Two instances of violence have changed Meryl Streep “on a cellular level.”
The Oscar winner made this point while giving an address at the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 27th Annual International Press Freedom Awards in New York on Wednesday evening. During her speech, The Post actress praised journalists for their bravery and told the crowd that she knew “something about real terror.”
Without detailing the specifics behind the assault, Meryl shared that amid a violent attack she “played dead and waited until the blows stopped, watching like people say you do from like 50 feet above where [she] was beaten.” Intense stuff.
Streep then went on to describe an incident where she and Cher witnessed a young woman being abused. Per the A-lister, upon seeing the attack, she “went completely nuts” and chased the man off. She recalled:
“In the second instance, someone else was being abused and I just went completely nuts and went after this man. Ask Cher, she was there. The thug ran away, it was a miracle.”
Cher has previously corroborated Meryl’s account of this harrowing incident, as she explained during a ’13 Reddit AMA:
“We walked around the corner, there was this huge guy ripping this girl’s clothes and trying to get her purse. Meryl just took off and starting yelling running towards them. Then I did too. The guy got frightened and started running towards US!!!
I thought great, we saved the girl and now we’re going to get killed. When we got to the girl, she was completely shaken up. Her dress was ripped and she was crying. We kind of patted her, and we started talking to her, and we asked her if she needed help going anywhere or doing anything.
She said she was a singing waitress. Then she started screaming ‘Oh my god I was just saved by Meryl Streep and Cher!!!!’ Then we looked over and there were two men standing there and they didn’t do anything. These two big asshole men just watched her.”
So awful. Understandably, these terrifying experiences left an impact on Meryl, as she continued:
“But I was changed by these events on a cellular level because women do know something particular about coming to the danger place. We come to it disadvantaged through the many millennia preceding our present moment and because of our vulnerability we anticipate danger, we expect it. We’re hyper alert to it, we have the 360 on the whole room.
We have measurably more acute hearing, we have a better sense of smell, we notice details, what people are wearing, their tics and peculiarities.”
While the industry vet commended the many journalists in the room for their work, she made sure to highlight the work being done in Mexico, where five reporters were murdered in 2017.
The celebrated performer concluded her speech by reminding the reporters that their news pieces are important as they’re the “first line of defense against tyranny and state-sanctioned news.”
Be sure to watch Meryl’s empowering speech for yourself (below). We promise, it’s one you DON’T want to miss!
[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]