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Clint Eastwood Inspired One of Meryl Streep’s Most Iconic Performances

Clint Eastwood Inspired One of Meryl Streep’s Most Iconic Performances

Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep famously starred alongside each other in 1995’s The Bridges of Madison County. The collaboration was a fruitful one. The film drew praise for both Eastwood’s direction and was a box office success. It currently boasts a 90% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Meanwhile, Streep earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in The Bridges of Madison County. However, it seems that Streep picked up a few things while watching Eastwood direct the film. The Eastwood influence also happened to pop up in an unexpected place.

In 2006, Meryl Streep took on the role of Miranda Priestly, the cunning editor of a fashion magazine, in David Frankel’s The Devil Wears Prada. Drawing inspiration from her award-winning colleagues, Streep employed the controversial method acting technique to master her performance. While this approach contributed significantly to her success, it was not without its drawbacks.

While the immersive approach led to an Oscar-nominated performance and was considered crucial to the movie’s allure, it hurt Streep. “It was horrible! I was [depressed] in my trailer,” Streep admitted in a 2021 interview with Entertainment Weekly. “[Everyone] could hear [the crew] all rocking and laughing. I was so depressed! I said, ‘Well, it’s the price you pay for being boss!’ That’s the last time I ever attempted a method thing!”

How Meryl Streep Channeled Clint Eastwood for ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

In The Devil Wears Prada, Streep’s character portrayed a strict and unwavering demeanor, embodying the callous and determined Miranda Priestly. Streep also drew inspiration from Clint Eastwood’s serious and confident presence.

“It was just a direct steal from the way I saw Clint Eastwood run a set,” Streep explained. “He’s someone that guys really respect. And he never raises his voice, ever.”

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(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Streep’s subdued yet intimidating portrayal of Miranda, influenced by Eastwood, surprised her co-star Anne Hathaway. Hathaway had anticipated a more vocal and physically expressive performance on set.

“I just remember at the first read-through, I had read the script so many times. And I was expecting you to come in imperious and loud and barking orders. You said your first line in a whisper,” Hathaway told Entertainment Weekly. “And I almost fell off my chair. That was the moment that I realized that we—yes it is a great Hollywood movie, but there’s something more, too.”