insecure about whether you're going to work again'?"
"The uncertainly is going to be there. You're going to be unemployed for months at a time if you're looking over a 40-year period. I said you have to really make sure you've got your life right, to keep your friends close. Relationships matter. Your career is one thing but your life's work should be in your relationships — which are going to sustain you."
Streep says she has maternal feelings toward many young actresses. "I feel so motherly about so many beautiful young women I've worked with and I feel proprietary about people like Amy Adams and Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway. I am in awe in what the scope of their imaginatioin and ambition and how they resist being pigeonholed and engage in difficult work and that's great."
And her thoughts as recent Yale School of Drama grad Lupita Nyong'o swept past her down the aisle to receive her Oscar for best supporting actress this year for "12 Years a Slave?"
"I was just entranced and enchanted as anyone," says Streep. "She's remarkable and her work was just gorgeous — and she's has a lot ahead of her."
Did she feel a particular bond with her because she, too, achieved success soon after graduating from Yale?
"Yeah, I thought we had something in common, but then again I think it probably was a very different place [when I was there]."
So how can James Bundy, dean of the Yale School of Drama and artistic director of Yale Rep, entice her to return to the stage in New Haven? Perhaps with productions of "The Cherry Orchard" or "Long Day's Journey Into Night?"
No way for the immediate future, she says. Her list of films to be released and films still to shoot where she plays major and supporting parts is long. This winter the film adaption of the Broadway musical of "Into the Woods" — she plays the witch — will be released. Her co-stars are Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick.
Then there is a modest role in "The Homesman" (Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank and daughter Grace Gummer); "The Giver" (with Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes); and a cameo part in "Suffragette" with Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter.
This fall she will be prepping — including learning how to play rock guitar — for Jonathan Demme's "Ricki and the Flash" with a script by Diablo Cody ("Juno"). According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film is "a funny and touching story of a rock 'n' roll-loving woman who chased her tattered dream at the price of her family, but gets a last chance to, perhaps, make things right." Streep will portray "a guitar-wielding, hard rockin' mama by night and grocery store checkout lady by day.''