Series 16, Episode 13 - Meryl Streep, James McAvoy, Mark Ruffalo, Hozier
Meryl Streep, talking about her latest role as the witch in Into the Woods, says, "This is my first witch. When I turned 40 I was offered three witches in one year. And it sent me a signal about how Hollywood felt about people turning 40 and I felt bad, it put my back up and I didn't want to play them. Now I am more age appropriate!"
Mark Ruffalo gives Meryl the huge compliment, "So a lot has changed for you in the last five years," and is rewarded with a kiss on the mouth much to his surprise and enjoyment. Swooning, he says, "I think I have fainted!"
Talking about her sublime singing for the role, she says, "When they offered me the part I really couldn't sing like that, I had to work very hard to come up to a high bar. It was demanding vocally."
Reminded that her latest Golden Globe nomination is her 29th, she says, "I know, I am so old!" and recalls, "The first awards were very different - it was little afternoon event recorded on CCTV for the LA County area only. It started at lunchtime and went on forever.
"I was there for Kramer vs. Kramer just after giving birth to my first child. In those days they didn't lend dresses and I didn't have any money to buy something so wore my wedding dress. It was a perfectly nice white silk dress, but the luncheon went on and I was breastfeeding and two o'clock came, three o'clock came and 'boom,' I started to lactate! In a white silk dress! It was not good and I sat with my arms crossed over my chest, they called my name and I walked to the stage with my arms crossed and accepted the award one-handed, while still covering my breasts. They must have thought I was so odd. It was so embarrassing. But only to LA County - no one else saw!"
Asked if is was true that she was standoffish on the set of The Devil Wears Prada, she says, "They all had a fabulous time - Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway - and I was off in my trailer sulking. I just didn't think it would be helpful to have a good time - and I really like to have a good time. But I couldn't do that and then walk in and chill the blood."
Revealing that while making The Iron Lady she went out in public as the older Margaret Thatcher after filming, Meryl says "It was interesting to walk around London. It was liberating because I am recognised now everywhere all the time, which is nice but sometimes you just want to forget about who you are and this enabled me to do that. In fact you are so forgettable as an old woman. It was so interesting to see how people skirt you and don't look at you. It was fascinating and humbling. I looked a lot like Margaret Thatcher and still people didn't give a glance. It was very interesting."
Asked if she ever had any disastrous auditions she says, "I was up for the girl in King Kong and was invited to audition for Dino De Laurentis. When I got there he said in Italian, 'Why have you brought me this ugly thing?' It was very sobering as a young girl, but I replied in Italian, 'I understand what you are saying and I am sorry I am not beautiful enough to be in King Kong!'"
And Meryl reveals she once dreamt of marrying a royal, "When I was a kid I found out Prince Charles and I were born in the same year so I figured it was pretty likely we would get married one day. When I told him he was nonplussed!"
Meryl demonstrates her renowned ability to do any accent as she speaks with a perfect Scottish brogue, as she copies one of James McAvoy's phrases.
Showing off talents of their own, Mark and James demonstrate their unicycling skills much to the delight of Meryl and Graham.
Mark, talking about his new film Foxcatcher, jokes "The only reason they cast me was because I wrestled in high school!" adding, "I thought that was going to help me before I had to wrestle Channing Tatum, who's arm is bigger than my torso! It was actually really tough. I was playing a 35 year-old man who was at the peak of his athletic prowess and I am a 47 year-old man who is at the bottom of his athletic prowess, whatever is left of it. I struggled with it and we would shoot for 12-hour day and then we would go and wrestle."
Asked about the rumoured frostiness on the set between the actors, he says, "Channing and I were together every moment, but Steve (Carrell) was off doing his own thing. You will see that the way he looked in the movie was so repulsive no one wanted to talk to him and it created this weird distance between the three of us," adding, "But Steve is the loveliest man in the world, the nicest, sweetest guy."
And on his 30lb weight gain and dodgy hair style for the role, he says, "I had it for a long time, for months and it didn't go down well at home. It was like, 'Turn the light off darling!'"
James, talking about the demands of his new stage role in The Ruling Class, says, "I didn't expect it be hard but it's the hardest thing I have ever done."
Revealing not all his auditions have gone to plan, but declining to name the show he was up for, James reveals, "My agent suggested something that she thought was going to be great for me. I needed to learn songs and to play the guitar. I said, 'No problem,' but of course the day came and I was rubbish at all of that and I stood in front of them with my heart in my mouth and thought, 'I've got to get out of this,' so I started to cry and through my tears said, 'I've just had a phone call. My mate has been knocked down, he the hospital and I have to go.' If they are watching this they will be thinking, 'We really believed him and he is a bastard!' I am sorry for that."
Hozier performs Take Me To Church, before joining Graham for a chat. Talking about his rapid rise to fame, he says, "It is crazy. A lot of it was very unexpected. This time last year my schedule was a lot different!"
- Friday 9th January 2015
- BBC One
- 50 minutes
Cast & crew
|Graham Norton||Host / Presenter|
|Andrew Hozier-Byrne (as Hozier)||Guest|
|Jon Magnusson||Series Producer|
|Graham Stuart||Executive Producer|
Meryl Streep discusses her 'sobering' audition for King Kong.
James McAvoy explains his unique method for escaping an audition.