Acting Advice from Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep has been on screen countless times giving advice to actors. We rounded up her best sound bites and presented them here to you, so you can benefit from some of her advice, too.

Meryl Streep and the power of empathy:

I’ve thought a lot about the power of empathy. In my work it’s the current that connects me and my actual pulse to a fictional character.

“It allows me to feel pretend feelings and sorrows, and imagined pain. Empathy is the engine that powers all the best in us.

It is what civilises us. It is what connects us.

Empathy is at the centre of the actor’s heart. Or as Leonard Cohen says: “Pay attention to the cracks – because that’s where the light gets in.”

Vincent Luigi Molino, 2009.

The Value of Acting:

“When I was applying to law school and thinking that acting is a stupid way to make a living, it doesn’t do anything in the world.

But I think it does.

There’s a great worth it in. And the worth is in listening to people who maybe don’t exist, or who are voices in your past, and they come through you, through your work and you give them to other people.”

I think that giving voice to characters that have no other voice is the great worth of what we do.

“Everybody has everything in them. You have everybody in you. People’s work is where you’ll find whether they can open you up to the hidden world of a character, to the stuff that is never explained but always layers your appreciation of the story.”

Sources:
Meryl Streep discusses the role of Empathy in her life and acting
Meryl Streep On Accessing The Characters Within
Meryl Streep on Acting
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