Meryl Streep was born in New Jersey, but she belongs to the world.
A legit national treasure, her prestige as untouchable as Margaret Thatcher’s steely resolve and shellacked hair in The Iron Lady, Streep could quit making movies today and still be name-checked nine out of 10 times for the next 50 years when someone is asked who their favorite actress is.
Happily, the 67-year-old star of screen, stage and more screen remains as vibrant as ever—and as amiable when it comes to showing up whenever she’s nominated for a major award. Which is every. Single. Year.
It certainly seems that way, at least—particularly right about now, with the 2017 Golden Globe Awards on tap for this Sunday.
While Streep has been nominated for a record 19 Oscars, more than anyone ever (Katharine Hepburn and Jackson Nicholson are tied for second with 12 apiece), and won three, she has been nominated for 30 Golden Globes.
That’s right, 30 in 38 years, since earning her first nomination in 1979 for The Deer Hunter. That’s head and shoulders (anchored by Streep’s enviable swan-like neck) above her fellow thespians. Only the late Jack Lemmon comes mildly close, with 22 nominations, while Shirley MacLaine has 19.
“AAAAGGGGHHHH!” read Streep’s actual statement to E! News upon learning she’d received her record 30th nomination, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy for Florence Foster Jenkins.
While she plays a wealthy, ailing socialite with designs on being a grand singer who gets to have a swan song at Carnegie Hall in the film, Streep really is a transfixing actress, the kind whose performance is often the most memorable part of any film she’s in. She also has the kind of presence that elevates even the so-so movies she’s been in, such as The Bridges of Madison County (yes, SO-SO), or rips the glory right out from under the ingenues, as she did in The Devil Wears Prada.
And of course she was nominated for a Golden Globe for both of those, and she rightfully won for Devil!
Streep has won eight Golden Globes, in fact, two more than six-time winners Nicholson and Angela Lansbury; and even if she misses out in her category this year, the Hollywood Foreign Press ensured they wouldn’t miss out on their required dose of Meryl by giving her the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
And oh, has she ever achieved.
“I was always in plays, but I thought it was vain to be an actress,” Streep said in 2014 while accepting an honorary doctorate from the University of Indiana. “Plus, I thought I was too ugly to be an actress. Glasses weren’t fabulous then.”
Could you even imagine?
Long since, Streep has become known for, in addition to her acting chops, her dignified bearing, her wit and timeless beauty. And it really is the acting that has made her the award season darling that she is, even though the HFPA could be accused of honoring quantity over quality a few times.
While the Academy Awards stops at five Best Actress nominees, the Golden Globes has a whole Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, section to fill.
And since Streep is good in everything she does, if she hasn’t hit particularly hard in a drama in any given year, surely she’s turned in a smashing lead or supporting performance in a musical or comedy, right?
Her Globe nominations since her Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama, win for The Iron Lady (she got the Oscar that year, too) in 2012 have come for the recapture-the-marital-romance comedy Hope Springs, August: Osage County (more of a sucker punch to the gut than a comedy, but stashed there because of the caustic wit), Into the Woods and, now, Florence Foster Jenkins.
FFJ got decent enough reviews when it premiered in August, but proving there’s no betting against a crackerjack Streep performance, the film now has four Golden Globe nominations and she also is up for a Screen Actors Guild Award.
There’s even talk of Streep upsetting La La Land star Emma Stone for the Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, because why would the HFPA honor Streep only once on Sunday when it can honor her twice?!
The Globes’ somewhat looser definition of Musical/Comedy at times makes for an interesting film cateogry, but the wide net has allowed for Streep to have greater odds than most of walking away with a trophy. She was nominated twice each in 2010 (Meryl in Julie & Julia beat Meryl in It’s Complicated), 2009 (nominations in both dramatic and music/comedy categories for Doubt and Mamma Mia!) and 2003 (won supporting for Adaptation, lost lead for The Hours) to compensate for any dry spells.
And, because the Globes also celebrate TV, they took the opportunity to award Streep in 2004 for the HBO miniseries Angels in America, which she would also win an Emmy for later that year.
And since the HFPA only has about 90 members, it stands to reason that at least a dozen of them have wanted to nominate her for each and every movie she’s ever made. Maybe the real shocker is that Meryl Streep has only 30 Golden Globe nominations.
Actually, in hindsight, the fact that she went unnoticed last year for both Suffragette and Ricki and the Flash (by the group that nominated her for the blinked-and-you-missed-it remake of The Manchurian Candidate, no less!) is a head-scratcher.
Meanwhile, we’re not complaining. It’s not every actor in Hollywood whom you always look forward to seeing, whom you wouldn’t mind watching give yet another acceptance speech or even just sit in the audience reacting to what’s going on onstage, who makes you feel…safe.
Like everything is going to be just fine, because Julia Child, Miranda Priestly, Margaret Thatcher, Jane Adler, Suzanne Vale and dozens of other remarkable women said so.