Recently, Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant allowed the public to ask them all their burning questions about what it means to be a celebrity, how they got to be so darn charming, and even the one thing that has riddled people for centuries is a hotdog a sandwich?
And Meryl and Hugh, being the all knowing super beings that they are, answered every. last. question. Here's the best-of from their public interview.
1/15. Meryl - would you be up for playing Batman?
2/15. If there's any advice you could give to your 18 year-old self, what would it be?
Hugh: Don't wear that jumpsuit. I had a girlfriend who decided in 1978 that I should have a jumpsuit, which were quite trendy. But mine was too small from crotch to shoulder especially after it had been in the washing machine, so I had to go around with a slight stoop and all the dye ran. I remember when I took it off I was bright blue. It was a mistake. We all made mistakes.
Meryl: I'm picturing that, and it's such a beautiful thing. Jumpsuits for men are always so difficult when you get to that one area.
Meryl: Ok so me. I would say, don't smoke.
Hugh: When was your last cigarette?
Meryl: Uh two days ago.
Hugh: Oh I see.
Meryl: No I'm kidding, but yeah, I did smoke in college and as a young actor and it's stupid.
3/15. Is a hotdog a sandwich?
Hugh: I had a very unhappy experience with Nathan's hotdogs.
Meryl: Last night you had a hotdog.
Hugh: I had one last night, I got so hungry at the premier. Which I paid for myself.
Meryl: Only the best.
Hugh: I was filming Two Weeks Notice in Coney Island, and someone told me Nathan's hotdogs were famous. What they didn't tell me is you should only have one. I had seven.
Hugh: I was unable to return to the set after, because of the condition of my innards. I had a makeup artist from Brooklyn who did not mince her words. She said, "Oh my god, did it blow your ass out?"
Meryl: It's really a lovely story. I want to return to that, over and over.
Meryl: Is a hotdog a sandwich? Well with a bun, yes. Without a bun, no. It's a canap.
4/15. For Meryl: let's be honest here, you use at least one of your oscars as a door stop right?
Serious question though, after so many wins and nominations, do you still get excited for the oscars whenever you get nominated?
Meryl: Of course I do, of course I do. I am a human being, and also I'm sort of in a category of person that is usually out to pasture at this point in their career. A woman and over 60, so it's a miracle. When I get invited back, and I fully am delighted, because it's those nominations come from other actors, they don't come from everybody else, they just come from the people who know what it is. So that's cool.
Meryl: No, but, no. they are not door stops. But they are not consistently and beautifully stored, I must say. The housekeeping at my house leaves something to be desired to say the least.
5/15. Mr Grant: How did you become so very, very charming?Is it like a thing you can turn on and off, or must you be utterly swoon-inducing in an endearingly self-deprecating way at all times?
Hugh: Dead right. It is entirely phony, put on- switched on just for the occasion.
Meryl: Bullshit, it is not.
Hugh: No it is, I'm awful. Three quarters of my life I'm hungover, grumpy, and a miserable bastard.
Meryl: But you're perfectly balanced because then you effervesce seemingly effortlessly. And it's a thing a person can't manufacture. You either have that or you don't. You have charm or you don't.
6/15. Whom would you have play the role of you in a film about your life?
Hugh: Colin Firth, obviously. I know it's the role he wants more than anything.
Meryl: He's turned it down over and over again.
7/15. Meryl and Hugh would you accept a role playing Hillary Clinton?
Hugh: I would love to. From the age of 5 to 18 I played almost exclusively female roles.
Meryl: Is that true?
Hugh: Yea because I went to an all boys school.
Meryl: Because you were so pretty probably.
Hugh: I was pretty and undeveloped.
Hugh: In many ways ravishing in dresses. And I miss those days. So yea, I would welcome that part.
Meryl: Go for it.
8/15. How do you both approach roles that are based on true stories? Do you feel any sort of responsibility towards maintaining historical accuracy, or do you feel it's more important to ensure the film is entertaining?
Hugh: Good question. Personally, I think the job is to make it entertaining, and that you mine the history for whatever is useful to making a character entertain and move people. And then you just hope that that character isn't alive, or any of their relations, in case they get angry!
Meryl: I've played a lot of characters who really existed, and some who still exist, or existed when I was playing them. Yes, you feel a special responsibility to get as much as you can right about the essence of the person. You can't replicate another human being, nor would you want to. And inevitably, how movies are made and how dramas are made, distorts to make a dramatic point. But sometimes the dramatic point lands on the truth more clearly than documentaries, so, that's cool.
9/15. What is your favourite type of cheese?
Meryl: Well my favorite is really really sharp, extra sharp, aged cheddar cheese.
Hugh: I recently discovered the stuff that comes out of tube in america. What's it called?
Meryl: Oh you really--
Meryl: You're lying.
Hugh: Almost as good as a Nathan's hot dog. Particularly when squeezed directly into the mouth I think.
Meryl: That's far enough.
10/15. What movie have you watched more times than any other?
Hugh: I think for me, it's Four Weddings and a Funeral. It's just so charming.
Meryl: For me, The Godfather.
Hugh: I agree. Or Goodfellows maybe, for me.
Meryl: No, no contest.
Hugh: Really? Well, I disagree.
Meryl: I mean I love Goodfellows and I love Nick Palleggi, but no, it's The Godfather, 1 and 2.
11/15. Hugh have you ever wished you could be James Bond?
Hugh: Not so much in the films, but in real life, very much so.
Meryl: You've achieved it!
Hugh: Yeah well, it's harder these days.
Meryl: Youre a race car drive, and you're elegant.
Hugh: Well, whenever I'm in Monte Carlo, I always go to the casino, and say, "banco" and "swivy" just like Bond. The fact that they don't actually play those games anymore spoils it slightly. There's mainly fruit machines. But guys say "banco" and "swivy" to everyone.
12/15. What is your favorite thing about working with one another?
Hugh: Well, Meryl raised my game, for sure she raised my game. It's like playing tennis with Roger Federer.
Meryl: Oh my god. Well, I'm just not into the sports analogy. We had a fight about that last night. To me it was a surprise because...even though I'm an actor, I think I know how people work and what the process is that they go through to get what they've done. So from the films that I'd seen of Hugh's where everybody falls in love immediately when he comes on screen, and it's an indefinable thing. You don't know what that is or how it's created, but you just think, like every other audience member you're in the thrall of it, and you think "Oh, its just...that's the way he is. That's just natural. And that's just behavior." But of course it's not. It's acting. And I made the mistake of thinking this will just be an effortless thing. He agonized over everything so much that, you know, there was a lot of everybody soothing him to make him feel it's okay. It's not the biggest piece of crap anybody's ever seen. It's wonderful. You're wonderful. And he is! But it doesn't...he's so demanding and so...analytical. It's analytical I think. It's not neuroses, it's a high level of, to use the sports analogy, aiming at some technical perfection, that you actually own without the agony.
Hugh: I wish you'd told me this before we started shooting. You're very nice.
13/15. When did you realize the desire to be an actor was a legitimate passion to pursue?
Meryl: Probably the third year of graduate school in acting, I realized that. After I slept through the law boards, the tests that you're going to take, because I was sure I should give up, and do something more meaningful, and measurably helpful in the world. But, I took it as a sign; I slept through the test. I spent a lot of money on the application fee, and had a late performance and a lot of beer the night before, and boom! Missed it. So, you know.
Hugh: Well, it was my triumphant success as Brigitta Von Trapp, the third daughter of the Von Trapp family in a school play when I was about 14. I wore a white dress with a blue satin sash, and I had a very funny line, and I got a big laugh. I realized this was my destiny.
Meryl: Irresistible, isn't it? Big laughs.
14/15. Are there any particular historical figures you'd like to play? Or events you're interested in, which you'd like to see adapted into a movie?
Hugh: I think we could do Adam and Eve.
Meryl: Haha yeah, we could do a revisionist Adam and Eve. Because I think that story has been sourced sort of incorrectly.
Hugh: It's not a feminist tale.
Meryl: Like who came from who. The rib of Adam? Oh really? Talk about reversing the order of events.
Hugh: We'd look nice in our fig leaves, wouldn't we?
Meryl: Yes haha. Well you would.
Hugh: Let's set it up. Come on Paramount.
15/15. How does it feel to be the inspiration and role models to other, well accomplished, actors/ actresses?
Meryl: Daunting. It does. But I know what people meant to me when I was coming up. I know that certain actors and actresses really meant a lot. And so I get it. But I feel...yeah...I feel not up to the job sometimes. Every time out is kind of terrifying like it is for you, but I guess I'm an example that in spite of your terror you can continue.